Medics OK Vettel After Spin Off In F1 Testing

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Written By Saeed Maleki

F1 driver Sebastian Vettel veered off the track and crashed into barriers during testing of his new Ferrari at Barcelona.

Vettel returned to the track unhurt and cleared to carry on driving after medics rushed him away for a check-up.

The crash came during a week of testing a new fleet of F1 cars on the circuit at the Spanish city by all the teams competing in the upcoming season.

Ferrari blamed an unidentified mechanical problem for the crash.

The flag goes up on F1 for 2019 on March 15 in Melbourne, Australia.

Vettel is second favourite with the bookies at 5/2 to lift the championship trophy behind evergreen Lewis Hamilton, rated at 11/10 to retain the title he won last year.

Charles Leclerc is 13/2 and Max Verstappen 8/1.

Hamilton stuck in sluggish Mercedes

In a big surprise, the McLaren of rookie Lando Norris has shown well in testing, together with Ferrari and Red Bull.

Hamilton’s Mercedes has proved to be rather sluggish compared to the other racers.

Predicting the season is troublesome – especially after so many races turned on driver error or car problems last year.

But class shines through and Hamilton is a cut above the rest when his car is firing on all cylinders.

The spotlight is on Vettel and Ferrari. He may have won the title four times, but his reputation is in tatters after a meek capitulation to Hamilton last year.

The arrival of second string driver Charles Leclerc doesn’t help Vettel. He will have to cope with Leclerc wanting to make an impression and the stress of keeping up with Hamilton.

Bad decisions cost Ferrari title

Ferrari know they had last season’s top car but brittle decisions made by Vettel and the team cost them the title.

Elsewhere, several teams are introducing new faces and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has defected to Renault.

Hamilton and Vettel will vie for the front places, but a legion of new names will bitterly contest the middle rankings with a view to moving up the pecking order for next season.

A switch in sponsors also influences the middle order with Force India now competing as Racing Point.