February 27, 2019

Vettel mystified by F1 test crash

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel admitted he had no idea why his Ferrari left the track and crashed into the barriers in Formula One testing on Wednesday.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

The German’s car was covered up and towed away after the accident which delayed the session by 45 minutes.

“We don’t know,” said Vettel when asked why his Ferrari came off the circuit at Turn Three at a speed of around 150mph (241km/h).

“There was a problem with the accelerator. I didn’t have control of the car anymore so we are trying to understand what happened. It’s not ideal.

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“After the impact, there was a lot of damage that we must repair.”

Vettel’s accident and its subsequent investigation meant Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc was unable to set a time.

Despite the crash, Vettel still managed the third fastest time of the day of 1min 18.195sec from his 40 laps.

Carlos Sainz, in a McLaren, was fastest, timing 1:17.166 off 130 laps with Mexico’s Sergio Perez third fastest for Racing Point in 1:17.962 having completed 88 laps.

Sainz’s teammate Lando Norris had topped the time charts on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, world champion Lewis Hamilton was only ninth fastest in his Mercedes with a best lap of 1min 18.943sec after 102 laps.

“We got a lot of laps today which is a good thing, but we’ve come across a few little hurdles, so we’re just working our way through them, trying to be as diligent as possible trying to understand the causes – which is exactly what testing is for,” said Hamilton.


Carlos Sainz (ESP/McLaren-Renault) 1:17.166 (130 laps), Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes 1:17.962 (88), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1:18.195 (40), Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa-Romeo Racing-Ferrari) 1:18.209 (113), Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari) 1:18.330 (120), Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) 1:18.395 (128), Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda) 1:18.682 (101), Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes): 1:18.941 (74), Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes): 1:18.943 (102), Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Renault): 1:19.056 (58), Robert Kubica (POL/Williams-Mercedes) 1:19.367 (130), Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault): 1:22.597 (72), Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) — no time set