Vettel set to return in Zandvoort FP2 after engine failure

Aston Martin is hopeful that Sebastian Vettel will make it back out for second practice at the Dutch Grand Prix, despite his morning engine dramas.

Vettel set to return in Zandvoort FP2 after engine failure

Vettel triggered a lengthy stoppage to first practice at Zandvoort on Friday when his car came to a halt near the pit lane exit.

The German feared that the issue could trigger a car fire, so rushed to a nearby marshal’s post to grab an extinguisher.

But despite his car appearing to be okay, concerns that it had gone in to a ‘live’ state due to a problem with its energy recovery systems prompted a careful intervention so it could be recovered.

With team personnel being aided by specially protected track officials, it took 37 minutes of red flag for the Aston Martin to be returned back to the pits and the session restarted.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer suggested that the cause of the problem was a simple engine failure, and said the outfit was swapping out his practice unit so Vettel could run again in afternoon practice

“We don't have the root cause yet but he reported an engine failure,” said Szafnauer. “We asked him to pull over near a marshal stand, just in case there was a fire. It's routine for us to do so when we have an engine failure.

“That's exactly what he did, but he then also anticipated himself that there may be a potential for a fire, which is why he got the fire extinguisher from the marshals.

“We don't know the root cause yet, like I said. I think the first order of importance is to change the engine so we can get running in free practice two.”

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Drivers normally run older engines in Friday practice, so they can keep their fresher units for when the power demands increase on Saturday and Sunday.

Aston Martin will be moving Vettel on to one of the two other powerunits in his pool.

Vettel has already introduced his third and final powerunit of the season, so any extra engine required before the end of the campaign would trigger a grid penalty. 

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