Vettel sent to back of grid for qualifying infringement

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012Sebastian Vettel has been sent to the back of the grid for stopping on the track after qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The FIA stewards were unable to extract a sufficient quantity of fuel from Vettel’s car for testing after he stopped.

“The stewards received a report from the race director that car one failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations,” they said in a statement.

“The stewards heard from the driver and team representatives and studied telemetry evidence that showed the reason why the car was stopped. The stewards accepted the explanation and considered the incident as being a case of force majeure.

“However a report was received from the technical delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes.

“The stewards determine that this is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and the Competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the Qualifying Session.

“The competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.”

Christian Horner said: “During the slow-down lap following the final run of Q3, Renault instructed to immediately stop Sebastian’s car on the circuit due to an issue with the fuel system.

“After speaking with the stewards, who accepted the situation of force majeure for technical reasons for the car to be stopped, unfortunately, for reasons yet to be fully understood, 850ml of the required one litre was pumped out of the car following post race checks.

“As a result, the FIA has excluded Sebastian from qualifying and we will withdraw the car from parc ferme in order to investigate further. Therefore Sebastian will start from the pit lane for tomorrow’s race. We will need to make the most of Mark’s strong front-row grid position and Sebastian will have a busy evening ahead of him.”

Vettel added: “One of the best ski jumpers of all times once said ‘Every chance is an opportunity and as far as we are concerned there are still plenty of chances tomorrow’.”

The stewards also decided against penalising Sergio Perez for impeding Bruno Senna during Q1. The Sauber driver received a reprimand for the incident, following which both drivers progressed to Q2.

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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255 comments on Vettel sent to back of grid for qualifying infringement

  1. trigger (@trigger) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:18

    The red bulls straight line speed will now be a concern for Vettel. Maldonado looks like he could have a strong race with his straight line spped.

    • OOliver said on 3rd November 2012, 20:20

      They plan to start from the pitlane and I’m sure they will change the setup of the car, optimise the car for using DRS and increased top speed.

      • Postreader said on 3rd November 2012, 21:56

        The thing is, there was a reason Vettel’s car was set for higher downforce. It worked better. With some adjustments he can probably get a boost when it comes to overtake, but his laptimes will be worse. It’s a hard call.

        • Chemakal said on 3rd November 2012, 22:33

          Exactly. RBs strongest point is downforce and traction on slow parts of the circuit. Higher speed might take him quicker to midfield but from then it will be tough. Aiming for max 2 points. Praying for Maldonado doing his thing in curve 1

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th November 2012, 7:49

          One positive is, that the car is using a LOT of DRS, so if Vettel can use that today, it might help. And who knows, maybe RBR will be flying in part from the UK they have in stock to make the car a mean overtaking machine, I imagine Newey has been thinking about how to do that all afternoon!

  2. This is it!! seize the chance Vettel! Prove that u are worthy of a title…the track is not easy to overtake but with his fast car,if he does that should silence his critic! For Hulkenberg….he would be the one most affected by this shift in the grid positions as he now has to sacrifice his tire option flexibility !!

  3. George (@george) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:19

    What a fortuitous circumstance, just as Alonso looks out of the championship this happens…

  4. Mudzis said on 3rd November 2012, 19:20

    If Schumacher gets only 10 place grid penalty for 2010 Hungary mad act against Rubens, then this penalty for Vettlel is ridiculously harsh.

  5. Kart King said on 3rd November 2012, 19:28

    Does vettel still have to start on the tyres he set his quickest lap or is he free to use fresh tyres?

  6. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:28

    Why is fuel in F1 measured in liters by the way? I’d think kilos (like they do in WEC) would be a lot better for measurement, since mass isn’t affected by temperature. Does anyone here agree?

  7. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:28

    Alonso’s horror day turns into an opportunity of a lifetime!

  8. Young One said on 3rd November 2012, 19:31

    At least it is not as painful as it was for HAM cos he placed his car on pole unlike VET.

  9. Whilst this is a bad for Vettel and good for Alonso, its important that people keep to reality here. Yes, it gives Alonso an advantage, but he still needs to finish the race and get good points. He is still 13 points behind Vettel, so he needs a great result (if not a win) to really make Vettel sweat. And theres still 2 races to go after this.

    • Chemakal said on 3rd November 2012, 22:46

      Not clear RB circuits US (uncertain) and Brasil as Abu Dahbi and India are. FA had to survive this race to keep options, now he has a great opportunity. And he is an expert in taking the max out of everty little opportunity, specially this seasson

  10. Calum (@calum) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:36

    I think it’s pretty harsh, afterall Mclaren and Hamilton had previous to the Spain incident (Canada 2010), but RedBull have never done it before.

    Nevertheless, it sets up an interesting prospect for the race tomorrow.

    • For the first McLaren incident the rule was not the same. Also as McLaren had been given this penalty before then all other teams now know the consequences.

  11. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:38

    Don’t think RedBull are this stupid to under fuel Vettel at this stage of the championship considering what happened in Barcelona. Must be FIA’s way of spicing up the championship just like 94(Britain), 97(Suzuka), 99(Malaysia), 2003(US) and 2008(Fuji)

    • OOliver said on 3rd November 2012, 20:24

      The FIA had no choice. The only thing the FIA could have done is regret why they gave Hamilton the same penalty in Barcelona.

  12. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:46

    I can’t wait for the GP tomorrow now! It’s going to be brilliant to see what Alonso can do because if it finished as it’s going to start, you’d have to say Vettel would still be the clear favourite for the title.

    If Alonso can move forward, it’ll get very interesting.

  13. troutcor said on 3rd November 2012, 19:46

    This is a heckuva break for this Ferrari fan who is packing his bags in two weeks for Austin!
    Any predictions on how many places Vettel can make up?
    I guess he finishes P9.

  14. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 3rd November 2012, 19:56

    I believe that this will give a good opportunity for Fernando to more or less equal Seb in the championship.

    Until and unless, Ferrari really doesn’t come up with an upgrade (a good one), it’s Seb’s title to loose. It’s just got delayed. Instead of Texas, it will be Sau Paulo.

    Yes, we still hope for reliability issues for RBR but it’s to a limit that Alonso can drag a noncompetitive car to championship glory.

    What a great weekend we have had at Abu Dhabi!

  15. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 3rd November 2012, 20:09

    Interestingly, does that mean RBR can make significant changes to the setup of the car? Especially allowing Seb more straight line speeds?

    • OOliver said on 3rd November 2012, 20:42

      I think that is exactly what they intend to do now.
      The advantage is that the tyres can take some punishement so he can really push the car unlike earlier in the season.

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