Webber sent to back of Shanghai grid
13 April 2013 – Mark Webber has been sent to the back of the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix. The Australian, who ground to a halt during the second phase of qualifying, had just 150ml of fuel on-board his Red Bull, well below the one litre requirement for sampling.
In the past, a 'force majeure' argument had been in place, but due to the ambiguous nature of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel's respective penalties in Spain and Abu Dhabi last year it was decided that the rule should be deleted for this season.
With Webber's car unable to be driven back to the pit lane under its own power and the necessary amount of fuel missing, the stewards were left with no option but to apply the penalty. Red Bull openly admitted to the miscalculation in the report.
"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 1 litre fuel sample and drive the car back to the pits under its
own power," explained a statement issued by the stewards after qualifying.
The need for fuel sampling is covered in article 6.6 of the technical regulations:
6.6 Fuel draining and sampling:
6.6.1 Competitors must provide a means of removing all fuel from the car.
6.6.2 Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the Event. After a practice session, if a car has not been driven back to the pits under its own power, it will be required to supply the above mentioned sample plus the amount of fuel that would have been consumed to drive back to the pits. The additional amount of fuel will be determined by the FIA.
6.6.3 All cars must be fitted with a –2 'Symetrics' male fitting in order to facilitate fuel sampling. If an electric pump on board the car cannot be used to remove the fuel an externally connected one may be used provided it is evident that a representative fuel sample is being taken. If an external pump is used it must be possible to connect the FIA sampling hose to it and any hose between the car and pump must be -3 in diameter and not exceed 2m in length. Details of the fuel sampling hose may be found in the Appendix to these regulations.
6.6.4 The sampling procedure must not necessitate starting the engine or the removal of bodywork (other than the cover over the refuelling connector).'
Red Bull reaction:
Webber not giving up on points finish