Marcus Ericsson has laughed off a tense moment jumping out of his Alfa Romeo Sauber after initially not realising it was on fire after a crash towards the end of the morning practice session which ruled him out of FP2.

The Swedish driver suffered a fast spint into the barriers in the closing minutes of FP1 at Paul Ricard and after losing his right mirror in the crash Ericsson did not see the flames engulfing his car caused by a suspected oil line break.

The incident became momentarily tense as Ericsson slowly emerged out of his car as the fire grew larger behind him before track marshals were able to extinguish the flames.

Ericsson revealed after the crash, with fire damage on his chassis denying him a part in FP2, that he had disconnected his team radio which meant he couldn’t hear the team warning him about the fire as he switched off his car.

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CrashTV: 

“My right mirror was broken in the crash so I only had the left mirror and on the left side was no fire,” Ericsson said. “So basically I was doing my switch off procedure and waiting a few seconds for every switch to switch off. And then I had the radioed pulled out as well so I couldn’t hear my engineer calling. When I was climbing out I sort of realised that maybe I should hurry up.”

The Swedish driver was naturally annoyed at losing over half his Friday practice track time due to the off having felt “quite big changes” to his car’s set-up were going to be able to deliver promising pace at Paul Ricard.

“The annoying thing is up until the accident I had a really good FP1, and we had done some quite big changes on the set-up side and settings, gone back a bit more to where we were in the beginning of the year,” he said. “It seemed to make a difference.

“I felt really comfortable so it was just extremely disappointing to end the session like that.”

Ericsson is expected to return to action with a new chassis for tomorrow morning's FP3 ahead of qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

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