WATCH: Vettel suffers dramatic suspension failure in Austin
Texas is known for its rodeos, and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel must have felt like he was riding a bucking bronco after the rear suspension of his Prancing Horse collapsed spectacularly early on in Sunday’s race in the USA.
Vettel was busy trying to make amends for a poor opening couple of laps, in which he dropped from P2 to P7, when his suspension failed on the Turn 8 exit kerbs on lap 8.
Ferrari quickly warned Charles Leclerc to stay away from kerbs at the same section, but Vettel admitted the team weren’t sure what had caused the issued.
“We have no idea what it was – [warning Charles] was a precaution,” he said. “We had enough running the whole weekend without any trouble, so I don’t know what happened there.”
The incident brought a premature end to a race that had quickly unravelled from a promising grid slot, with Vettel - who had talked up needing a good start after qualifying - similarly bemused as to why he struggled so much in the early laps.
“I just had a really poor grip, struggled to get the tyres to work and had a poor feeling with the car straight away. It took some laps to get the tyres to work, and from there I was just about settling into a rhythm. I still had issues in right-hand corners mostly. I obviously had to get used to it and then the suspension failed.”