Ferrari has identified the cause of Sebastian Vettel’s high-speed crash on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Vettel was starting a flying lap shortly after a red flag period on Wednesday morning when a mechanical failure occurred just as he turned in for Turn 3. The car instantly bottomed out and went straight into the Tecpro barrier on the outside of the circuit, causing a 40-minute delay while the car was removed and barrier fixed.
Ferrari spent the majority of the rest of the day repairing the damaged car while also investigating the cause, and on Thursday morning confirmed a wheel rim issue was to blame.
“After thorough checks we found that Seb’s off yesterday was due to a rim issue,” a Ferrari spokesperson said. “The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object.”
The incident led to Charles Leclerc completing a solitary installation lap right at the end of the second day’s running, with Ferrari adapting its driver line-up for the rest of the test as a result. Having previously split running between both of its drivers on the opening two days, Ferrari is running Leclerc for the full day on Thursday before Vettel closes out the test on Friday.