Vettel sent to back of grid for Abu Dhabi GP for fuel irregularity

Sebastian Vettel during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 3, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Sebastian Vettel after coming to halt on track at the very end of qualifying

Nov.3 (Reuters) Red Bull‘s world championship leader Sebastian Vettel was down but not out after his hopes of winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix all but disappeared as fast as an Formula 1 car can go from 0 to 100.

The Stewards report relegating Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing to the back of the grid. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 3 November 2012.The double world champion, 13 points ahead of Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso with three races remaining, will start from the pit lane after being sent from third place to the back of the grid for a fuel irregularity.

“One of the best ski jumpers (Finland’s former Olympic champion Matti Nykanen) of all times once said ‘Every chance is an opportunity’ and as far as we are concerned there are still plenty of chances tomorrow,” declared the German in a team statement.

Vettel has led every lap of the last three races and would have been chasing a fifth win in succession under the floodlights of the glittering Yas Marina circuit.

Instead it will be a case of damage limitation at a circuit where most drivers are likely to do one pitstop and where overtaking has never been easy.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing following the back of the grid penalty ruling. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 3 November 2012.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner, who had hoped to see his team clinch the constructors’ title on Sunday for the third year in a row, told reporters that the stewards’ decision was “frustrating, annoying and one of those things.

Vettel had been told to stop immediately on track, to protect the engine, after qualifying as he returned to the pits.”If he manages to get into the points tomorrow that would be a great achievement,” he added.

Post-qualifying checks found there was an insufficient quantity of fuel left in the car to take a sample – only 850 millilitres instead of the mandatory one litre.

Horner said engine partners Renault were convinced the rest of the fuel was still in the tank but the team had taken the car out of ‘parc ferme’, where the cars cannot be worked on, to carry out further checks, meaning Vettel would start in the pit lane and not at the back of the grid.

Guillaume Rocquelin (FRA) Red Bull Racing Race Engineer and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing following the back of the grid penalty ruling.. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 3 November 2012.“Sebastian was remarkably calm. He dealt with it and said ‘Out of a negative comes a positive,” said Horner. “He’ll be maximum attack tomorrow.

The Briton refused to criticise the governing FIA and said he felt it was a fair decision.

“The rules dictate that a litre has to be able to be provided without removal of bodywork… we believe that the fuel is in the cell, according to what Renault have told us, but you can’t dismantle the cell to give the sample.

“There’s a long race ahead of us tomorrow and there’s an opportunity,” added the principal. “We’ll attack the race and I’m sure Sebastian will demonstrate to everybody why he’s a great racer.

“He’s come from the back and produced great races before and I’ve got no doubt that he can do it again.”

 

  • hillside

    under weight after Q3 = C H E A T I N G

  • A41202813@GMAIL.COM

    Just Another WDC Contender With A Huge Penalty That Can Screw The WDC Outcome.

    Starting At The End Of Q3 ( Position 10 ) Would Be Less Screwable.

    What Do The Rules Say When The Same Crime Is Committed In Q1 Or Q2 ?

    Go, HAMILTON !

  • aknit4

    Yeah, not so great when it happens to you, eh?

  • fapper

    @hillside: i agree with you… now is the time that fernando should take full advantage of this situation.

  • Speedo

    Oh! Christian Horner says it is annoying – unlike Whitmarsh when it happened to Lewis because of the blunder by the McLaren pit crew. At Least McLaren did not lie about fuel shortage unlike Christian Horner. McLaren were taken to task with accusations by the Lewis haters. Lewis time set in Q2 was not even considered by the FIA and he came in P8 starting from P24 – a race which he should have won and kept his WDC chances alive.

    The WDC is now down to the track in Brazil. I hope Alonso can erase the deficit in the points. Come on Ferrari give him a better car for the next two races. I expect Vettel to get to P8 with Newey’s RB. Lets pray that no mechanical problems occur among the front runners specially Alonso and Lewis. The WDC is now down to the track in Brazil. Go for it Alonso get a good start past Maldonado. Maldonado please keep out of the way.

  • McHare

    Can only hope that Alonso and Ferrari have some bad luck from now on. They have been by far the luckiest this season and this fuel issue just happens to be really convieniently. No Ferrari fan boy here can possibly say they deserve the championship this year. Their lack of sportsmanship and arrogance is a bad example to all youngsters following the sport so hopefully, justice will be done and Alonso and Ferrari will get the bad luck they deserve.

  • Ikmal

    I love this story.. Redbull always cheating to make sure their car is fastest.. and now.. JUSTICE