Sebastian Vettel crashes out of qualifying in Russia after clipping the curb at turn four.
Sebastian Vettel will start the Russian GP down in 15th after crashing out in Q2 in qualifying, with team-mate Charles Leclerc describing the incident as “scary” after almost colliding with the stricken Ferrari himself.
Vettel looked likely to be exiting qualifying early even before the shunt as he struggled for pace, but the incident led to a red flag and, very nearly, a major qualifying story as eventual pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton barely escaped an early exit.
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Leclerc, meanwhile, was caught out. He was running behind Vettel when he spun and crashed heavily at Turn Four and then made contact with the broken front wing. Leclerc then, unlike Hamilton, missed out on Q3 after that frantic end to Q2.
“I’m fine,” Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari for Aston Martin at the end of the season, told Sky F1. “I lost the car, already in Turn Two and then in Turn Four I lost it again.
“[The car] was coming to me, it was. But in qualy I was struggling a bit, especially in the first sector.
“I tried to obviously take a little more risk, but lost the car. Not happy, obviously. Compared to the morning I struggled quite a lot in the afternoon.”
Ferrari say Vettel’s car will “require a lot of work” before Sunday’s race, which is live only on Sky Sports F1 at 12.10pm. He is set to start behind George Russell in the Williams – although Leclerc has loftier ambitions from 11th.
Charles Leclerc, who qualified a disappointing 11th in Russia, described his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel’s crash as ‘scary’.
“It was quite scary but thankfully he’s fine and it was not much worse than that,” said Lecerc. “Now it’s more the disappointment of not going for Q3.
“It’s life. On the positive, we are starting P11 and are the first to choose our tyres for tomorrow so hopefully we can benefit.”