Taking over from Felipe Massa at Jerez, as Fernando Alonso trains in Dubai, the team's new development driver and Spaniard de la Rosa was on only his second installation lap when he "stopped on track".
Ferrari's official Twitter did not mention, though, that the 41-year-old Spaniard had to step out of the new F138 car amid clouds of white smoke.
And photographs of the car, taken after it smoked to a halt between turns 7 and 8, showed extensive burn damage at the rear.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reported that the cause of the problem was a transmission fault, which is currently being repaired.
"It will take a while to hit the track again," confirmed Ferrari.