While driving midway through FP2, Vettel reported over team radio: “My eyes. Feels like my eye is bleeding man! I don’t know what… It’s alright I will carry on. Either I’m just super emotional or there’s something stuck in my eye.”

As a result, Aston Martin jokingly made an eye-patch for Vettel.

Explaining his eye issue in practice, Vettel explained: “I don’t know what was going on! I had the first runs and something got into my eye, and then it got worse on the second run… It wasn’t bleeding, but I said [on the radio that] either I’m emotional, or something else is going on because it was just tears and tears and I was blinking the whole lap. Not ideal on a track like this.

“So the team was quite nice and they made me this [eye-patch, so I probably think I’ll keep that and it will keep me safe for the rest of the weekend.”

Vettel ended both Friday practice sessions inside the top ten in an encouraging start to the weekend for the four-time world champion.

The German has yet to get off the mark in 2021 but he’s hopeful of getting his season back on track in the principality this weekend.

“I was quite happy,” Vettel said. “We got into a rhythm quickly, and then as I said, in the afternoon, lost a bit of [vision], but overall it’s okay. It will be tight, it’s always tight here and it’s obviously tight in the midfield and hopefully we can be at the forward end.

“Hopefully we can keep that up and get everything together. It’s all about Saturday afternoon, which is not tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, so a bit of time. We tried some bits, and like Monaco usually, you have a bit of stop and go, not getting the laps, that’s for everyone. It will matter on Saturday afternoon to get everything in that one lap.”