Vettel happy with practice pace despite gearbox failure


Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Ferrari - 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.
Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Ferrari - 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sebastian Vettel had a relatively successful opening day for the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after finishing fifth place in the opening session and third place in the evening, despite it being cut short by a gearbox failure.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver was disappointed with the failure but optimistic that it won’t have a detrimental effect on the overall weekend. The morning session also saw further running of the halo safety device for Vettel.

“I am fairly happy with the day.” said Vettel. “Obviously, it is not ideal to have a gearbox issue on Friday, but I am not worried and it shouldn’t have any impact on the weekend. In general it was a very good Friday.

“This afternoon P1 was somewhat tricky, as we struggled a bit on the hot track. But during P2 in the evening things calmed down, the car also calmed down, it was quite good and I was happy.”

Following a number of short runs the team sent the former champion out for a longer run, aside from the gearbox issue that ended thing he revealed that he was experiencing understeer.

“In the long run I struggled a bit with the front end, maybe I was a bit too aggressive, but overall the car felt good. To be honest, I think we should have a good pace. Hopefully tomorrow we have a similar feeling in Quali and put the car where it belongs.”