Monaco Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel has left his mechanics with a massive headache ahead of qualifying in Monte Carlo after crashing early in FP3.
The Ferrari driver was just warming up his FP3 session with less than fifteen minutes on the clock completed when he locked up heading in Ste. Devote.
Vettel had made an error during Thursday practice at the same location, locking up his right front under braking and sliding straight on. He managed to get the car stopped with a few centimetres to spare before striking the barriers and reversed out to continue.
However, on this occasion, Vettel wasn’t so lucky. Making an identical error, he didn’t have quite enough room to stop the car so elected to try making the corner. With understeer setting in and too much speed, he slid straight into the barriers and knocked his front left corner askew.
The German was unhurt and clambered free as the session was put under Virtual Safety Car conditions while the car was quickly recovered by the efficient Monaco marshals. He trudged back to the pitlane to be greeted by his team boss Mattia Binotto.
With the car recovered by the marshals at the corner, Ferrari won’t be able to get the car back until after the session. This means that they will have to work quickly and efficiently to get the car repaired on time for qualifying, just two hours after FP3 finishes.
Adding to Ferrari’s woes, the VSC conditions during Vettel’s recovery seemed to catch out his teammate Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque will be investigated after FP3 for an infringement under the VSC – presumably going too quickly under the yellow flag caution conditions.