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Ferrari will investigate Vettel crash further

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Ferrari will investigate Vettel crash further
By:
Co-author: Scott Mitchell
Mar 2, 2019, 9:19 AM

Ferrari will continue to investigate the rim failure that caused Sebastian Vettel to crash during the second day of this week's Formula 1 pre-season test in Barcelona.

Vettel crashed into the Tecpro barriers after he lost control of his car at Turn 3 during the morning session on Wednesday.

Ferrari concluded the front left wheel rim had failed after being damaged by an external impact.

After the incident limited Charles Leclerc's running to just an installation lap in the afternoon, the team decided to alter its testing programme for the remaining two days, giving each driver a full day of running.

While team boss Mattia Binotto believes the failure had just been the result of a "very unlucky situation", he said Ferrari will look deeper into the data to address any further issues.

"We took a look through all the data to try to understand the origin and the cause of the problem," said Binotto.

"We believe the issue was a rim failure but because the rim has been damaged by an external hit when running on the track, so the type of thing we can not avoid. I think it's been a very unlucky situation.

"On our side that's the best explanation we've got so far but we will still make sure and look deeper in all the details and data, eventually, to address any issue that may be still potential[ly there]."

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Although Ferrari had been tipped as favourite thanks to its strong pace during the pre-season, the Maranello squad's week has been far from trouble-free.

On top of Vettel's accident, the team had exhaust problems on Thursday that stopped Leclerc early, and Vettel was hit by electrical trouble on Friday, forcing Ferrari to finish the day early.

Binotto admitted Ferrari's programme had not run as hoped.

"Last season was a difficult winter testing but first because of the weather conditions," he added.

"It's quite a different situation [this year], sunny and great ambient temperature. We had some reliability issues during these days, we crashed with Seb at Turn 3.

"Our programme has not run as we were hoping.

"To be more prepared…I don't think so. I think the fight will still be very high. I think we are not yet ready for Melbourne, there's still some days to there. Most of the tasks need to be done."

Despite the disruptions, Ferrari has managed 68 laps (997) more than during the 2018 pre-season (929).

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 stops on the side of the track

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 stops on the side of the track

Photo by: Diego Mejía

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