Sebastian Vettel's 2014 troubles continue as RB10 fault forces him out of practice
World Champion had completed just four laps in Spain P1
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 09/05/14 3:56pm
Struggling Sebastian Vettel's troubled start to the 2014 season has continued after an electrical problem on his RB10 restricted the German to a meagre four laps in Friday practice in Spain.
Following the decision to revert to an older chassis for F1's return to action at Barcelona in order to guard against the possibility of anything being amiss with his previous one, the German arrived at Barcelona looking to kick-start his season after being outperformed by new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in three of the season's four race weekends so far.
However, Vettel had little chance to make progress on Friday after a wiring loom failure on his RB10 ground the car to a halt inside five laps in Practice One. The problem proved terminal for the German's day.
"We had a simple failure in one of the looms this morning, which caused a short [circuit] and meant the car stopped," Vettel said.
"We had to change the chassis loom, which is a big job so I wasn't able to go out this afternoon. It's a small failure, but a big consequence; there was nothing new on that part of the car, it was something new that happened in that area.
"Luckily it happened today (rather than tomorrow), but unfortunately we lost the chance to prepare for Sunday with two cars, so I have to rely on what Daniel did today and get into the rhythm straight away tomorrow."
Vettel's Friday demise appears to have been first high-profile example of how the increased time it now takes for teams to repair faults on the complex 2014 turbo cars can have substantial knock-on effects for a driver's race weekend.
The German will now have to rely on the data gained from Ricciardo's car during the course of Friday to decide on his set-up direction for the weekend, the Australian enjoying a more straightforward day to finish third on the timesheet behind the dominant Mercedes pair.
Vettel's Friday woe in pictures