Kevin Magnussen fire: Renault catches fire in freak accident during Malaysian Grand Prix practice

Magnussen leapt out of his car in the pit lane after it caught fire due to a fuel leak

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The Independent Online

Kevin Magnussen was forced into emergency action when his Renault burst into flames during first practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, resulting in the session being red flagged after the fire burned for minutes in the pit lane.

Fires in the pit lane are a rare sight these days due to the ban on refuelling during races, and Magnussen’s incident on Friday was one of the stranger fires seen in Formula 1.

In recent years, fires for the likes of Felipe Massa and Jos Verstappen have occurred when fuel spills out of the refuelling rig and onto the exhaust, but Magnussen’s occurred when he was being wheeled into the garage.

As the Renault mechanics put his car up onto the wheeled dollies that enable them to spin a car on the spot, flames appeared near the refuelling section just behind the drivers head.

Once it transpired that the fire would not burn itself out, Magnussen was given the call to get out of the car – something he did with haste as the flames began to come around the engine cover and into the cockpit.

The Dane displayed why all Formula 1 drivers are required to be able to escape the cockpit inside seven seconds as he leapt out of the car and ran to safety, but the trouble did not stop there.

With fuel pouring out over the Renault’s engine cover, the fire continued to burn even though both mechanics and mashalls were on hand with fire extinguishers.

It was later revealed that a leaking fuel breather was believed to have been the cause of the fire, and it took fire crews 20 minutes to clean up the mess left from the foam extinguishers before the session could get back underway.

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Unsurprisingly, Magnussen did not take part on the remainder of the session, but the Renault mechanics were able to repair the damage to ensure he returned to the track in second practice.

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