Vettel upbeat despite losing track time in Austria practice

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Sebastian Vettel remained upbeat following practice for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday despite losing a large amount of track time due to technical problems on his car.

Vettel finished at the bottom of the timesheets in FP1 after a gearbox problem caused him to lose power, forcing the German to park his car up at the side of the track and await recovery.

Despite getting the car repaired in time to head out in second practice and set the fastest time of the session, a second issue forced Vettel to pit with 25 minutes remaining in FP2 and bring his day to an early end.

“In the afternoon session we had a problem with the gearbox as one of the sensors went to the alert mode and we had to slow down,” Vettel said. “Obviously now we’ll have to take a close look at it. We don’t know what’s the problem yet, but it seems to be unrelated to the one we had this morning.

“It’s always better if it happens in free practice rather than in qualifying or in the race, but we have to look into it and make sure it’s not happening again.”

The loss of track time did leave Vettel feeling slightly on the back foot, but he was still pleased with the work Ferrari had completed across the course of the day.

“In terms of feeling with the track, the lap is short and you just need to get into the rhythm,” he said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get as many laps as we wanted, but that’s what it is.

“Overall the pace looks fine, we’ve taken a lot of information from this session, which is good. We know that we have a good car and we think we are competitive, let’s see what’s happening overnight.

“We have to make sure that we stay with Mercedes as much as we can, it should be an interesting qualifying tomorrow.”