Despite ending both free practice sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday with the quickest time, Sebastian Vettel was far from happy with his day, particularly when he briefly stopped on track with an issue before being able to crawl back to the pits.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was fastest in first practice by four-tenths of a second over Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, but the cooler conditions in the evening session meant the gap had decreased significantly to the following pack, Valtteri Bottas being only 0.041 seconds back for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Vettel suffered the shutdown in the early stages of his planned race simulation run, freewheeling down the hill and around the final corner before being pushed into the pit lane by marshals. After a quick reset he was able to return to the track and complete his run, but he knows there is still work to be done in order to stay ahead for the rest of the weekend.
“I can’t explain why the car stopped altogether, but we were able to recover, restart the engine in the garage and, fortunately, it happened at the end of the lap,” said Vettel.
“Today it was not our best day for us and we still need to do better. The car feels good on a single lap though, and as for race simulation, we can further improve for tomorrow.
“Overall, I am not entirely happy with my long runs, but they were OK after all, and we also were caught a bit in traffic. Now let’s see what tomorrow brings.”