Remember that fake invoice – which insinuated that the Haas F1 Team billed the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) US$295,000 (RM1.2 million) after a loose drain cover caused Romain Grosjean’s scary Friday practice crash at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix? Well, it turns out that not only is the team actually seeking compensation, but the figure is closer to a staggering US$750,000 (RM3.2 million). Ouch.

According to a report by Autosport, team principal Gunther Steiner called the incident “unacceptable” and “not up to the standards” that an F1 track should be. “It was completely out of our hands,” he said. “I cannot say, ‘Oh, OK, we now let, let’s say, three quarters of a million [dollars] go because somebody forgot to weld something in, it’s all good.’ We pay to come here, we pay a fee to come here, everybody has to pay.

Steiner had reportedly spoken with the circuit’s chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday, in order to discuss the incident and request compensation. The damage caused is said to be significant, with a brand new floor and front wing damaged beyond repair. “We discussed it and they were very professional about it. They have insurance, let’s see what we can do.”

Even so, Reuters reported that Steiner isn’t very confident of getting the compensation. “Nobody agrees to you to give you this amount of money,” he said. “Nobody volunteers even if you are the best guy in the world, to give you this amount of money. I just spoke with them and made them aware that we don’t feel responsible for it. But I have not got any discussions or I haven’t got any ‘no’, I haven’t got any ‘yes.'”

Grosjean walked away from the collision, in which he sustained a 17g impact after the drain cover ripped his tyres and pitched him into a spin at 270 km/h. Afterwards, the Frenchman called for action to make sure such incidents would not happen again.

The sport’s governing body, the International Automotive Federation (FIA), believed that a welding failure had led to the drain cover coming apart. The session was immediately red-flagged, and circuit engineers were forced to look at every drain that was not bolted-in, strengthening them ahead of final practice on Saturday.

Given the circumstances of the incident, the team was allowed to be excluded from an overnight curfew, in order to carry out repairs as it was “entirely and clearly beyond the control of the driver and the competitor.” As such, Haas was able to get the car ready in time for final practice on Saturday.