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Ferrari ran out of time to change Vettel spark plug

Ferrari ran out of time to change the spark plug on Sebastian Vettel's car after detecting a problem when the German left the garage to take the start in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ferrari ran out of time to change Vettel spark plug
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Ferrari mechanics observe the car of Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, technical issues
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 battle for position
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H battle for position
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

Vettel’s world championship ambitions suffered a major blow at Suzuka when he was forced to retire his car early on thanks to the spark plug failure.

Ferrari were only made aware that there was a problem with the car as soon as he got going when the pitlane opened before the start.

Once he got to the grid, Ferrari mechanics rushed to his car to try to work on the issue – removing the engine cover to try to access the problem area.

The scenes were reminiscent of what happened to Kimi Raikkonen in Malaysia, when a pipe between the compressor and engine cracked before the start - something which Ferrari could not fix at the time.

As the team tried to get to the root of Vettel's problem, there was not enough time for Ferrari to remove the car parts necessary to physically change the spark plug.

And with the problem recurring ahead of the formation lap, Ferrari tried to change engine settings in a hope that that could cure the issue.

However, the measure did not work and Vettel was left down on power for the race start. As he fell back in the early stages, a decision was made to retire his car.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene again declined to speak to the media after the race, but in the team’s press release he was quoted as saying that the outfit would continue to fight hard in the remaining races, despite its championship challenge having stumbled.

“As I've said before, we know that the car, the drivers and the team are all on the pace,” he said.

“That is why we will tackle the coming races with great effort and even more determination. Right up to the last corner of the last grand prix.”

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Japanese GP
Location Suzuka
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
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