Sebastian Vettel said Red Bull only suffered a small failure on his car in Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix which had "a big consequence" as he missed most of the day's running.

Having completed just four laps in the morning session, Vettel stopped on track with a wiring loom issue which could not be solved in time for him to return to the track at all in either FP1 or FP2. Vettel played down the significance of the problem and said it had nothing to do with any new parts Red Bull had brought to Barcelona.

"It's a small failure but obviously a big consequence because I couldn't go out anymore," Vettel said. "But it's nothing new that we had on the car, it's something that happened in that area for the first time so fortunately it happened today but unfortunately we lost the opportunity to prepare for Sunday with two cars. So now I have to rely on what Daniel did today and hopefully get in to the rhythm straight away tomorrow morning."

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Explaining the problem in more detail, Vettel said it still would have been a big job on previous generations of car.

"We had a simple failure in one of the looms, so basically it was rubbing at one bit which caused a short which caused the car to stop. So we decided to change the whole bit, unfortunately that's a pretty big job, which you can imagine with today's cars. But even in the past there were sensors and looms everywhere, so it takes a while to strip the car, take everything apart and put it back in, so we couldn't go out again today."

Asked about the Mercedes pace, Vettel said it was clear the leaders retained a large advantage after the three-week break.

"We knew that they are quick and obviously they are still a lot quicker than everybody else! We'll see tomorrow and we'll see in the race."