Formula One testing rocked by Sebastian Vettel's scary crash

Sebastian Vettel crashes Ferrari in Formula One testing
Formula One: Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel crashes car during pre-season testing

03 March, 2019

"I am very happy because we worked really well".

Gasly posted a pre-crash lap good enough for fourth, while Daniel Ricciardo - out for the second session of the day after team mate Nico Hulkenberg had driven the first - went fifth for Renault.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz led Wednesday's (Thursday NZT) session with a time of 1min 17.144sec, the fastest so far after six days of testing.

World champion Lewis Hamilton set the 10th fastest time - an impressive 1:18.097 on the second hardest tyre, while almost everyone else set their best laps on the softest rubber.

"But the vehicle is good, the feeling is good, that's the main thing".

"We need to review everything in more detail tonight and I'm looking forward to continuing our program tomorrow morning". There's still some margin, a bit obviously in myself.

A long-run comparison between Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull looked possible in the afternoon as all three teams attempted a race simulation after lunch.

"We got a lot of laps today which is a good thing, but we've come across a few little hurdles, so we're just working our way through them, trying to be as diligent as possible trying to understand the causes", said Hamilton.

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While Red Bull have impressed with their new Honda engine, Gasly said Ferrari were still ahead.

"Obviously inside the vehicle I was going into Turn 3 and I had a feeling there was an issue with the front-left corner and then from there it wasn't anything that I could have done to avoid the impact". The Frenchman, who was promoted from feeder team Toro Rosso, lost control on curve Nine and hit the protective barrier.

"This is just testing and we are just doing more qualifying-based runs so we can see what you can do with the auto".

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said he felt Ferrari were ahead of the field.

Now he hopes day two of the second week of testing brings more track time as they continue to tweak their vehicle ahead of next month's opening race of the season in Melbourne.

Further down the grid, a flurry of qualifying style laps by the midfield teams saw a number of competitive times split by less than a second.

The heavy contact severely damaged the rear end of the auto while the front wing also broke off, and Red Bull's day ended after just 65 laps.

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