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. 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.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

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

    it seems tinfoil hats are high in demand these days.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    ….next year if Webber exits the sport

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 16:42

    It’s dismaying how many people automatically assume this was done intentionally by someone at Red Bull.

    I would like to know what strategy these people think Red Bull are pursuing which involves trying to protect Webber from being passed by his team mate at one race and sabotaging his car in qualifying at the next?

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 13th April 2013, 16:46

      I can’t believe the conspiracy theorist are serious about this one. It’s a ridiculous idea. What is hard to stomach is the timing; after two races and two apologies, I was hoping Webber would have a nice, straight forward race, especially when he’s on the pace of his team mate, like he has been all week.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 13th April 2013, 16:54

      @keithcollantine Playing devil’s advocate here: they couldn’t protect Webber, and Vettel would do anything to get what he wants anyway. With no more team orders, either they let the two take each other out, or let Vettel have his way and keep them as far apart from each other as possible.

      I’m not saying I believe this; I’m saying this is what they are thinking.

      • I’m not saying I believe this; I’m saying this is what they are thinking.

        You’re saying you believe that’s what they are thinking and so they deliberately under fueled Mark’s car?

        Yikes.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 13th April 2013, 17:10

      May be the Hungry Heidi drank the fuel from Webber’s car.. LOL

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th April 2013, 17:47

      @keithcollantine some (like me) are just making fun of the situation :)

      Others are the same kind of fella that jumps out of every conclusion with a ridiculous remark that goes to no where and wastes a full page of comments.

      • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 13th April 2013, 19:03

        (@keithcollantine) Although I don’t quite buy into the conspiracies, people can hardly be blamed for questioning RB’s motives, they’ve hardly proved themselves as paragons of virtue over the last few years.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 19:34

          @sgt-pepper Those who share your take on Red Bull’s motives can’t expect any sympathy for their views if they leap at every opportunity to slag them off including those based on obvious logical contradictions.

          If the complaints were less shrill, and if the dismissal of the lunatic fringe element of the debate was less mealy-mouthed than “I don’t quite buy into the conspiracies”, it would be a lot easier to take other aspects of your point of view seriously. Otherwise it’s just begging to be tagged with the label “haters” and ignored.

          • astonished (@astonished) said on 13th April 2013, 19:39

            You can tag & ignore “lovers” as well. Oh, no wait, we need comments.

          • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 13th April 2013, 20:47

            I’ve actually already outlined why I’m doubtful of the conspiracies, but it dervies of RB’s wishing to glean as many potential points from this race as they can. Although I truly am doubtful of the moral standing of the RB team and it’s clear that they have no issue with sabotaging Webber, I also feel that they simply wouldn’t want to risk losing contructors points in a championship that’s far less secure than 2011 – as you say it’s a ‘logical contradiction.’

            However I do feel it’s perhaps disingenuous to dismiss conspiracy theorists as a ‘lunatic fringe’ – as there would be ample opportunity for head office to whisper something in the ear of the refuelling man to get Webber far away from Vettel, as well as little chance of it being traced back to them. I personally don’t think that happened, but it would be remiss to consider it an impossibility.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 21:28

            @astonished I’m sure you could but I don’t see much praise for the team that comes anywhere close to matching the fervour shown by the detractors. I don’t know what you’re getting at about comments.

            @sgt-pepper

            it’s clear that they have no issue with sabotaging Webber

            If that were true Vettel would never have been given an order to stay behind him. This is what I’m talking about: it’s always pillory Red Bull first, play down the manifest flaws and contradictions in your case later.

            I don’t doubt there are factions in Red Bull that are closer to Vettel than Webber: Helmut Marko is an obvious example. But if you can’t find room for a bit of nuance in your view and continue the shrill whining about Red Bull’s “moral standing” people will just go deaf to it.

          • Dwight_js said on 14th April 2013, 6:41

            “If that were true Vettel would never have been given an order to stay behind him.”

            Ahh, but you see, the conspiracy theorists believe that multi 21 means different things to the two drivers. To Mark it means “relax, turn your engine down, you’re cruising to victory, cold beer in the fridge waiting for you”. While to Seb it means “We’ve just lulled Mark into a sense of complacent security – go for the kill! Do it now!!! Wua-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa! We’ll high five when you get back to the garage and you can drink Mark’s beer in front of him.”

            You, know, so that Mark gets surprised and enraged and defends wildly against an attack that was never supposed to come. It’s the best way to ensure the drivers don’t take each other out and that the team and Vettel get maximum points.

    • Palle (@palle) said on 13th April 2013, 18:35

      @keith: +1. For RBR to win the WCC and WDC this year they need both drivers to pick as many points as possible from the competition.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th April 2013, 19:11

      @keithcollantine These people don’t actually understand the sport so therefore feel the need to create something they can understand: rubbish. End of the day, all they want is 43 points, they demonstrated hat in Malaysia.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 13th April 2013, 21:20

      I would like to know what strategy these people think Red Bull are pursuing which involves trying to protect Webber from being passed by his team mate at one race

      @keithcollantine – you either naively believe that RBR were trying to protect Webber, or you’re willfully encouraging others to believe that to support RBR’s propaganda, when in reality SWIM believes that in Malaysia multi-21 was issued not to instruct Vettel to hold station, but rather, to lull Webber into a state of complacency, thinking that Vettel would hold station! All the while Vettel was desperately trying to close-up on Webber and rumble him for 1st before he realized what was happening and could fight-back effectively.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 21:31

        @joepa

        to lull Webber into a state of complacency, thinking that Vettel would hold station

        Please tell me that’s intended as a sarcastic joke…

        • Nickpkr21 said on 13th April 2013, 21:46

          Vettel did ask for getting him out of the way “he is slower than me” and for some he got it but maybe is just a coincidence

          • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 13th April 2013, 22:38

            Talk about redbull tried to help mark all you want keith you me we all know f1 is the show me sport. The teams have always been smoke and mirrors the only truth is the points total and for all the team orders in the world seb overtook mark.

            no 1 1st no 2 2nd and no repercussions for “breaking team orders” sounds like they helped mark out a whole lot that day “come on seb this is silly” that’s saying it like a man christian.

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 13th April 2013, 21:48

      Well, if I’m not mistaken this strategy inevitably separates Vettel and Webber at the start of the race and that might be something that Red Bull wants especially after the Sepang debacle. They certainly don’t want Vettel and Webber racing each other at the start of the race because Vettel might find an unyielding Webber.

      Not only that but now Webber has been unofficially warned that if he wants to race and podium, he needs to play nice otherwise his car can fall back as many spots as Red Bull feels appropriate.

      We’ve seen separation occur in the past with slow starts and qualifying issues. Obviously they can’t push RedBoy to the back of the grid so that really only leaves only 1 option – Mark has to go to the back. They sure as hell won’t let them race each other again so soon after the incident.

      If anyone thinks this is coincidence they must ask how Marussia and Caterham manage to get it right but somehow Red Bull always gets it wrong with Webber – they never put him out of the race as they still want the 8-18 points that they know he will bring in. It’s a non-catastrophic failure always that plagues him.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2013, 21:58

        @freelittlebirds

        It’s a non-catastrophic failure always that plagues him.

        So why did it “plague” Vettel six races ago?

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 13th April 2013, 22:31

          The mistake they made with Vettel is the same one that McLaren had made with Hamilton in “aggressively” fueling the car in Valencia 2012. Mercedes made the same mistake in Sepang a few weeks ago during the race and we’ve seen Hamilton have fuel issues in 2011.

          That’s a more common mistake that constructors make in the interest of getting pole position or running a certain race.

          In this case Red Bull vastly underfueled Mark to the point that he couldn’t get a single timed lap AND could also not avoid the inevitable push to the back of the grid. Red Bull knew the outcome from their own experience in 2012 and there was no way that Mark could have saved 1 liter when he stopped the car and was down to 150milliliters, 1/6th of what he needed to hold his position.

          Vettel winning the race tomorrow would be the best way for him to undo the damage that Vettel has done to his image. After all, Vettel would be vindicated in saying that he deserved to win the race at Sepang and that Mark didn’t and Webber finishing 10th proves that he’s indeed slow. Plus it would be great to avoid any bad moments in the interview room and the podiums, wouldn’t you agree?

          The counter-argument is that Red Bull wants to win the WCC but they have already won it 3 times with many, many points to spare and they are already 65% ahead of the 2nd team on the WCC standings. They have points to spare. Does Red Bull care if Webber scores 15 points versus 6 tomorrow? I honestly don’t think so…

          When I watched the practice on NBC Sports, Leigh Diffey said that apparently Mark only received 1 message from Mateschitz while he was gone for 2 weeks in Australia and no other communication from Red Bull. When he went back to Red Bull’s offices, he got an email from Christian to meet;-)

          We’ve all known that Red Bull favors Vettel and that Webber is kept at bay. Now if Webber was 20 years old and Austrian, does anyone doubt that he would have won a WDC by now while Vettel delivered 2 hour soliloquies about his KERS problems in every race?

          • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 14th April 2013, 0:34

            In this case Red Bull vastly underfueled Mark to the point that he couldn’t get a single timed lap

            What are you talking about? Mark finished his timed lap and almost got back to the pits.

    • Antonio (@antoniocorleone) said on 14th April 2013, 1:17

      Im sorry to say but you Keith are either buying the Red Bull propaganda and trying to explain it in the way that you’ve bought it or you are a die hard Vettel fan trying to act as neutral as you can. But if you are a die hard fan you just can’t stay neutral, forget that.
      If you are no Red Bull/Vettel fan, than I must say congratulations to the Red Bull team on a job well done for their succesfull brainwashing – after all they are trying hard.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th April 2013, 4:38

        @antoniocorleone – The teams run marginally on fuel all the time to save weight. In the race and in qualifying. Running out of fuel in qualifying is something that has happened to drivers (including Vettel) in the recent past. Webber did a flying lap, then ran out of fuel only a couple of corners from the end of his in-lap.

        The fact that you would insist that people like @keithcollantine (who is evidently more knowledgeable about the sport than you), are “brainwashed” is totally ridiculous, especially when you yourself seem to have jumped on the conspiracy theory bandwagon.

    • Antonio (@antoniocorleone) said on 14th April 2013, 1:42

      And I forgot something to add to my previous comment – How many car presentations have you attended other that of the RB9? Im talking about 2013 cause you may have attended all RB1-9 presentations.

    • Alzarius (@alzarius) said on 14th April 2013, 3:11

      I don’t think Red Bull did it deliberately, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t order Vettel to hold position in the last race, and not favor him instead from this point on. Priorities and tactics evolve throughout the season, and it is clear that after a few weeks of ruminating on the controversial ending in Malaysia, Seb eventually came out defiantly and said that he will not listen to team orders anymore. He will race for himself.

      It is possible that the hierarchy has changed in Red Bull in the last few weeks. For all we know, Horner’s authority is probably reduced, and it is all about Marko and Seb now.

      To think that they can’t undermine Webber’s car just because they told Seb to hold position last race is a narrow view.

  12. Veer said on 13th April 2013, 17:12

    Maybe Vettel decided that Webber did not “deserve” enough fuel in his car!!

  13. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 13th April 2013, 17:19

    Budget of 100 million and dont put enough fuel in, simply crap team management.

  14. Palle (@palle) said on 13th April 2013, 18:42

    RBR has room for improvement. Vettels car had a brake failure – according to Vettel – in Q3 and the fuel bowser failed Webber with a 3 litre underfueling acc to Horner. They must improve this to win. They can’t rely on Ferrari to make mistakes (as not pitting Alonso with a broken FW) and Mercedes to fade away over the season again. And surely McLaren will improve as well.

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th April 2013, 19:07

    It’s entertaining for us fans but it’s a shame he had to use some of his rubber to only start from the back.

  16. elchinero (@elchinero) said on 13th April 2013, 23:06

    What IS a fuel “bowser”? Someone who bows at the gasoline?

  17. Drezone said on 13th April 2013, 23:39

    Isn’t he in mario kart

    Red bull are like politicians

    First they lie and deny whilst they make subtle actions towards others detriment and then when people realise what’s going on they just keep doing it know this is what’s expected from them and accuse you of just being a paranoid conspiracist

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th April 2013, 1:11

      @elchinero

      What IS a fuel “bowser”? Someone who bows at the gasoline?

      Isn’t he in mario kart

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bowser

      First they lie and deny whilst they make subtle actions towards others detriment and then when people realise what’s going on they just keep doing it know this is what’s expected from them and accuse you of just being a paranoid conspiracist

      Just like the fuel “conspiracies” in Spain and Abu Dhabi 2012 with other drivers, eh?

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 14th April 2013, 1:27

      Isn’t he in mario kart

      +1 – hysterical

  18. Antonio (@antoniocorleone) said on 14th April 2013, 0:55

    I think that this story could and should develop into a conspiracy theory, because I honestly think it is that, a consiracy, a sabotage by the red bull team. Disgrace…

  19. SlackBladder said on 14th April 2013, 3:42

    Perhaps Webber was making noises like he was going to take the Boy Wonder off so the team spaces them as far apart as possible. lol

  20. SlackBladder said on 14th April 2013, 3:45

    Also perhaps the team want Webber to Quit his contract and not have to buy him out? the season will tell.

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