Qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix delayed after Vettel rips up drain cover in FP3
Qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix was delayed by 30 minutes to allow track repairs to be carried out after a drain cover was ripped up during the final practice session on Saturday morning.
Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari over the drain at Portimao's Turn 14 in the last few minutes of FP3, pulling up a metal cover in the process. Because it was left in a dangerous position, the session was immediately red flagged, and given there was less than a minute still on the clock, it was not restarted.
Race officials then examined the damage and 20 minutes before qualifying was due to start, Race Control advised that the session was being delayed until 2.30pm local time, while repairs were carried out and the rest of the covers were checked by track staff, and the FIA officials led by Race Director Michael Masi, who is in charge of safety.
Valtteri Bottas was quickest in final practice ahead of his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, but Max Verstappen was just 0.158s behind Bottas, suggesting the Red Bull driver might be able to pose a threat for pole position once the session does get underway.