Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be given a five-grid place penalty for the Russian Grand Prix due to a gearbox change on his Ferrari SF16-H racer.
The hit comes after Vettel missed the final hour of Friday’s second practice session due to a an electrical issue on his Ferrari which forced him to park it on the main straight, leaving team mate Kimi Raikkonen to work on most of the Scuderia’s program for the weekend.
“Looks like we had an electric problem, but I am sure we can fix it. Still, it is a shame, because now we are lacking some laps, especially in the long runs on race trims, which would have allowed us to see how competitive we are,” explained the German.
“Kimi had to do the homework for the whole team and that was not too bad, as we roughly know what to expect, and for sure we can also learn from what other people did.”
Ferrari brought with them an upgraded engine which saw the team spend three of it’s nine remaining tokens and a new front wing to the Russian Grand Prix weekend, although Vettel admits that the Scuderia will still be behind the Silver Arrows in qualifying.
“We have already seen that they are again very strong here and especially Lewis (Hamilton) got very well into the rhythm,”Vettel said.
“The good news is that the balance of our car feels quite good and the track is suiting us more and more. But still I have to say that we are not the favourites here.”
Despite electrical issues during the free practice two session, Vettel held second place behind Lewis Hamilton, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen taking fourth behind the other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg who was third.
In the day's earlier session Vettel completed 19 laps on the yellow-branded soft compounds and took third place with a 1:39.175 while evaluating new aerodynamic components.
by Michael Terminello