Istanbul: Sebastian Vettel was unharmed after crashing his Red Bull car during the rainy first practice for the Turkish Grand Prix on Friday.
Vettel went way out on a right turn and his car slid left back across the track and into the crash barrier on the other side of the slippery Istanbul Park track.
The German driver began about midway through the session on intermediate tires just as the rain got harder, and he was undone on the reputed Turn Eight — the longest in Formula One at 640 meters.
"There was some water on the exit," Vettel said on race radio. "There was nothing I could do."
Debris flew off the car and the wheels were skewed. The F1 champion waited for track officials to reach him, and his mangled car was towed away. Team members cleared some debris.
Vettel leads the overall standings by 21 points from Britain's Lewis Hamilton after winning two of the opening three races.
Drivers struggled throughout the first practice as teeming rain and cool conditions made it hard to take risks.
Shortly before Vettel's mishap, seven-time champion Michael Schumacher had to take emergency action himself not to crash, expertly regaining control of his Mercedes after also spinning.