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

  1. Roald (@roald) said on 13th April 2013, 11:33

    The most striking thing about the whole matter was his interview on the BBC afterwards. He simply didn’t seem to care anymore, it was the very first time I saw Webber looking tired of everything thrown his way and just accepting he wasn’t going to win a title anyway. He came across in a very “yeah well of course it happened to me but no one else cares so why should I”-kinda way. That’s my interpretation though, maybe it was just me…

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 13th April 2013, 11:42

      No, he was just uncomfortable – he knew ha ran out of fuel but did not want to admit it in case RBR came up with some other miraculous legalistic reasoning that would have saved his 14th place.

    • adzimzam said on 13th April 2013, 20:24

      and that would be why Seb is a triple champion and Mark is not ! At this level you have to want it more and have drive and determination above your skill , otherwise you become just another F1 driver who won a few races , which is still better than 99% drivers around , but not better than 99.8% drivers who won a World Championship , and definitely not better than the 99.99% who won 3 or more , and hes got at least 10-12 years left , ,,, realy Mark has spent more years than Seb in a championship capable winning car but really he is just another massa , barichellio , coulthard , irvine , patrese , berger , fretzen,etc , very very good drivers but at this level its just not enough

  2. Becca Cann (@beshoreblue) said on 13th April 2013, 11:38

    All the crazy conspiracies theories aside, Red Bull’s sense of timing is excellent.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2013, 11:49

    That is actually an incredibly small amount

    only 150ml of fuel was on board

    given that Webber had parked the car, it shows what the teams learn by doing these run dry tests during pre season testing.

    Sure enough for Webber I guess its more or less equally bad to start in 22nd or in 14th, he will have his job cut out anyway if he wants to finish in the solid points paying positions. I hope we see him do a very nice charge into the top 5!

  4. Musaed (@binmayed) said on 13th April 2013, 12:05

    Hmmm was it really a mistake! Just the other day I told my friends look what will happen to webber at the next race. Ops not enough fuel

    • thatscienceguy said on 13th April 2013, 13:11

      So according to you, Red Bull will spend millions this year running Webber’s car, and they’ll be completely happy spending that money but making it very difficult for him to pick up valuable WCC points?

      Be realistic. If they didn’t want Webber they’d just pay him out of his contract and put a new driver in. It would be cheaper and better for the team in the constructors championship.

      And last time this happened, it happened to Vettel. Was that some conspiracy too? Or was that just a mistake, but when the same mistake happens to Webber it’s a conspiracy?

      • I hope someone comes and answers this, because I’d truly love to hear what they come up with.

        • Can it be as outrageous as risking not only points but the safty of your driver/fans and marshallls by getting your driver to plant his car into a wall? ; ]

          • thatscienceguy said on 14th April 2013, 1:07

            Completely irrelevant. Completely different team, run by a completely different type of person, in a completely different situation trying to get a result for a completely different purpose. That was also forcing a siutation to directly lift one driver into a winning position in an uncompetititve car, whereas this has no tangible benefit at all for a car which is competitive. You cannot compare the two situations.

            What is the benefit to Red Bull? And make it good, because so far you haven’t come up with a good reason for disadvantaging their own team.

      • svianna (@svianna) said on 13th April 2013, 17:33

        You try to apply ordinary mens logic, but when you are a multi-billionaire who can literally burn hundreds of millions of dollars without much thought, your decision-making power is very different. Can you attempt to explain why RBR needs Helmut Marko? Horner and Newey are VERY capable people, don’t you think? The only reason for Marko to be there is to ensure that Dietrich Mateschitz wishes are fulfilled.

        • thatscienceguy said on 14th April 2013, 1:02

          Oh, Dietrich Mateschitz, who has a very good relationship with Webber and who deals directly with Webber every year come contract negotiation time? Yeah, I’m sure he is giving direct orders to undermine someone who he has a lot of respect and personal time for.

  5. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 13th April 2013, 13:30

    Webber is one of F1’s best overtakers, so I’d expect him to be deep in the points by the end of his first stint on prime tyres.

  6. dufus (@dufus) said on 13th April 2013, 13:38

    Do NOT tell me for 1 minute a modern F1 team does not know how much fuel they have pumped into their car.
    There are sensors everywhere. And they will be in the Bowser as well as the car. Something as important as fuel level and flow must be a focus.

  7. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 13th April 2013, 13:48

    To be fair to Red Bull, at least they admitted their error, unlike when McLaren did the same thing in Spain and tried to pretend that Hamilton had a problem with his car.

    • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 13th April 2013, 14:50

      Actually they didn’t. It was “a fuel pickup issue” which could have been that there wasn’t enough fuel or it was a technical issue. They were fuzzy about it as long as possible.

    • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 13th April 2013, 14:51

      “We’ve got an issue with the fuel collector,” explained team principal Christian Horner. “By the looks of things it’s either the collector or the fuel bowser. Basically collector pressure dropped out right at the end of that in-lap.”

  8. Drezone said on 13th April 2013, 13:52

    What a surprise

    After all the drama since Malaysia is anyone really surprised red bull stuffed up webbers car

    Tell me how you under fuel a car doing one timed lap in quali

    Maybe red bull were hoping for a safety car

    Really red bull come on

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 16:34

      Tell me how you under fuel a car doing one timed lap in quali

      The same way they did to Vettel six race ago, presumably.

      • MJ (@mjf1) said on 14th April 2013, 0:42

        That’s not correct because it was never fully disclosed what the problem was with Vettel in Abu Dhabi. It was NEVER stated that they had underfueled the car in Abu Dhabi. The main theory was that the fueling was correct but that the Renault engine had consumed too much fuel, hence why Renault had to make the call to Red Bull to tell them to stop the car.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th April 2013, 6:57

          The fact that Vettel was told to stop the car indicates that while they put in enough fuel to get back to the pits, there wasn’t enough for the compulsory fuel sample at the end of the session. I have no idea how you’ve jumped to the Renault engine suddenly consuming too much fuel, when it didn’t happen with the other Renault powered cars in Q3.

  9. TMF (@tmf42) said on 13th April 2013, 14:08

    it seems tinfoil hats are high in demand these days.

  10. Still camileon (@stillcamileon) said on 13th April 2013, 14:20

    Its just what i expected of Redbull, under fuel the car and put Mark as far away from Vettel as possible, Mark’s last chance for the championship is clearly now being removed by Redbull so he might as well give up now and return to Australia.

  11. William (@william) said on 13th April 2013, 14:37

    Is there going to be anymore news on shocking announcements which was truly expected that Mark will start from pit lane but will there be any gearbox changes, reprimands, impeding?
    The Perth boy Dan Ricciardo is a serious contender for Webber’s seat at Red Bull next year after that magnificent 7th place in Q3 and I hope he continues the form. There is two Australians competing last year and this year and we could even see 1 competing as Webber will be furious as I am sure he wanted to pay back Vettel but who knows he could stuff up on his start

  12. William (@william) said on 13th April 2013, 14:38

    ….next year if Webber exits the sport

  13. karter22 (@karter22) said on 13th April 2013, 14:47

    Everyboy is reading into this article assuming that it was just an error in fuel calculations. Seriously? It´s obvious this is strategy. He gets to start either from the back(not good) or start from the pit($100 says he starts from the pits).
    SV did it in abu dhabi and it worked well for him. Webber was regularly on pace in practices and qualy so I see no reason why he cannot do something similar to this. It´s also fair to assume that since the gloves are off between them, they want to keep him far away from SV and before anybody comes out saying that it doesn´t make sense to send him to the back and lose valuable points in the WCC, who says they are gonna lose points? Webber will get into the points on merit, maybe no higher than 9th but he´ll get some; it´s better than to have them bag a lot of points risking their 2 drivers race and punt each other off meaning 0 points for the team!

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 13th April 2013, 15:49

      That makes some sense in a ” crude ” way …Maybe that is the reality …some things as they say just cannot be explained in public
      Personally If I am webber , I will race as if my pants are on fire . And for god’s sake come into the pits when you want , don’t ask the team

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 13th April 2013, 16:19

        (@hamilfan) (@karter22)(@aka_robyn) I don’t think we can truly know if there was any foul play involved – on the one hand, it certainly seems timed to perfection in regards to keep Webber as far away from Vettel as possible, and we’ve learnt in the past that RB have no qualms in sacrificing Webber at the altar of Vettel’s ill-gotten championships. On the other hand, I also have doubts that RB would willingly jeaporadise potential contructors points, so I’m not sure where I stand on the conspiracy theories.

        However, I think I’d go with (@hamilfan) here;

        And for god’s sake come into the pits when you want , don’t ask the team

        Whether RB screwed his race on purpose or not, we know from past experiences like Abu Dhabi that RB are more than willing to pit him and put him in traffic if it will clear the way for Vettel, so hopefully he can trust his engineer and avoid any RB strategist ideas.

        Would love to see Mark really get the bit within his teeth and drive the wheels of the RB, maybe even getting on the podium. That, plus the fact that (in my eyes) the three best drivers on the grid are starting line-to-stern should make for an great race.

        One side-note though, which I know everyone feels already – if a driver is not qualifying, or driving around 50 seconds off the pace to preserve qualifying tyres, things are surely getting quite silly?

        • karter22 (@karter22) said on 13th April 2013, 17:49

          @sgt-pepper , @hamilfan , @aka_robyn

          it certainly seems timed to perfection in regards to keep Webber as far away from Vettel as possible, and we’ve learnt in the past that RB have no qualms in sacrificing Webber at the altar of Vettel’s ill-gotten championships

          I couldn´t have said it beter myself. Like I said before, they won´t lose much points, Webber will get into the points, remember the STR don´t count and the others are much slower compared to the RBR although he will have his work cut out with the FI cars but other than that, he´s got a points finish in sight.

          This is also another way to have a more even WCC! Look at grosjean for Christ´s sake, the guy is fast and strangely enough, he´s nowhere to be found in regards to Kimi´s position! Another way to keep things even with regards to the WCC. The only teams I see constantly having both cars near each other are the Ferrari and the Mercedes!

          I totally agree that Drivers should pit when they need to and not ask for permision! The great drivers can keep track of what is happening on track and work effectively with his engineer, it just sucks that poor Webber can trust no one at camp RBR, not even his engineer! And I totally agree, I hope that Webber does another Silverstone-not-bad-for-a-#2-driver type of race!

          One thing is for certain, the race is set up to be a cracker! I can definitely see sparks fly at the start when Hamilton tries to cover Alonso´s lightning start while having to deal with Kimi as well! This pole for Hamilton will surely not last too long. He´s gonna get mugged at the start!

    • Jean-Christophe said on 13th April 2013, 21:11

      Might make sense but doubt it. In those situations, there’s always someone who will be so revolted that they would speak. That would have terrible consequences.

  14. Nitzo (@webtel) said on 13th April 2013, 15:32

    “I had to stop on the circuit, so qualifying was over before it started really. We need a bit of luck now; it’s not the optimum starting position, but we still have to try to get something from there.”
    ~Mark Alan Webber

    look at the humility of this man !!
    his bosses r backstabbing him and just look at his temperament..:-)
    HATS OFF Mark. We r behind u.!! Go for a podium.

  15. katederby (@katederby) said on 13th April 2013, 16:33

    Webber needs that pit lane start with ‘race spec’ car as Vettel had in Abu Dhabi, although changes in DRS this year mean it’s unlikely to be as helpful. He’ll also need the two vital Safety Cars that we had in Abu Dhabi last year to get up into the points.
    A handily timed crash would be nice… any non-volunteers?!

    But seriously, did anyone notice photo of the fuel bowser for car #2 that Antonio Felix da Costa posted this morning… haha!

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