Ferrari have confirmed that it was a “broken” spark plug that put an end to Sebastian Vettel’s Japanese GP but insist he’s not out of the title race.
Vettel’s chances of winning this year’s Drivers’ Championship were dealt a massive blow at Suzuka on Sunday when he failed to finish the grand prix.
Ferrari were seen working on his SF70H while the car sat on the grid with reports suggesting a spark plug issue.
Dropping to sixth on the opening lap and even further down the order after a Safety Car period, Vettel pulled into the pits to retire the car.
Vettel trails Lewis Hamilton by 59 points with four races remaining.
“From the outset, Sebastian Vettel was robbed of any chance to fight for the win, when a spark plug on one cylinder failed,” Ferrari revealed.
“However, Kimi’s performance proved that the team and the car are capable of getting the job done and until the maths says it’s over, we will keep trying.
“The number 5 car was called back into the pits and the mechanics tried to fix the problem.
“However, a few minutes later Seb climbed out of the cockpit. A spark plug was broken and it was pointless to go on.”
Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth on the day.