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DATE News (chronologically)
Loose drain cover caused Barrichello crash UPDATE #2 A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, When I worked with Atlantics and ChampCar all the temporary street circuits we ran on had the man hole covers welded shut. I'm just curious as to why the premier racing organization in auto racing doesn't have some sort of similar safety measure in place?  Mark Bartlett

05/24/10 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Williams has confirmed that a loose manhole cover caused Rubens Barrichello's high speed crash during the recent Monaco grand prix.

Rubens Barrichello
With technical director Sam Michael initially diagnosing a rear suspension failure, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport subsequently reported that an investigation showed that the left rear wheel was in fact damaged by a loose drain cover.

In a media statement, the British team has now confirmed that a manhole cover at turn two "was spun up and hit the rear left wheel, causing failure.  This incident has been reported to the FIA," added Williams.

05/21/10 (GMM)  Williams and the FIA suspect that a loose drain cover caused Rubens Barrichello's high speed crash during the Monaco grand prix.

The team's technical director initially diagnosed a rear suspension failure.

"We have a good idea which part is suspect, but to be completely sure, we need to await the results of materials tests back at the factory," Sam Michael said earlier this week.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport now reports that FIA experts conducted an investigation and now think a loose drain cover damaged the left rear wheel.

Another loose drain cover in the first sector of the famous street circuit last Sunday caused a short safety car period.

Barrichello's chassis and engine were not damaged, but the magazine said the Cosworth unit will as a precaution only now be used during Friday practice sessions this year.

The gearbox was also not substantially damaged, but Grove based Williams has decided to replace it anyway.

The sister FW32 of Nico Hulkenberg also crashed heavily in Monaco, meaning that both cars will have to use an older specification front wing in Turkey next weekend.

"It might have been possible (to replace the damaged wings), but then we would have compromised the next developments for Montreal," explained Michael.

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