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Technical snags halt Vettel

Jerez: Technical problems brought Sebastian Vettel’s involvement in F1’s first pre-season test to an early close on Wednesday, with the quadruple world champion’s lap tally barely into double figures.

Red Bull said they had halted running of the new RB10 car on the second day of the test to give themselves time to fix a problem with the Renault energy store.

Vettel, who was scheduled to take part in the first two days only, stayed for a technical debrief at the circuit and then headed home to Switzerland.

The quadruple champion leaves with just 11 laps on the board, eight completed on Wednesday. New Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo is due to be in the car for the remaining two days of the test.

Vettel, who will be chasing a fifth successive title this year, had been sidelined for most of Tuesday after a setup problem emerged before the new car was unveiled to the media.

F1 has replaced the old 2.4 litre V8 engines for a new turbo-charged 1.6 litre V6 unit this season, with the complicated energy recovery systems and batteries proving a challenge for teams. (reuters)