Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari F1 engine failure not a problem

Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari's Formula 1 engine failure in Bahrain and the subsequent power unit change for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix are not "a big problem"

Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari F1 engine failure not a problem

The four-time world champion failed to take the start at Sakhir after pulling off the track on the formation lap with smoke pouring from the rear of his SF16-H.

Ferrari said a "very unlikely combination of circumstances" led to a valve breaking and as a result, the team has replaced Vettel's internal combustion engine.

"As any mistake, it happens, and we have to deal with it now," Vettel said on Thursday.

"I don't think it's a big problem.

"Nothing changes for here, obviously we have a new engine but there are a lot of races to go, it's a long season."

With the F1 calendar expanding beyond 20 races this season to 21, regulations allow for an extra engine for each driver, taking their allocation to five.

Vettel said the extra unit meant the pain of losing one so early in the season has been limited.

"You could argue that there is the extra luxury of an extra engine for us as well, for an extra two races compared to last year," he said.

"We are off to the same situation now as we were last year, whether that means that we have to take another engine or not at this point, we don't know."

Vettel's engine failure in Bahrain followed Kimi Raikkonen's retirement in Australia with a turbo problem but the German said the troubles of the opening races are not worrying him.

"We didn't have the start that we wanted, which is not a big secret," he said.

"Kimi's problem in Australia, obviously the engine failure in Bahrain, the performance is not yet where we want it to be.

"You could say there is some negatives, but there is nothing that shakes me or makes me nervous for this season or the next couple of races, because I know that this team is very strong.

"I know we can improve a lot so I'm confident and a strong believer that the potential is there.

"It's a question of getting all of the ingredients together, which hopefully happens sooner rather than later.

"I'm sure we will be in a strong position to fight Mercedes hard this year."

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