Ferrari was hit by a radio communication partial blackout while Sebastian Vettel was pitting during the Austrian Grand Prix, team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed.

Vettel endured a nightmare first pit stop at the Red Bull Ring when he came in on Lap 21 with his Ferrari crew scampering to get in position as he pulled up.

Losing a handful of vital seconds waiting for his Ferrari team, Vettel returned to the track in between midfield traffic, losing even more time to the front-runners as a result.

Despite recovering to fourth place by the finish, the German driver finished less than one second behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who claimed the final spot on the podium meaning the pit stop problem proved costly.

Ferrari boss Binotto confirmed the team suffered a radio communication dropout meaning only some of the mechanics were told Vettel was pitting.

“We had a missed radio communication,” Binotto said. “We need to understand why that happened. From the pit wall we called the mechanics. Some of them which were connected to the intercom, via the cable, couldn’t get reached.

“The on-air communication didn’t reach the mechanics and they were not aware that Sebastian was entering into the pit lane.

“These are communications made at the very last second, obviously, and the times to communicate the mechanics realising there was a problem on the radio we missed the seconds, as you will all see on TV.”

The pit stop issue rounded out a frustrating Austrian Grand Prix for Vettel who was hit by an air pressure intake fault with his engine during qualifying which denied him the chance to fight for pole position in Q3, claimed by Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, leaving the German driver starting the race down in ninth place.

Vettel has dropped to fourth place in the F1 drivers’ standings as Max Verstappen claimed victory for Red Bull in Austria, putting him three points ahead of the four-time F1 world champion.

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