Updated: Ferrari has changed Vettel's chassis after FP2 due to his handling issues. Vettel won't receive a penalty for the chassis change.

Sebastian Vettel says it wasn’t an easy Friday practice at the United States Grand Prix after reliability scares resurfaced from recent races at the Circuit of the Americas.

The four-time Formula 1 world champion endured a stuttering day for Ferrari by completing just 11 laps in the 90-minute FP2 session after suffering a spin on his first flying lap which was followed up by technical issues with his front axle.

Vettel says he isn’t concerned about the problems returning for the remainder of the race weekend at the US GP having seen reliability woes strike in Malaysia and Japan which derailed his title charge as he has slipped to 59 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the F1 championship standings.

“It was a messy afternoon and not an easy session but the car is quick so we don’t need to worry,” Vettel said. “Obviously the only lap I had was the one I set with the ultra-softs. Before I probably took too much risk earlier in the session and lost the rear into turn 19, it has been quite slippery there all day, it was my mistake.

“We lost a set of tyres but in the end I felt something was not right with the car so we came in a couple of times to check and then go out to double and triple check. We are looking into it to try to see something.

“The main thing was that Kimi [Raikkonen] did some running so I think we got enough information but obviously I didn’t get too many laps so I need to find the rhythm tomorrow but as I said the car is quick so I am not too worried. We just need to make sure we get everything in order then it should be a good day.”

Vettel must finish fifth or higher to keep the F1 world title race alive into the next race in Mexico against Hamilton.


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