Ferrari says a fault with its power unit lubrication system was to blame for its breakdown during the opening pre-season Formula 1 test but is confident of fixing the issue ahead of the second test.

Sebastian Vettel saw his Day 3 programme stalled at the first test when he stopped on track with an engine problem midway through the morning session.

Ferrari announced the power unit would be taken back to its Maranello base for a full investigation and it completed a full engine change to allow Vettel to return to action early in the afternoon.

Following its investigation, Ferrari says the fault was connected to a non-structural problem with the lubrication system and is working on a fix.

“The unit which had the problem last Friday has been stripped and checked in Maranello,” a Ferrari statement confirmed. “The fault was traced to a non-structural problem with the lubrication system. It’s not a cause for concern and work to correct it is already underway.”

Ferrari and the rest of the F1 grid return to pre-season testing action this week at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 26-28.

After sitting out the first day of pre-season testing due to illness, Sebastian Vettel will start in the SF1000 for Ferrari on Wednesday morning before handing over to teammate Charles Leclerc for the afternoon session.

Vettel will then return to driving duty for all of Thursday with Leclerc completing pre-season testing for Ferrari on Friday.

Ferrari also confirmed it will focus on extracting peak performance from its 2020 F1 car in the second test, after sticking to mileage and setup work throughout the first test, with its programme including both qualifying-style runs and race simulations.

The second test is the final opportunity for track action before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 13-15.

 

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