Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s weekend woes have continued with the German being struck with a five place grid penalty for the Spanish Grand Prix, after requiring a gearbox change due to his mechanical gremlins which returned during the top ten shootout in qualifying. After failing to set a timed lap in the segment, Vettel ended the session a lowly 10th overall.
After leaving his garage to begin his first lap in the all-important top ten shootout, Sebastian Vettel slowed drastically as he lost second gear. Despite continuing out onto the Circuit de Catalunya under the impression that a flying lap could still be achieved without second gear, the remaining gears eventually stopped working as the reigning Champion exited turn two. This saw him come to an unfortunate and frustrating halt on the outside of turn three, which subsequently created the second red flag delay of the session and prevented the Mercedes duo from completing their respective timed laps.
Once the session had been brought to a conclusion with yet another Mercedes pole position thanks to Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel stated that he was confident he could’ve qualified best of the rest in third. However, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo managed to secure that position, albeit over a second behind the poleman. Due to the penalty incurred, Sebastian Vettel will line up 15th on the grid, the worst qualifying position for the German since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix back in 2012 when he was excluded from proceedings after running out of fuel.
With overtaking notoriously difficult around the Circuit de Catalunya despite the assistance of the DRS device, the reigning World Champion will undoubtedly endure a tough race within the sport’s incredibly competitive midfield. Although he will most likely be aiming to still finish strongly in the points, a return of the mechanical gremlins witnessed on both Friday and Saturday will remain a worry for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
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