Although official testing doesn’t begin for another two weeks, the German was at the wheel of Ferrari’s 2015 tyre test ‘mule’ car on Thursday.
Vettel was testing Pirelli’s wet tyres when amateur video footage depicts him evidently aquaplaning at speed before hitting a barrier at Ferrari’s artificially-watered Fiorano circuit.
Reports indicate the 29-year-old, who had been circulating in temperatures of 5 degrees C, was “unharmed”, although the car was so damaged that running may not be able to resume on Friday.
Pirelli reportedly called it a “normal” accident.
Auto Motor und Sport said Vettel sustained “minor bruising on the elbow” in the impact.