BARCELONA (Reuters) – A wheel rim issue caused Sebastian Vettel’s crash in pre-season testing, Ferrari said yesterday.
The crash at turn three of the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday morning was the first setback for the 2018 runners-up with a new SF90 car that has otherwise looked impressively quick and reliable.
“After thorough checks we found that Seb’s off yesterday was due to a rim issue,” a Ferrari spokeswoman said.
“The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object.”
He is a four-time Formula One World Champion, having won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with Red Bull Racing. Vettel’s young Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc was testing the car yesterday with the four-times world champion German, who was not hurt in Wednesday’s incident, due to return for the final day today.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz set the best time of one minute 17.144 seconds on the soft C4 tyre and completed 130 laps, the same number as Poland’s Robert Kubica in the Williams.
The season-opening race in Australia is on March 17.