Vettel crashes during Pirelli's wet F1 tyre test – –, Edition: Global

Motorsport, Sports

Sebastian Vettel’s first day of testing Pirelli’s 2017 wet tyres at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit was brought to an early end after a crash into the barriers on Thursday.

The German had been drafted in for the opening day of wet tyre testing, which was aimed at checking on the progress of Pirelli’s wider rain rubber with Ferrari’s mule car on the artificially-soaked track.

However, early in the afternoon – and when believed to be on a warm-up lap – Vettel lost control of the modified SF15-T on the track section that descends from the right hander after the bridge crossing.

Images posted online showed the car flicked right as the circuit turned to the left, and Vettel plunged head first into the barriers.

Although Vettel was unharmed in the crash, suffering no more than some minor bruising, the impact was enough for the car to need extensive repairs – so running was abandoned for the day.

The car has been returned to the Maranello factory and a decision will be taken tonight about if it can be got back into action for a second scheduled day of testing on Friday.

New rules

The desire by Pirelli to get a pre-season wet tyre test completed has been prompted because of changes this year which mean there will be standing starts behind safety cars.

One of the problems highlighted with last year’s wet tyres was their warm-up characteristics – something that will need sorting if cars have to start from the grid without any benefit from tyre blankets as can be used before a normal start.

With track temperature as low as 5 degrees Centigrade on Thursday, Vettel had been trying his best to evaluate the different specification of wet tyres available.

Having cut short his running, it is possible that Vettel will stay on for another day if the Ferrari can be repaired in time.

Ferrari’s third driver Antonio Giovinazzi had originally been scheduled to run the entire second day, but may now be limited to just the afternoon.

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