Sebastian Vettel’s nightmare weekend in Spain went from bad to worse during qualifying as a gearbox problem forced him to park up in Q3.
The German driver managed just four laps during practice on Friday due to an electrical problem, but he appeared to have not lost out too badly as he made up for it with some running during FP3 on Saturday morning.
However, after exiting the pits for his first run during Q3, Vettel immediately slowed and eventually parked his car at the side of the road at turn three. He was nearly hit by Lewis Hamilton, who had just started his flying lap, but the German driver could not really move out of the way given his problem.
As a result, Vettel will start in 10th place for the race tomorrow, but should he require a new gearbox on his car, he will drop a further five places on the grid and most probably start down in 15th.
Had he not been sidelined, Vettel would most probably have qualified on the second row of the grid alongside teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Despite Red Bull having high hopes of cutting into Mercedes’ lead at the front, it appears that the status quo has been maintained. Ricciardo finished some eight-tenths of a second behind Rosberg in third place, and he will start just ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
Vettel’s demise will undoubtedly leave him questioning his championship chances in 2014, especially in the wake of Mercedes’ incredible start to the season. However, the Red Bull car underneath him is certainly capable of reaching the podium this weekend, and he will be hoping for a bit of good luck in the race tomorrow to make it happen.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”