Ferrari has identified a wheel rim failure as the cause of Sebastian Vettel’s crash on Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

In the morning session, the German driver lost control of his SF90 on the entry to Turn 3 and plowed straight through the gravel and into the barriers.

Sparks seen at the rear of the car before it left the track pointed to a probable mechanical failure.

    Vettel ‘wasn’t in control’ in morning accident

Fortunately, despite the impact, Vettel emerged unscathed but the state of the SF90 required a lengthy investigation by the Scuderia’s crew to determine the source of the mishap, and led to a costly delay to Ferrari’s testing programme.

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The Italian outfit confirmed that the root cause was linked to a rim failure due to an impact with “a foreign object”.

“After thorough checks we found that Seb’s off yesterday was due to a (wheel) rim issue,” said Ferrari in a statement released on Thursday in Barcelona.

“The rim had been damaged a few seconds before by an impact with a foreign object.”

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