Ferrari: Vettel testing crash caused by wheel rim issue
It was arguably the most dramatic moment of pre-season testing so far – Sebastian Vettel ploughing into the barriers at Barcelona’s Turn 3 and bringing Ferrari’s Wednesday running to an abrupt halt.
The Italian team were quick to explain a mechanical fault had caused the off, which occurred during the morning session, with Vettel saying that he had felt “an issue with the front-left corner” before leaving the track.
Ferrari have now confirmed the cause of the crash was a wheel rim issue. “The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object,” added a Ferrari spokesperson.
Vettel escaped the incident unhurt, but his Ferrari SF90 required the best part of six hours' work before Charles Leclerc could drive it out of the garage just minutes before the end of the day's session and take the Scuderia’s Wednesday lap tally to 41. Rivals Mercedes, meanwhile, completed 174…
Despite the setback, Ferrari’s form remains extremely impressive, with both the data and rivals pointing to them as the early 2019 pacesetters.