Something broke on the Ferrari SF70 which caused Sebastian Vettel to spear into the wall in Turn three on day two of the second Formula 1 preseason test at Circuit de Catalunya.
On the sixth day of running, Vettel grabbed headlines when he slid off track and crashed into the wall, seriously damaging his Ferrari. A front end failure of sorts was handed the early blame for the mishap.
Speaking to reporters during his debrief after the morning stint in the car, Vettel explained, “I was going into Turn 3 and then, by the feeling, there was an issue with the front left corner. From there, there wasn’t anything I could have done to avoid the impact.”
“After that I wasn’t in control anymore and I went straight into the barriers. We are flat-out trying to understand. It would be a lot easier if there was a lot of run-off and the car didn’t hit anything right after.”
“We have to be careful understanding what is the problem and that is what everyone is working on both here at the track and in Maranello.”
The second episode of testing in Spain, ahead of the 2019 season opener in Austalia on 17 March, has not been kind to the Scuderia with Leclerc sidelined for much of the morning on Tuesday. And now the crash.
However, there are still good reasons for tifosi to remain upbeat. Before Vettel’s incident, he was second on the timing screens with 40 laps on the clock.
At the same time, Ferrari mechanics were in for a hefty repair job to get Leclerc out for the afternoon stanza. With two hours to go there was still no sign of the red car. Not the final week of testing they hoped for.
Nevertheless, the SF90 appears to have pace and, until this week, it had been bulletproof, which Vettel pointed out, “I think overall the car is still strong, it feels good. We have been exploring a lot of things since Day One. ”
“Last week was very productive and also yesterday, at least we could recover some track time we lost in the morning. So overall I’m still positive about the car and the feeling inside the car.”
As for another serious title tilt in 2019, the German four-time F1 World Champion was confident, “We have all the ingredients, for sure. At some stages in previous years, maybe we didn’t put things 100% together. There’s always room for improvement. I think we have something to build on.”
“We know what to do, we know how to do it. There’s a lot of races and challenges that will come up, and even if we find ourselves in a good position now, it’s still a long way and a lot of time. ”
“We have a good group of people who came up with last year’s car, the car before that and this year’s car again. From there we need to make sure we improve it. The key will be to have the speed in race one and race 21. The rest will come.”
“We covered a lot of mileage last week but the plan is always to fulfil your programme so we would hope to have more laps on the board than 40 this morning. For sure it is not ideal that we are losing some time but right now it’s important to find out what exactly happened,” added Vettel.