Vettel Says He 'Got Lucky' In Abu Dhabi Crash

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Sebastian Vettel conceded he had a lucky escape after spinning out of control during Friday's first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel lost control on Turn 19 - a corner team-mate Charles Leclerc later had difficulty on - at the Yas Marina Circuit towards the end of FP1.

The rear of Vettel's car turned into the barrier, with the German subsequently losing some track time at the start of the second practice, for which his Ferrari was fitted with a new gearbox as a precautionary change.

"I knew that going in I would have to catch the rear, it didn’t quite work, so it was a bit unfortunate. But there was no damage other than the rim, so I got lucky," Vettel said.

"It was a bit of a surprise, I didn't expect to actually spin."

Leclerc also had trouble on Turn 19 in FP2, clipping the barrier while on a simulation lap on soft tyres and - like Vettel - the youngster was surprised at how quickly he lost control on the corner.

"The whole third sector is pretty difficult because it's overheating in the rear, but especially this corner," Leclerc said.

"As soon as you go a bit too wide, you lose a bit of grip, and I've been surprised by that."

The Ferrari duo finished in P3 and P4 behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who was given a reprimand for his collision with Romain Grosjean during practice.

"The day started actually pretty badly for us. It was one of the hardest sessions of the year in terms of balance and overall quite a messy session," Leclerc said.

"But we worked very well between the sessions, and we gained quite a lot of performance for FP2. FP2 was pretty positive."