Sebastian Vettel had been drafted in to update Pirelli on the progress of their wet weather tyre, but the first day of testing at Scuderia Ferrari‘s Fiorano Circuit ended prematurely after the German lost control of the car on the descent following the right-hander after the bridge crossing, on what is thought to have been a warm-up lap.
Vettel escaped unharmed but the mule car suffered extensive damage from a head-on impact with the barriers, and testing was subsequently abandoned. His car has been transferred back to Maranello factory where the decision will be made during Thursday evening whether it is salvageable for the next scheduled test, taking place on Friday.
Pirelli are putting their new compound through its paces on a modified Ferrari car and an artificially-wetted circuit. Their urgency to complete the testing stems from the announcement that all restarts following a safety car this season will be standing starts on the grid. Drivers had criticised last season’s tyre for taking too long to reach an optimum temperature, and have raised their concerns that the lack of blankets before a restart will only make things more dangerous.
If all goes ahead as planned on Friday, Ferrari’s third driver Antonio Giovinazzi will be taking over in the driving seat.