Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel has crashed during a wet weather tyre test at Fiorano today.
The German had been drafted in for day one of Pirelli’s wet tyre testing program as they evaluate the wider wet weather rubber for the new season. Ferrari were using a mule car based on the 2015 SF15-T during the test which was taking place on an artificially wet track. The crash happened early afternoon as Vettel lost control on the decent from the bridge crossovers right hander. The lap he was on was supposedly a warm up lap as well. Images have been posted online and show the car flicking right as the circuit looks to go left, the car going into the barriers nose first. Vettel himself was unharmed apart from minor bruising but the damage to the car curtailed the rest of the days running. The car can be seen in the picture above being craned away after the accident.
The car has now been returned to Maranello to see if it can be repaired for the second day of running tomorrow and a decision is expected to be made this evening. Pirelli had requested the test in response to the tyre width changes but also the changes to the re start procedure. From 2017 after a safety car period the drivers will line up on the grid again and take the green light. Drivers had critisised the warm up performance of the wet tyre last year and with this change there was a greater worry about re starts considering the lack of tyre blankets on re starts.
Track temperatures had been as low as 5 degrees centigrade Vettel was evaluating different compounds and specification of the new wet tyre. Ferrari are due to run third driver Antonio Giovinazzi on Friday but with Vettel’s crash he may wish to continue on Friday which would curtail the youngsters seat time. It is also not known at this time what caused the crash either and thus unknown whether it was track related, car related or driver error. With it being a private test we may never know but it is telling when a four time world champion drops it on a cold track showing the new cars will be tricky to handle.
Photo Credit: F1 Fanatic