Ferrari say wheel rim issue caused Vettel's testing crash

"But I'm glad I still got to do a few laps, the team did a really good job to get the vehicle out again; it was important to get a bit of a feel for the new aero package".

Leclerc did much of his running on Tuesday with a problem with the cooling system, and the Monegasque was hit again on Wednesday when he lost all his time in the vehicle after Sebastian Vettel crashed because of what Ferrari said was a wheel failure.

"After thorough checks we found that Seb's off yesterday was due to a rim issue", a Ferrari spokeswoman said.

"Obviously I think as [with] everything we are not flat-out", Leclerc said.

"We've been exploring a lot of things since day one and the last week has been very productive".

"I've still got a lot to learn, but up until now, I can say I'm satisfied".

Leclerc took a seat atop of a concrete barrier while his fuming Ferrari was loaded by marshals onto a flatbed and hauled away.

Williams continued with its recovery program as George Russell managed the highest individual mileage with 140 laps.

When asked if he had gotten any pointers from Vettel, Leclerc said that they their relation was far from student-teacher. "So yeah that has been very, very helpful". It said the auto was sent back to the garage "for all the needed checks".

"Red Bull seem in good shape as well", Bottas said. Hamilton finished in 10th place following his efforts during the morning. "We need to unlock more from the new package to be able to compete with them properly".

Red Bull's Pierre Gasly swiftly lowered the mark at 1min 17.91secs on medium compound C3 tyres.

The incident happened on turn 3, when the Ferrari man went straight into the barriers, with his auto wedged into the barriers.

A wheel rim issue caused Sebastian Vettel's crash in pre-season testing, Ferrari said on Thursday.

With many teams opting to focus on long-run pace in the afternoon, the top three times of the day remained unchanged after lunch, Leclerc heading the Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon and the McLaren of Lando Norris in third.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco drives past a banner in support of former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

  • Angelo Rivera