Charles Leclerc causes huge damage to Ferrari in Saudi Arabian GP practice smash
Charles Leclerc crashed out of a practice session at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in spectacular style, causing a huge amount of damage to his Ferrari.
The second practice session was red-flagged in Jeddah after Leclerc's high-speed smash, as he hurtled into a barrier at turn 23.
The crash caused massive damage to his car and led to stewards scrapping the rest of the session with just a few minutes remaining on the clock.
Fortunately, the Monegasque racer was able to get out of his car and declare that he was okay over team radio.
Leclerc was using a new chassis for the first two practice sessions in Saudi Arabia, after his engineers found a crack in his old one after qualifying in Qatar two weeks ago.
Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz said those engineers were left looking shellshocked as what remains of Leclerc's car was brought back to their garage.
The damage looked severe and those Ferrari mechanics are left with a huge job on their hands to ensure the car is fixed and ready for qualifying on Saturday.
The prematurely ended session saw Lewis Hamilton once again go fastest, after he had also topped the charts in the first practice session of the day.
But while title rival Max Verstappen was second in FP1 and only five hundredths of a second behind, he was only fourth quickest in the second session with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second.
Leclerc had set the 10th fastest time on the leaderboard before his crash.
The title race is wide open with just two more Grand Prix to go, meaning the result in Saudi Arabia is a crucial one to Mercedes and Red Bull – and their respective title contenders.
Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton, but the Mercedes man has the momentum after winning in Brazil and Qatar.
He has kept his "spicy" engine in reserve for these final two races, and showed his speed in Friday's practice sessions.
The racers will head back out onto the new Jeddah track for one more practice session on Saturday, before qualifying later in the day and the race on Sunday.
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