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. 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.

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

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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Clem said on 14th April 2013, 5:25

    What a PR nightmare for redbull does anyone still remember when they were a fun team that only were in f1 to race and promote red bull as a young person’s fun drink Now they are becoming a ‘team’ that is nothing but the macro and vettel show What a shame I hope mark walks away from them with his head held high.

  12. DavidS (@davids) said on 14th April 2013, 6:04

    If RBR intentionally underfuelled Webber’s car to sabotage his race, why did they do it in Q2, and not Q3?
    Surely, making him burn up an extra set of tyres which could be used in the race, and then having him run out of fuel would be a more effective sabotage.

    Or, maybe it was just a mistake.

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