Webber sent to the back of the grid over fuel error

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013Mark Webber will start the Chinese Grand Prix from the back of the grid after being excluded from qualifying.

The stewards excluded Webber from the results of qualifying after he ran out of fuel and stopped his car during Q2.

“Car two was not driven back to the pits under its own power and was unable provide the fuel sample as required,” said the stewards in a statement.

“The team admitted it had not put sufficient fuel in the car. As specified in the technical delegate?s report (Document 21), only 150ml of fuel was on board which was insufficient to provide the one litre fuel sample and drive the car back to the pits under its own power.”

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said in his report: “During the second qualifying practice session today car number two, driver Mark Webber, stopped on the circuit at turn 14.

“It was checked whether car number two had enough fuel on board in order to be driven back to the pits under its own power and in addition to this that a one litre fuel sample could be taken.

“The car had 150ml fuel on board which is not enough for the required one litre fuel sample and to drive the car back to the pits under its own power.”

Christian Horner said the team had failed to put enough fuel in the car: “Unfortunately in Q2 the amount of fuel that was required to be put into the car from the fuel rig was not fully delivered. This was due to an error with the fuel bowser that meant it under delivered 3kg of fuel.

“Therefore on Mark?s in-lap we saw large drop outs in the fuel tank collector and the car unfortunately ran dry of fuel, which is obviously frustrating. The fuel bowser has been immediately quarantined for further investigation.

“It?s a shame as he would obviously have made Q3 today and the tactic with both drivers was to adopt the same strategy.”

It is the second time in six races Red Bull have had a car sent to the back of the grid for this reason. Sebastian Vettel was excluded from qualifying in last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after his car ran out of fuel.

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166 comments on Webber sent to the back of the grid over fuel error

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  1. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 13th April 2013, 10:27

    Massive blow for Webber, however it will be interesting to see how he does from back there.

    • indeed :)

      • ivz (@ivz) said on 13th April 2013, 12:31

        I don’t get how they can do this with the type of technology they have!??? I mean my car tells me how many kilometres it has left in the tank! As soon as they sent him out, surely they knew he was low on fuel? Should have told him to get back to the pits and not do a timed run!

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th April 2013, 12:59

          Your fuel tank is very different. The methods that yours uses to estimate the range are not applicable to an f1 tank.

          • dufus (@dufus) said on 13th April 2013, 13:32

            Are you serious ?
            So genius, how would you, an expert judge a level of an F1 Tank ?

          • SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 13th April 2013, 14:24

            I think the way they measure fuel consumption / miles left in F1 is by measuring the difference in fuel flow before and after the injectors, and subtracting that from whatever was in there in the first place. So if the computer is fed with the wrong information about how much fuel was put in to start with it would’nt know that it was running out of fuel. I don’t know if they have another system, that measures the actual content inside the tank, but my guess is that they don’t.

            In you road car the fuel gauge is not precise, normally it is just a piece of floating plastic connected to a potentiometer, and is affected by things like wear and sloshing of the fuel.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 13th April 2013, 16:50

            @soerenkaae

            I hope you get COTD for that. Fascinating stuff!

          • SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 13th April 2013, 18:20

            @mike
            Thanks. I was trying to remember where I read this, and I now remember that it was in article about how to setup and use telemetry systems.
            Must have been in “Racecar Engineering” either Jan or Feb issue.

        • Neuromancer said on 13th April 2013, 23:46

          Why they don’t have have a fail safe ie measure the wight of the car and of the fuel browser using separate systems to measure both weights. if they don’t match you know there is a problem. You could also measure the flow going in have a flow meter in the line just in case both separate balances failed at the same time.

          For Quali you could just used measured Jugs where you could visually see the amount of fuel delivered simple and low tech is sometimes the way to go.

          Thinks must finish that Job application for RBR any one know Adrien or Christians mail addy

        • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 13th April 2013, 23:58

          I mean my car tells me how many kilometres it has left in the tank!

          But it doesn’t tell it very well. Try it. I bet you can drive another 30-50 km longer than your car predicts, because it doesn’t measure precisely, and you need a safety margin. The same system in a F1 car would mean you would always carry too much fuel, which means losing time every lap.

    • @dufus – F1 tanks have many baffles and separate chambers: they are hugely more complex than road car tanks simply because they are subject to much higher g-forces. If they weren’t segmented, the fuel would slosh significantly and cause destabilisation mid-corner.

      So although good for performance, it makes it much more difficult to monitor fuel levels. The easiest way therefore to ensure they don’t run out of fuel is to properly calculate how much they need for that amount of laps, which I’m assuming is where the error was made.

      It shouldn’t have happened really as obviously they must’ve known what was required but I’m guessing it was probably an error with the fuel bowser delivery, so the intended amount wasn’t put in the car.

      • dufus (@dufus) said on 13th April 2013, 13:45

        Wow, ok.
        Baffles and stuff.
        Cmon i,m trying not hard to laugh.
        Delivery = Pressure = flow .

        • @dufus – that is nothing to do with monitoring fuel levels. My point is that you can’t simply measure the amount of fuel in an F1 tank in the same way as a road car tank as @matt90 correctly pointed out. You’d need several fuel level sensors!

          Just read this article and then decide for yourself how simple it is.

        • venom (@venom) said on 13th April 2013, 15:06

          the f1 fuel tank is not a tank,its just like a bag of polythene stuck behind the drivers seat.(ok not a bag of polythene obviously a much tougher material, but it looks like a massive bag of polythene.. u get the point) so you cannot put some mechanical measuring mechanism inside. its all about the how much flows where etc..i presume the car by itself cannot decide how much fuel is in the tank. hence the problems with webber.

    • maestrointhesky (@maestrointhesky) said on 13th April 2013, 16:05

      Conspiracy theory! It’s one way of keeping the drivers apart, effectively rewarding Vettel No 1 status as a result of last race! Discuss.

      • favomodo (@favomodo) said on 13th April 2013, 16:42

        I don’t think that the team would make this kind of offers, in order to keep the drivers apart. But I can’t say that I didn’t have this kind of thoughts popping into my mind…

    • Guys, so gutted that RBR will pull such low moves on MW. This must be Helmut Marko pulling the plug on the bowser. Come to think about it, can’t they start the pit sequence immediately at the green lights and just drive 100% of the race in primes?

      hmm……………………..

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 13th April 2013, 22:40

      It will add one more interesting layer amongst layers to this race. With so many different strategies employed, who is to say Webber doesn’t have a chance for points or maybe even podium. Anything can happen.

      As far as all the conspiracy theories, I don’t buy it. Two reasons – Red Bull cares too much about the Constructor’s title to do this on purpose & this has already happened to Vettel as well. Was that a conspiracy when it happened to Vette? Can’t have it both ways.

  2. Martin (@andone89) said on 13th April 2013, 10:28

    I see someone banging the door tonight!

  3. Trido (@trido) said on 13th April 2013, 10:29

    He has done well in China from the back of the grid, but as he said after he went out this afternoon, the tyre situation was a lot different and the car was also a lot more dominant than it is now.

  4. Will he choose to start from the pits?

  5. Drop Valencia! said on 13th April 2013, 10:31

    Atleast they can put a tall diff in and start from pitlane….

  6. kimiforWCD2014 (@kimiforwc2013) said on 13th April 2013, 10:39

    Reminds me of Ecclestone saying to avoid trouble between drivers: We simply didn’t give him enough fuel.

  7. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 13th April 2013, 10:43

    @vettel1

    “The team admitted it had not put sufficient fuel in the car.”

    Case close mate.

    • @cyclops_pl – so still, I fail to see how there was anything sinister about it which you were implying by saying Red Bull “screwed him”. Nobody said the same of Abu Dhabi…

      • brny666 said on 13th April 2013, 14:13

        If it happens to Vettel its a screw up, if it happens to Webber it’s conspiracy. Pretty simple stuff really, it baffle me how people cannot understand this simple concept. <—- SARCASM ALERT

        • MJ (@mjf1) said on 14th April 2013, 0:49

          When it happened to Vettel in Abu Dhabi it was never stated that it was a case of underfueling the car. The main explanation for Abu Dhabi was that they had fuelled the car correctly but the Renault engine had consumed too much fuel and that was why the Renault people had to contact the Red Bull people to tell them to stop the car. This time it was 100% Red Bull’s fault.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 13th April 2013, 17:40

        Nobody said the same of Abu Dhabi…

        Because it is simply not the same case, in Abu Dhabi the team admitted that there was enough fuel in the car and the call to stop didn’t come from the Red Bull team, it was made by the Renault engineers

        • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 13th April 2013, 19:57

          They definitely screwed Webber. I’m amazed though that the sabotage campaign began right away. I thought they’d give him at least one GP to race “fair” before the dirty tricks campaign began. Webber himself declined to outright condemn the conspiracy theorists! He knows, he knows…

        • @tifoso1989 – they didn’t actually immediately, until the results had been determined: the same as in this case.

          Oh please @joepa, why would Red Bull hamper their own constructor’s championship efforts? I do hope you are joking…

          • If you read the article, you would have found this:

            “The team admitted it had not put sufficient fuel in the car.”

            “Unfortunately in Q2 the amount of fuel that was required to be put into the car from the fuel rig was not fully delivered. This was due to an error with the fuel bowser that meant it under delivered 3kg of fuel.”

          • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 13th April 2013, 21:09

            @vettel1

            Oh please @joepa, why would Red Bull hamper their own constructor’s championship efforts? I do hope you are joking…

            RBR would intentionally sabotage Mark Webber’s competitiveness in qualifying to neutralize the threat that he poses to teammate Finger-Boy Vettel under fair and equitable conditions in the actual race. I agree with you that the team does not want to undermine Webber to compromise their chances of winning another WCC. Rather, they’re simply out to ensure that Webber does not beat Vettel like he would under normal, open, honest, genuine and fair racing conditions (the kind that Webber has only rarely enjoyed in competition with Vettel). RBR knows how talented and resourceful a driver Mark Webber is, and they no doubt fully expect MW to claw himself up from the back of the grid to fourth or fifth overall (if not third) by the finish of the GP and to contribute to the team’s points-haul (and Webber can expect a talking to if he doesn’t). But as you very well know, they cannot take the chance of having their No. 2 driver beat their anointed star, and without the possibility of tricking Webber into complacency again by issuing team orders that would ostensibly favor him, they are taking a slightly more aggressive tack and playing the low-fuel/no-fuel game.

          • @joepa – exactly as Keith said. It’s nothing more than a stupid conspiracy theory.

          • Irejag (@irejag) said on 13th April 2013, 23:44

            Trust me, RBR is not trying to compromise Webber. RBR wants both drivers on the podium at the end of every race, and they don’t care which driver finishes higher than the other. And if they do care it is for reasons that involve sponsorships.

  8. kovi said on 13th April 2013, 10:52

    Marko was right, there will be no team orders anymore. He forgot to mention the rest of the sentence…To avoid having to give them, we will screw webber’s race since saturday. Go seb go.

  9. “It is the second time in six races Red Bull have had a car sent to the back of the grid for this reason.”

    Setting aside ridiculous conspiracy theories (please), how can the best funded team in F1 repeat a mistake like this ?

  10. Zedd (@zedd) said on 13th April 2013, 10:54

    I remember a couple of years ago he started from the back and ended up fighting for the podium. Lets see if he can do something similar this year.

    • Njack (@njack) said on 13th April 2013, 11:21

      Red Bull isn’t as good as in 2011, so I don’t expect a podium, 5th or 6th at best with a good tyre strategy and not getting stuck behind any cars for several laps.

      Prophet Brundle after the Australian GP. “Once again if Mark Webber didn’t have bad luck he would have no luck at all.”

      Sigh. . .=\

    • Giggsy11 (@giggsy11) said on 13th April 2013, 11:25

      Points are definitely possible but I will give him driver of the year is he gets a podium barring exceptional circumstances.

      • brny666 said on 13th April 2013, 12:39

        Vettel has already done it last year in Abu Dhabi. If RB give him a proper setup like they did to Vettel ( I dont see why they wouldn’t) he might pull it off. Ofcourse tyres are much different right now and neither him or RB look as good as Vettel and RB did at end of last year but there is a chance.

  11. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 13th April 2013, 10:54

    A pit lane start seems like a good decision in such a situation instead of getting knocked in the first corner and so they can give him a better set up for the race.

  12. As specified in the technical delegate’s report (Document 21)

    There’s Mark’s Favourite number again…

  13. matt88 (@matt88) said on 13th April 2013, 11:02

    did anyone see Helmut Marko sneak out of Webber’s box with a jerry can?

  14. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th April 2013, 11:15

    “there won’t be team orders… *cough* cuzwebbersgonnastartfrompitlane *cough* “

  15. AlokIn (@) said on 13th April 2013, 11:24

    Marko: No one should mess up with my finger boy !!

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