The Day 2 of F1 2019 second Barcelona test proved to be difficult for Ferrari after Sebastian Vettel suffered an incident during the morning session.
It was a heavy impact for Vettel at Turn 3 which Ferrari immediately noted down to a mechanical failure, thereby ruling out any driver error. The team couldn’t fix the car until late with Charles Leclerc only getting an installation lap.
This led to Ferrari changing its schedule with Leclerc getting a full day run on Thursday and Vettel also getting a full day on Friday. With the third day action underway at Circuit de Catalunya, Ferrari has revealed the issue which led to the crash on Day 2.
The Italian manufacturer noted it to be a rim issue which it believes was damaged due to a hit from a foreign object. “After thorough checks we found that Seb’s off yesterday was due to a rim issue,” the statement stated.
“The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object.” The crash video showed an issue on the front left of Vettel’s car when it went off in the gravel and hit the TechPro barrier hard.
Vettel was taken to the medical center as a precaution and was released soon after. His best time of 1m18.195s helped him finish fourth overall. Speaking to the media after the day’s proceedings, Vettel said that he felt something wrong before he went off.
“I was going into Turn 3 and I had a feeling there was an issue with the front-left corner and then from there it wasn’t anything that I could have done to avoid the impact,” he said. “After that I wasn’t in control anymore and went straight into the barriers.”
Ferrari already lost some time on Day 1 due to a cooling issue but Vettel is not downbeat with the lost time, even though he admits it is not always ideal. “We covered a lot of mileage last week but surely the plan is always to fulfil your programme,” he said.
“We had more laps on the board than 40 this morning, so for sure it is not ideal in that we are losing some time. Overall the car is still strong, we feel good. I think we are exploring a lot of things since Day 1 and I think the last week has been very productive.
“Yesterday [Day 1] we could recover some of the lost track time in the morning, so overall I am still positive about the car and the feeling inside the car.” The development race is already on with Mercedes bringing an upgraded car for second test.
The German manufacturer insists that the plan was always to have the upgrades fitted for second test as they prepare for the first few rounds of the 2019 F1 season – it also clarified that the car is not a ‘B-Spec’ to the one they tested last week.
The story is co-written by Omar Alvarez
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