Pirelli confirm debris caused Vettel puncture

Pirelli has confirmed that debris caused the puncture that ended Sebastian Vettel’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier issued a statement on Wednesday following their analysis of the Ferrari driver’s right-rear tyre which blew while he was leading at the Red Bull Ring.

“Analysis of the tyre issue that affected Sebastian Vettel at the recent Austrian Grand Prix has been concluded and the results shared with Ferrari,” said Pirelli.

“The few remaining parts of the tyre in question, together with an in-depth comparison to other tyres used in the race, reveal no signs of fatigue or structural failure in the right-rear tyre itself.”

“Consequently, the issue appears to be caused by an item of debris, which led to the breakage of the tyre.”

Ferrari dominate final practice as Rosberg crashes

Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari 1-2 in final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix as championship leader Nico Rosberg crashed heavily.

Vettel posted the quickest time of the weekend so far, a 1:07.098 to finish ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, 0.136s slower than the German.

Lewis Hamilton was the quickest Mercedes in third, over two tenths off the pace, as teammate Rosberg’s day came to an early finish when his suspension broke exiting Turn 2.

Rosberg crashed heavily against the wall as a result, and while he was unhurt, Mercedes will face a race against time to get his car ready for qualifying.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen completed the top five in the Red Bull cars.

Several cars appeared to suffer blistering problems after Pirelli lowered the rear tyre pressures from 19.5 to 18.5 overnight.

Gearbox change means grid penalty for Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2016The FIA has confirmed Sebastian Vettel has changed his gearbox, meaning he will take a penalty on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Vettel last changed his gearbox at the Russian Grand Prix, round four of the championship, where he received a five-place grid penalty. As his new gearbox also failed to complete the required six consecutive events, Vettel will therefore receive the same penalty again.

Vettel said he is unsure how competitive Ferrari will be this weekend after a disrupted, rain-hit second practice session which he spun at the end of.

“It was a decent day,” he said. “It is not entirely clear where we stand, as we didn’t have a lot of running due to the weather, in particular in the afternoon, but in general the car feels good.”

“When I spun at the end of the second session, I had an issue with brake distribution. It caught me by surprise, but it didn’t matter too much, as I only lost a couple of minutes, and in the end it didn’t make a lot of a difference.”

Vettel tops shortened final Canadian practice as Magnussen crashes

Sebastian Vettel topped the time sheets in the final practice session in what was a difficult session for the grid.

The session was much colder than the Friday practice sessions which caught many drivers out.

The cold weather mixed in with drops of rain lead to slippery conditions as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel topped the times ahead of qualifying later this afternoon.

The session was caut short by around ten minutes due to a crash from Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.

The Dane smashed into the barriers as he exited the turn seven chicane.

This as well as more rain meant the session was cut short.

Behind Vettel, Max Verstappen set some strong times in the Red Bull ahead of Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel fastest on opening day of Pirelli test

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest on day one of the first in-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona as Williams tested a radical new rear wing as part of 2017 development.

The German clocked a 1m23.220s on the soft tyres and managed 103 laps to finish 0.117 seconds clear of Nico Rosberg, who had the highest lap tally with 119.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, who led the way after the morning session, was third, half a second adrift.

Dry but chilly conditions greeted the teams on the first morning of the two-day test but temperatures gradually warmed up as the sun broke through.

Ferrari focused on one-lap pace in the morning, having struggled for pace in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying, and completed a series of short runs on the soft and medium.

But it was Williams that caused a stir when it unveiled a radical new rear wing and modified front wing.

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