Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari broke down on track 30 minutes into the second practice session ahead of the 2016 Russian Grand Prix today, ending the Germans day. According to Racer, a faulty gearbox is believed to be the cause of the break down.
Vettel’s car required a new transmission after being wheeled into the garage and he has thus been handed a five-place grid penalty for the start of Sunday’s race. Ferrari believes the gearbox problems may have been caused by the collision with teammate Kimi Raikkonen at the Chinese Grand Prix.
“It looks like we had an electronics problem which is a bit of a shame because we’re lacking a couple of laps, especially the long run and race trim to see how competitive we are,” Vettel told Racer. “Kimi did the homework for the team so [it’s] not too bad. Also in Sochi, we know roughly what to expect so we can still learn a lot from what other people did.”
“It’s not been an ideal day but from my side, we have to work to make the car the way we want,” added Raikkonen. “I didn’t get any good proper laps but it was practice.”
Ferrari has brought a new upgraded power unit to Russia in an attempt to be more competitive on the straights and bring the fight to Mercedes-Benz, who has dominated the start of the season. Despite the gearbox trouble, Vettel was second fastest in FP2 with a time of 1:38.235, 0.652 seconds slower than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.