Ericsson ruled out of FP2 after fiery accident

Marcus Ericsson crashes in FP1
© Formula 1

Marcus Ericsson will play no part in second practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday afternoon.

The Swede crashed out in the final minutes of FP1 when he lost the rear-end of the Sauber on entry to turn 11 at Beausset, immediately after the fast Signes corner.

The car snapped around and ran backwards over the high-drag safety strips which slowed it down before it impacted the tyre barrier. Even so it was a heavy impact at an awkward angle.

More significantly, the crash ruptured fuel lines in the C37 and the back end of the car caught fire. The session was red flagged with a little over three minutes remaining, and not restarted.

Ericsson was initially unaware of this as the rear view mirror on the right hand side had been ripped off in the initial accident.

When the Sauber pit crew realised that the fire was becoming serious, they radioed the driver to get out immediately while marshalls scrambled to douse the back end with fire extinguishers. The blaze was quickly put out but it had already done major damage.

"For Marcus, it was a tough session this morning and he won't do FP2 this afternoon," team principal Frederic Vasseur said.

The right side of the engine cover was burned away, with damage also to the underside of the car. It will require too long to make repairs for Ericsson to be able to get out on track again on Friday.

The 27-year-old also took a nasty knock to the right side of his head when the car went into the barriers.

However he subsequently told pit lane reporters afterward that he had not been hurt and there was no question of concussion that might sideline him on Saturday.

Ericsson finished FP1 in 14th place on the timing screens just behind his team mate Charles Leclerc, who also suffered a number of spins during the first 90-minute session. Fortunately in this case, the Monegasque succeeded in keeping the car off the barriers.

"We have a small update on the car, but it is difficult to see [the effect of it] this morning," Vasseur said.

"Step by step we are improving," he added. "The first package was to catch up the field and I think we did it. Now we have to improve step by step."

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