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Vettel Sent to Back of Abu Dhabi Grid for Fuel Violation

By James Fish
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 3, 2012 Last Updated: November 5, 2012
Related articles: Sports » Motorsports
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Sebastian Vettel stands next to his empty RB8 near the end of qualifying for the Formula One Adu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel was penalized for running out of gas. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel stands next to his empty RB8 near the end of qualifying for the Formula One Adu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel was penalized for running out of gas. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

What had already been a less-than-stellar weekend for Red Bull got worse when two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was sent to the back of the starting grid of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for not having enough fuel left in his car at the end of qualifying.

Vettel, who had qualified third after missing all but one lap of P3 with brake issues and hitting the wall slightly in Q2, was ordered by his engine techs to shut off his car after finishing his hot lap in Q3. The Red Bull driver left his car at Turn 18 and hitched a ride back to the garages with the medical car.

There had been speculation that his contact with the wall in Q2 had caused some gearbox issue which showed up on telemetry; instead, it seems his engineers saw that he was about to drain the fuel tank.

Unfortunately for the team, the command to quit came a bit too late. F1 rules require one liter be left in the fuel tank for testing purposes, and Red Bull failed to comply.

Vettel was not penalized for parking his car; race stewards recognized that he didn’t have enough fuel to finish the lap.

However, Vettel was penalized for low fuel. “A report was received from the Technical Delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes,” reads a report on formula1.com, the official website of the series.

“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.”

This is good and bad news for Red Bull fans: now they know the car has no mechanical issues and should have no trouble finishing the race. However, Vettel will be hard-pressed to pass 23 other cars to contest the lead, particularly as Yas Marina is a tough track for overtaking.

Vettel’s banishment to the back might be just the break Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso needs to stay in the championship chase. However, Alonso is starting seventh,. He will also need to overtake some very fast cars to earn the points he needs.

Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes the starting lights at 8 a.m. Eastern on Sunday, Nov.4. The race will be televised in the U.S. on Speed-TV.

North American viewers, be sure to set your clocks back an hour, but if you don’t you won’t miss the race; you will just get to watch more of the pre-race show on Speed-TV.

Live Timing and Scoring is available on the official F1 website, formula1.com.

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 Revised Starting Grid

Qualifying: Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

#

driver

team

grid

4

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren-Mercedes

1

2

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

2

18

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

3

9

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

4

3

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

5

5

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

6

8

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

7

6

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

8

10

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

9

12

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India-Mercedes

10

15

Sergio Perez

Sauber-Ferrari

11

11

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

12

7

Michael Schumacher

Mercedes

13

19

Bruno Senna

Williams-Renault

14

14

Kamui Kobayashi

Sauber-Ferrari

15

16

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

16

17

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

17

20

Heikki Kovalainen

Caterham-Renault

18

25

Charles Pic

Marussia-Cosworth

19

21

Vitaly Petrov

Caterham-Renault

20

24

Timo Glock

Marussia-Cosworth

21

22

Pedro de la Rosa

HRT-Cosworth

22

23

Narain Karthikeyan

HRT-Cosworth

23

1

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

24




   

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