Vettel sent to back of Abu Dhabi grid

Vettel sent to back of Abu Dhabi grid

3 November 2012 – Following an investigation which spanned almost five hours, championship leader Sebastian Vettel has been sent to the back of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix grid. In a dramatic twist for the 2012 World Championship, this leaves Fernando Alonso in sixth position and with a golden opportunity to reduce the points margin.

Not dissimilar to the post-qualifying investigation that saw Lewis Hamilton demoted from pole position in Spain, the Vettel news quickly became the only hot topic in the Yas Marina paddock as an endless wait commenced shortly after the qualifying session. A decision was finally made public shortly before 11 o’clock at night.

As qualifying finished, in which Vettel finished third behind Hamilton and Mark Webber, the German parked his car underneath the Yas Hotel crossover on the exit of Turn 18. Fears of a penalty were quickly aroused when Team Principal Christian Horner confirmed that the issue was ‘fuel-related’. Under Article 6.6.2 of the Technical Regulations, the FIA states that all cars must be able to provide at least one litre of fuel for a sample.

Following a dinner break for FIA delegate Charlie Whiting, the waiting media were continuously given time estimates for when to expect news. Eventually, the stewards – including ex driver Derek Warwick, who ironically was also on the panel for the German Grand Prix, when Red Bull was almost thrown out of the race for diffuser-blowing activities – announced that ‘evidence showed the reason why the car was stopped’.

The statement continued:

‘A report was received from the Technical Delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes.’

Later on, Horner argued that there had been enough fuel in the car for a sample.

“The rules say that one litre has to be provided without the removal of bodywork,” he explained. “It is our belief that the fuel is in the cell (tank), according to what (engine supplier) Renault have told us, but you’re not allowed to dismantle the cell to give a sample. The car will now be worked on overnight, so it’s out of Parc Fermé conditions.”

By the time the season draws to a close in three weeks’ time, tonight’s events could have a massive bearing. Vettel heads into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a 13-point lead over Alonso and Red Bull has confirmed that their driver will start from the pit lane.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------How it happened:

6pm: Qualifying finishes with Vettel stopping on-track after Turn 18
8pm approx: Vettel exits stewards’ office, joined by Renault technicians and smiling
9pm approx: Decision delayed as Charlie Whiting and FIA staff are dining
10:02pm: Paddock feeling that news will be released in 15 minutes’ time
10:19pm: Press told to wait for another five minutes
10:28pm: Another five-minute wait predicted by media members
10:30pm: Horner exits stewards’ office for second time; says decision now coming
10:40pm: Stewards confirm that Vettel is disqualified from qualifying

Local Abu Dhabi time: GMT +4
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 22 November 2014

  2. 17:30

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Abu Dhabi

    F1
  3. Red Bull drivers excluded from qualifying 17:29

    Red Bull drivers excluded from qualifying

    Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have been excluded from qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after...

    F1
  4. Red Bull referred to stewards over front wing 16:48

    Red Bull referred to stewards over front wing

    Red Bull has been referred to the stewards after governing body the FIA declared its front wing illegal at the Abu Dhabi...

    F1
  5. Alonso expects 'uphill struggle' in race 16:20

    Alonso expects 'uphill struggle' in race

    Fernando Alonso says he expects to endure an "uphill struggle" on his final appearance for Ferrari in the Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
  6. 15:49

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday in Abu Dhabi

    GP2
  7. Vandoorne dominates in Abu Dhabi win 15:48

    Vandoorne dominates in Abu Dhabi win

    McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne dominated proceedings to claim his fourth victory of the season in the GP2 Feature Race...

    GP2
  8. Stevens left to rue Turn 17 mistake 15:37

    Stevens left to rue Turn 17 mistake

    Will Stevens was left to ponder what might have been after an error tarnished his final lap in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix...

    F1
  9. Bottas: Beating Ferrari remains the goal 15:22

    Bottas: Beating Ferrari remains the goal

    Valtteri Bottas says securing third in the Constructors' standings, ahead of Ferrari, remains Williams' target at the Abu...

    F1
  10. Force India confirms 'multi-year' Pérez deal 15:06

    Force India confirms 'multi-year' Pérez deal

    Force India has confirmed that Sergio Pérez will remain with the team next season and beyond, after the Mexican signed a new...

    F1
  11. Hamilton: I'm still there for the fight 14:51

    Hamilton: I'm still there for the fight

    Lewis Hamilton says he is pleased to be "there for the fight" after qualifying second for the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
  12. Rosberg: Pole just a small step towards title 14:38

    Rosberg: Pole just a small step towards title

    Nico Rosberg says pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is just a "small step" towards his ultimate goal of claiming...

    F1
  13. 14:08

    In full: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying results

    F1
  14. Rosberg on pole for Abu Dhabi title decider 14:07

    Rosberg on pole for Abu Dhabi title decider

    Nico Rosberg stormed to pole position during Saturday evening's qualifying session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, comfortably...

    F1
  15. Van der Garde leaves Abu Dhabi early 13:31

    Van der Garde leaves Abu Dhabi early

    Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde has left the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix prematurely due to the team contravening the...

    F1
  16. 12:45

    Follow qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  17. Horner eyes new F1 engines for 2016 12:11

    Horner eyes new F1 engines for 2016

    Mercedes' rivals are eyeing significant changes to the power unit regulations if the German manufacturer refuses to agree on...

    F1
  18. 11:08

    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Free Practice 3 results

    F1
  19. Rosberg moves ahead in final practice 11:05

    Rosberg moves ahead in final practice

    Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets during Saturday afternoon's final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, moving...

    F1
  20. 09:46

    Follow FP3 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  21. 08:42

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday in Abu Dhabi

    GP3
  22. Stoneman takes fifth GP3 win of 2014 08:41

    Stoneman takes fifth GP3 win of 2014

    Koiranen driver Dean Stoneman claimed his fifth victory of the season in the first race of the final GP3 round at the Yas...

    GP3
  23. Lynn remains hopeful over Toro Rosso seat 07:22

    Lynn remains hopeful over Toro Rosso seat

    Newly-crowned GP3 champion Alex Lynn is remaining hopeful that he will be picked by Red Bull bosses to join Max Verstappen...

    F1
  24. 07:19

    Latest FE photos: Saturday in Putrajaya

    Formula E
  25. Bird cruises to victory in Malaysia ePrix 07:18

    Bird cruises to victory in Malaysia ePrix

    Sam Bird claimed victory in the second round of the Formula E Championship around the streets of Putrajaya in...

    Formula E
  26. Video of the Day: Vettel disguised as mechanic 05:17

    Video of the Day: Vettel disguised as mechanic

    Sebastian Vettel disguises himself as a wild mechanic with Tirendo to surprise customers.

    F1
  27. Friday 21 November 2014

  28. 18:10

    Latest F1 photos: Friday in Abu Dhabi

    F1
  29. Stevens relishes 'steep learning curve' 18:09

    Stevens relishes 'steep learning curve'

    Will Stevens says he is revelling in the "steep learning curve" of his Formula 1 debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The...

    F1
  30. Magnussen buoyed by McLaren updates 17:46

    Magnussen buoyed by McLaren updates

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen was encouraged by the upgrades he tested during Friday practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand...

    F1
  31. Ricciardo wants farewell battle with Vettel 17:32

    Ricciardo wants farewell battle with Vettel

    Daniel Ricciardo hopes to be involved in a scrap with Sebastian Vettel during their final race together as Red Bull...

    F1
  32. Alonso halted by electrical problem 17:25

    Alonso halted by electrical problem

    Ferrari has confirmed that an electrical problem was to blame for Fernando Alonso sitting out most of Friday's second...

    F1
  33. Williams not concerned by bodywork issues 17:06

    Williams not concerned by bodywork issues

    Rob Smedley has played down the bodywork problems that struck both Williams cars during first practice for the Abu Dhabi...

    F1
  34. Ocon pleased with Formula 1 practice debut 16:25

    Ocon pleased with Formula 1 practice debut

    Esteban Ocon was pleased with the progress he made during his Formula 1 practice debut at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ocon,...

    F1
  35. Hamilton 'making good steps' in Abu Dhabi 16:02

    Hamilton 'making good steps' in Abu Dhabi

    Lewis Hamilton was satisfied with the work he completed en route to topping both of Friday's practice sessions for the Abu...

    F1
  36. 15:47

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday in Abu Dhabi

    GP2
  37. Vandoorne surges to fourth straight GP2 pole 15:46

    Vandoorne surges to fourth straight GP2 pole

    Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his fourth consecutive pole position after topping Friday's qualifying session for the final round...

    GP2
  38. 14:33

    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  39. Hamilton stays on top in second practice 14:32

    Hamilton stays on top in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton remained fastest during Friday evening's second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, although...

    F1
  40. Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty 12:49

    Grosjean given 20-place grid penalty

    Romain Grosjean has been given a 20-place grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after the Lotus driver took on sixth...

    F1
  41. 12:49

    Follow FP2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

    F1
  42. Administrator: Three weeks to save Caterham 11:53

    Administrator: Three weeks to save Caterham

    Caterham's administrator reckons there are just three weeks to find a buyer if the team is to compete in Formula 1 next...

    F1
more news