PETALING JAYA: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is taking a wait and see approach before deciding on whether to agree to the compensation amount sought by Haas over the damage to Romain Grosjean’s car during the Malaysian Grand Prix practice last week.
SIC has yet to receive an invoice from Hass, according to its chief executive, Razlan Razali. “Once we get it, then we can decide on the next course of action,” he told FMT.
Razlan was responding to a report by Autosport that the Haas team would be billing SIC US$750,000 (RM3.2 million).
The damage to Grosjean’s car was reportedly caused by a drain grill on the track. It apparently came loose in the final race. The car was flung into the barriers at high speed.
The grill was said to have popped up at a kerb after Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari drove over it.
Razlan said afterwards that all drain covers were inspected the night before. He said they were “reinforced, double checked, triple checked”.
When he spoke to FMT yesterday, he said he met Haas team principal Guenther Steiner on Sunday and the latter said an invoice circulating on social media was fake.
“He also spoke on the extensive damage to the car, which he said was more than what they could bear,” Razlan said. “In some ways we agree.”
He said track inspections were carried out on Thursday before the cars went out on Friday, but added that additional inspections had not been carried out.
“We were not asked to check the tracks in anticipation of the much faster cars. We prepared as necessary. The track passed the inspection. The incident happened due to the force of the car and that loose grille.”
Razlan said SIC had insurance coverage, but its officials were still studying whether claims could be made for such an incident.
Following the Frenchman’s crash, safety officials spent Friday evening checking every drain cover at the 5.543km circuit.
Steiner condemned the state of the track.
“In my opinion, things like this in 2017 shouldn’t happen on a permanent circuit,” he said. “They shouldn’t happen on any circuit. This is, in my opinion, not acceptable. This is not up to the standards.”