Force India has explained the issue that caused Sergio Perez to lose a wheel from his Formula 1 car coming through the quick Turn 7 during second practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday at Paul Ricard.

Perez's rear-left wheel broke free of his car as he moved onto the Mistral Straight, sending his car into a spin while the wheel bounced into the barrier before coming to rest in the centre of the circuit, resulting in a red flag.

The incident ended Perez's session early, and prompted Force India to keep teammate Esteban Ocon in the pits until it could be sure the same issue would not occur on the Frenchman's car.

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Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer later confirmed that a bolt had come loose on the wheel, causing the wheel to break free, but said he did not expect the stewards to take any action for an unsafe release.

"It looks like one of the retaining bolts on one of the plates within the wheel worked its way loose, and therefore that meant that when the wheel clamped up, it wasn’t really on a true surface," Szafnauer explained.

"We just have to make sure that we check all the wheels to make sure all those bolts are in place. I think it’s an issue of continuing to learn because I think it’s a bolt that is lock-tighted in and torqued in and never checked. I think over time, they may start coming undone. It looks like we’ll have to check them now, retorque them once in a while.

"There's no fine yet, and I don’t think we deserve one, so hopefully we won’t get one. It could very well have been that the bolt started coming undone after the release, so it was released safe. You don’t know."

Despite a difficult day of running, Perez was happy with is first impressions of Paul Ricard, having never raced at the track before.

"It was not the easiest Friday for us," Perez said. "Unfortunately we lost a lot of time this afternoon with the issue I had on my car. We lost a bit of track time in the morning so we are missing some information ahead of the race, especially on the tyres. However, we still have some practice tomorrow so we will see what we can do.

"Despite these problems, I like the new circuit. I wasn’t very positive about it until today, but now that I drove it for the first time I quite like it. The wind is a big issue: it changed between the two sessions and it took a lot of time to get used to it. I had a couple of moments on my soft runs, but I wasn’t the only one.

"It’s hard to tell where we stand but our target for tomorrow is definitely to be up there fighting to be best of the rest."