Horner: Renault believe Vettel had enough fuel

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says Red Bull engine supplier Renault believe Sebastian Vettel had sufficient fuel in his car to give a sample and avoid his penalty, but it couldn’t all be retrieved.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Sebastian Vettel grid penalty frustrating – Horner (BBC, UK only)

Christian Horner: “Renault are convinced that the rest of the fuel is in the tank […] we need to get into the fuel cell to understand what the issue is.”

350 Milliliter zu wenig Sprit f???r Vettel (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

AMuS say Vettel needed a total of 1.2 litres of fuel (one litre for the sample plus more to return to the pits) and fell short by 350ml.

$500,000 offered by Bernie Ecclestone to shop a cheat (Daily Express)

“My budget cap allows them to spend what they like on anything within that limit. People within teams know if something is going on. An incentive of $500,000 [312,000] might encourage people to speak out.”

Mark Webber slams Melbourne Cup and Australia’s gambling obsession; get your Sports Fix (Herald Sun)

“I’m not a big fan of how much it’s rammed down your throat in Australia, in terms of how you can bet on who farts at what stage in a football match. It’s incredible how obsessed we’ve become with gambling and betting, but each to their own.”

Bruton Smith scoffs at Austin F1 race (ESPN)

“Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said Formula One racing ‘never has worked in this country’ and he has no concerns about its upcoming race in Austin affecting tickets sales to future events at Texas Motor Speedway.”

Q&A with F1 Austin’s mastermind (Austin Business Journal)

Tavo Hellmund: “As far as from a partnership side, we agreed to part ways. But I designed the layout of the track, I named the track, and I brought three of the big events to the facility, so I’m going to be a big cheerleader for them. I’ll be disappointed if everything doesn’t go great.”

Murdoch wants F1: Abu Dhabi talks could spark a revolution in the sport (Daily Mirror)

“Buying into Formula One would also open the door to the Murdochs’ dismantling one of the key foundations of the sport – coverage by terrestrial television worldwide.”

V8s left on the grid as F1 takes spotlight (The Age)

“Being on the supporting program of an F1 event means a guest racing category will play second fiddle to the main event, but treatment verging on disdain is another matter altogether. As well as the derisively short races, on top of severely restricted practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, the teams, officials and most of the travelling media have been penned in the support paddock far from the F1 paddock and main grandstand.”

Abu Dhabi GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel (before his penalty was announced): “It’s difficult to pass here, even though you’ve got long straights, we’ve got the double DRS so we’ll see if that helps. I’m sure it’s not impossible. It’s definitely possible to pass people, even though it’s not easy but, y’know, race pace should be good.”

KERS mistake cost Schumacher (Autosport)

Ross Brawn: “I think he got the engine braking wrong, what we call KERS harvesting – the way you collect the KERS and the way you use the KERS.”

Ayrton’s my biggest reference in life: Nephew Bruno Senna (The Telegraph, Calcutta)

“Q: Having lost her husband and brother to crashes, isn’t your mother scared?
A: Initially, she was… But I had a big crash in 2006 [at Snetterton in Formula Three] and that happened in front of her eyes. She saw the car and, then, saw me… The car was a wreck, but I was fine. That’s when she began to believe that motor racing is much more safe nowadays. Now, she’s more relaxed when I’m racing.”

Q&A with Red Bull’s Adrian Newey (F1)

“Early in the year we had odd races where we have been very competitive, but we weren’t able to sustain the form from track to track. That was a combination of things: partly because it seemed that some cars did get on better at certain circuits with the tyres – which are very critical to manage this year – and secondly it was us having to get to grips over the winter on exhaust systems and front-wing flexibility.”

No stopping Newey the genius (The Telegraph)

“I’m quite fortunate in that outside of the immediate vicinity of the race track, say, I can go to the pub and the shops and no one recognises me, which suits me just fine to be honest.”


Comment of the day

Ranting par excellence from @Hairs

I’ve been watching the Tweets from the F1 paddock journos this week with disgust while they revel in the “luxury” and opulence of the place, and the stunning facilities. Pinning a bunch of LEDs to something doesn’t make it luxurious, and pampering the media doesn’t prove anything about the race organiser’s intentions other than their intention to pamper the media in the hope of good press.

Would you kindly take your crappy supermarket car park circuit, and its hideously garish, empty, soulless surroundings, and use a fraction of the cash to sponsor a race at a decent circuit, where racing will be produced, where the fans will actually queue up to buy tickets, and the viewer at home will get something out of it.

We don’t need ten-lane wide paddock club walkways in the middle of a desert on a man-made island. We need an awning and decent toilet facilities at Spa.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor shared victory in the non-championship Grand Prix in Mexico City held on this day 50 years ago.

The stewards disqualified Clark after he received a push start, so he took over his team mate’s car during a pit stop, as was permitted at the time. Jack Brabham finished second ahead of Innes Ireland.

Image © Yas Marina/LAT

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84 comments on “Horner: Renault believe Vettel had enough fuel”

  1. There’s a rumor going around… apparently the FIA wont allow RB to take the car out of parc ferme as they are still investigating something. Any truth to it?

    1. @infy – That’s the first I’e heard of it. But it could be true; last night, there were reports that Ferrari had asked the FIA for clarification on a system Red Bull had introduced that allowed them to alter the weight distribution of the car (which is supposed to be fixed) by moving the fuel and water about in the car. Given that Renault and Red Bull are convinced that Vettel had enough fuel in his tank – one explanation for the problem that I heard was that the fuel was in the bladder, but not in the tank itself – the FIA might want to take a closer look at that.

      1. Sweet irony, a system that does not break the rule as written but breaks the spirit of the rule, caught out by a procedure that is true to the word of the rule but not to the spirit of the rule.
        That is if it is all true!
        It would appear that something was preventing fuel from moving to the pick-up point causing the threat to the engine possibly by running lean or the hp fuel pump running dry.

        1. Sweet irony, a system that does not break the rule as written but breaks the spirit of the rule, caught out by a procedure that is true to the word of the rule but not to the spirit of the rule.

          I don’t see how the procedure breaks the spirit of the rule. Yes, it’s intended to stop teams intentionally under-fuelling their cars to gain an advantage, and in that respect it might break the spirit of the rules, given that Red Bull evidently thought they had enough fuel in the car. But that is not the only function of the rule – it is written in such a way that it guarantees teams will provide an adequate sample of fuel for testing so as to prevent them from using illegal and exotic fuel mixes to improve performance. Since Red Bull failed to ensure that sample was supplied, the FIA had no choice but to exclude Vettel from qualifying.

          Also, the reports of Ferrari questioning Red Bull’s latest gizmo came up earlier in the week. It wasn’t discovered because Red Bull failed to fuel the car properly. It will, however, probably be something that the FIA will want to take a much closer look at.

          1. He’s talking about the weight distribution rule when saying the ‘spirit or the rule’ not the fuel check procedure.

          2. There is no check for the weight distribution rule the way there is for fuel samples and flexing body parts. Weight distribution is set. The teams agreed upon that when Pirelli started producing tyres, because they didn’t want anyone to suffer a disadvantage simply because they used a different distribution to the other teams. If Red Bull have a system that allows them to alter their weight distribution, it’s pretty much illegal automatically.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys, I was referring to the possibility that the fuel is in the car trapped behind a baffle designed to optimize weight distribution, so that the car is not gaining an advantage by being lighter, merely by distribution, being caught out by a rule that takes fuel samples from the fuel tank inlet rather than from the outlet where the engine gets it from.
            All of the above based on the speculation preceding.
            BIG question, if the car is ruled illegal what will happen to Webber, is his car the same or is this a Vettel only update?

          4. If there is an actual problem with the cars design, and Webber’s car also has that problem, then he will probably be disqualified. I would think anyway.

            But I can’t see any reason why directing fuel to certain parts of the tank could be illegal, In fact I’m rather sure they all do it. So if anything I’d say Webber is safe, and perhaps Red Bull need to tweak their design so that all the fuel can be extracted.

          5. @mike

            But I can’t see any reason why directing fuel to certain parts of the tank could be illegal, In fact I’m rather sure they all do it

            My understanding is that Ferrari questioned the practice of moving fuel and water to secondary tanks within the car alter the weight distribution. This would potentially be illegal because weight distribution is set by the rules; this rule was proposed and agreed upon by the teams last year because they didn’t want someone to be unfairly disadvantaged by having a unique weight distribution that affected the performance of the Pirelli tyres.

          6. Oh, secondary tanks. Now that is another issue altogether.

            Is weight distribution tested with or without fuel/driver etc? And how much fuel?

            I’m not so sure that the weight distribution requirements would be affected by fuel quantities, just because it makes things ridiculously complicated. My guess is the weight distribution is before fueling.

          7. As prisM says secondary tanks would definitely be illegal,( if only on safety grounds for fuel )but it is possible that the internal baffles have been fitted with flap valves to try and accumulate all the fuel into one compartment when less than half full.

          8. @mike – Information on exactly what is happening is scarce, so I’ve had to cobble together a theory on what is going on. I have to stress that this is pure speculation and probably won’t hold up to scrutiny.

            As near as I can tell, the idea is that Red Bull have developed a system whereby there are effectively two fuel tanks within the one bladder. These are strategically arranged so that the fuel can be moved from the larger tank to the smaller, thereby optimising the weight distribution at all times. The downside to this system is that both tanks have to be manually drained to clear them, because if fuel can move back and forth between them unaided, the system does nothing. It appears that when Vettel had to pull over at the end of Q3, some of the fuel got trapped in the wrong place. The stewards drew the fuel sample from the primary tank, but because some of the fuel was trapped, they could not get a full litre and Vettel was moved to the back of the grid.

          9. @hohum , @prisoner-monkeys It seems every F1 tank is made of cells blocking the fuel in certain parts or the tank and that’s quite important to have less mass movement under braking for example. Now they probably wouldn’t have to many difficulties to have that system arranged so that with lower fuel, the fuel stays in the cells they want for a beter weight distribution. The question would be is it passive or not ?

            Still Ferrari seizing another oppportunity there, they look quite desperate …

            But I’m surprised we got 2 penalty for “not enough fuel” from drivers stopping on track. That would be surprising if that were the 2 only cases where there was not enough fuel, do they take automatically 1L from each car after it’s out of quali ? As this send them to the back of the grid, everyone in between should be checked …

          10. I think Ferrari are desperate, but if they can get Red Bull in trouble, and force then to redesign part of there car, or go back to an earlier version, then that’s all in there effort to fight for the championship.

      2. I saw some rumours on twitter that Renault engined cars are allowed to move around extra cooling fluid to improve reliability — but that red bull are using this to change their weight distribution.

        1. That’s ingenuity at it’s cleverest!

        2. After seeing more on Ferraris complaint, I think the most likely explanation is that RBR are using liquid cooling for the DRS and possibly alternator, fuel issues may be red-herring, @prisoner-monkeys,@thejudge13 and everybody.

  2. Weren’t Red Bull adamant about their front wings NOT being flexible? Sounds like Newey is saying the opposite.

    1. @mtiracer, I think they were adamant that the wing was legal, lawyertalk.

      1. @hohum

        They were just as legal as McLarens front wing.

        Which had to be stiffened for the harder tests as well.

    2. @mtlracer not sure but I think FIA changed the way they test wing flexibility since last year. Maybe that’s what Newey’s referring to.

      On the other hand: https://www.racefans.net/groups/f1/forum/topic/red-bulls-front-wings-arent-flexing-but/?topic_page=4&num=15

    3. Just a note, Flexible body work isn’t illegal. Simply put, all parts of a car will flex to a certain extent. However, certain parts must not flex by certain amounts, dictated by tests.

      The idea, they should not flex, is different from the tests that govern by how much they can flex.

      1. @mike – The problem is that some parts are clearly intended to flex to offer aerodynamic gain, and designed in such a way to pass all of the scruitineers’ tests. That’s what the FIA needs to stamp out.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys it’s hard to police that kind of thing, tho. Everything will flex, one way or another. How to test it, that’s the problem.

          1. That’s what I meant, everything is legal if it fits the rules.

          2. @fer-no65 – While parts will flex under normal conditions, they will only flex so far. There is undoubtedly a way to measure this. Once an allowable tolerance has been established, it should not be difficult for the stewards to prosecute anyone whose parts flex beyond the tolerated values.

            Last year, the FIA doubled its load tests from 50kg to 100kg in order to catch out illegally-flexing parts, but the cars were passing the tests with ease. I suspect that this was for one of two reasons (or possibly both):

            1) The parts were only seen to be flexing once the cars achieved a certain speed. This suggests that more than 100kg of downforce was being applied at the time. I’ve heard that the cars generate up to half a tonne of downforce, so weights at the higher end of that figure would be appropriate.

            2) The weights in the load test were being applied directly on top of the parts in question. However, while downforce pushes the car down, it does not come directly down on top of it. Air flows over the car, from the front, going up over those parts, so I think the FIA may have been applying the weights in the wrong place.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys and that’s what I mean with “how to test it, that’s the problem”.

            The tests are quite far from being the real thing. 100 kg applied directly to the wing is quite a simple test…

          4. And easy to work around.

  3. Drop Valencia!
    4th November 2012, 0:35

    Webber is right yet again on gambling, it is getting out of control in the last 2 years, you are encouraged to gamble on everything at every oppotunity now, and even the big US gambling sites are basing themselves here now, horrid. love the Melbourne Cup though, it is what it is.

    1. thatscienceguy
      4th November 2012, 0:42

      Yeah it’s ridiculous at the moment. Advertising is out of control, it would have to be far and away the most advertised industry on tv, and betting in integrated into the telecasts of most sports too. When I become PM there will be changes…..

      1. Someone call Andrew Wilkie so he can hold the country hostage again with his ill thought-out gambling reforms.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Wilkie’s reforms were to do with pokies and preventing problem gamblers. Whether or not you think they would work, they had nothing to do with sports betting.
          More to the point, while I believe having a bet on Melbourne cup day is mostly harmless and good fun, I can’t stand the fact that ever sports broadcast nowadays tells me the odds for the match/race/whatever. I watch sport for the enjoyment, and especially F1 (in footy I do have my favourite team to barrack for. I can’t imagine watching tonight’s race with money riding on a driver, when all I want to do is watch an exciting race. I think I’ll just stick to the predictions championships (also having watched many a live stream of SkyF1, I get the sense that this is just as bad in the UK).

          1. Wilkie’s reforms were to do with pokies and preventing problem gamblers. Whether or not you think they would work, they had nothing to do with sports betting.

            I was being facetious. I’m well aware that Wilkie’s reforms were limited to poker machines – but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pounced on Webber’s comments to try and force through reforms on sports betting. He’s always struck me as a Moral Crusader, someone who sees something that he feels is wrong, and so decides to do something about it, thinking that he is an expert simply because he has an opinion.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys

            I think you don’t understand how much of a problem gambling is in our society, now you and me, we don’t have a problem with it, because we’re not vulnerable. But there are people, an alarming of people, who gamble on a regular basis, lose lots of money, and can’t get out of the habit.

            Gambling is one thing, but what we have is more exploitation than entertainment, and that, is not ok.

            Look at the profits coming from crown casino and then think how they made most of that money.

            And secondly, isn’t it a good thing that we have an independent who actually acts as one? Who is in parliament doing what he thinks is right, and not just what his bosses tell him to say?

            Gambling is a problem in Australia. It is almost unregulated.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys I don’t care who takes charge of the issue, just as long as they get rid of those terribly annoying Tom Waterhouse ads that run every 30 seconds during a sporting event! Can’t stand them: “I was **** at Rugby, Tennis, AFL, racing, lawn bowls, pretty much everything, but I’ll gladly take your money and pretend that I’m not in this inherited position of business superiority because of my mum..”

    2. Thanks Mark, sports betting is rammed down our throats. How about regulating sports betting ads like we do with tobacco.

      1. Yeah, there are some shonky practices going on at the moment – like Tom Waterhouse offering a guarantee on “It’s A Dundeel” to win the Melbourne Cup whereby the agency will give you your money back if the horse doesn’t win. To me, that’s just plain irresponsible. Especially when you get other agencies making the same guarantee, but only refunding the bet if the horse comes second; if it finishes third or lower, you lose your money.

    3. I love how WEB tells it like he sees it. So many sports ppl these days hide behind the issues and only jump on bandwagons. Webber is a true Australian, and makes me proud :)

    4. It’s the same n the UK, there is countless betting adverts on the TV, particularly when there is Football on.

      Hate it myself.

  4. Formula One really is in danger of shooting itself in the foot if they believe that it can thrive with pay TV only. I would say that I have gone from watching almost every session down to about 60% of the sessions since the BBC/Sky share. The main reason is not that I can’t access Sky, it’s rather that our Sky television is in the family room and I am not going to force four people to watch something they don’t want to for two hours, plus if I tried to come between my dad and Super Sunday football, I don’t think I’d live to tell the tale.

    Sidebar: given that Sky has already my (father’s) money, do they actually care if I watch or not?

    We have seen how much boxing and more recently cricket have become way less mainstream since they started chasing PPV money, the same thing would surely happen to Formula 1. I think some grands prix have had more than 6 million watchers on the Beeb yet with Sky exclusives it is regularly below 1 million.

    The move to PPV would surely condemn F1 to forever being a niche sport.

    1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      4th November 2012, 2:51

      Living in a country where F1 is exclusively on Pay-TV, I agree with you completely.

      Here, the cost of watching F1, let alone any sport, has always been astronomical, given the ridiculous duopoly of television service providers we have. Watching football, for instance, requires you to fork over an arm and a leg, and you’d pretty much lose your limbs altogether if you wanted to follow motorsport. During all sessions, we have ads every 10 minutes. Free practice sessions are rarely, if ever, aired. There is only 1 race a year on free-to-air television, which is, needless to say, the home grand prix.

      The results have been stark.

      Despite the popularity of the local grand prix, F1 remains a niche sport. People enjoy the concept of formula racing, but cannot be convinced to fork over such a hefty sum for an annual subscription. Such fees have perpetuated the image that F1 is a sport only for the enjoyment of the rich, yet the sport has shown that it can reach the masses if it were free-to-air, like in countries such as Germany, and previously, the UK.

      I’ve gone around asking my non-F1 fan friends about it, and from their responses, I’m sure that if F1 were on free-to-air, it would have a much larger, more loyal following. Too bad that the drive for business success and record profits tends to leave fans in the dust.

      (Rant over, glad I got that off my chest)

      1. Well said @bobthevulcan, not only are the fans losing out but the team sponsors and therefore the teams also.
        This is a recipe for SHORT TERM profits in order to pay of debt and sell the business at the expense of long term growth and success.

        1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
          4th November 2012, 4:56

          @hohum – Agreed. Moving F1 to Pay-TV may make some business sense in the short term, but in the long run, it will inevitably shrink the fan base and eat into TV revenues and sponsorship revenues, ultimately damaging the sport.

      2. @bobthevulcan – It’s incredibly unlikely that the teams will agree to any arrangement whereby Formula 1 is only available on pay-per-view. Such an arrangement would require significant changes to the Concorde Agreement, and while that is currently up for renewal, it is simply far too late for the broadcast rights to be restructured. Especially considering that a final draft of the Concorde has already been written up.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          4th November 2012, 6:49

          Maybe bernie already sorted it, we don’t know whats in it just that the teams all seem to be happy with their deal.

        2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
          4th November 2012, 7:25

          @prisoner-monkeys – Just to clarify, by:

          whereby Formula 1 is only available on pay-per-view

          You do mean internationally, right? My comment only reflected the domestic situation in my own country. Of course it wouldn’t be practical for F1 to be available on Pay-per-view worldwide.

  5. Imperious Duck makes a welcome return to the front page, where he can view his adoring fans.

    Tributes can be laid at the feet of the colossus of Rhodes. Burnt offerings should be of the porcine variety.

  6. In regards to The Age article about the V8 Supercars, I can’t help but feel both categories this weekend have missed a trick, passing up a great opportunity to have two competitive championships racing at the same event, at a place which generally lacks atmosphere and seems to struggle to pull a good crowd (I seem to recall the capacity is about 40,000, and the stands have not been full the whole weekend). I certainly can’t understand why Bernie and Formula 1 would want to limit the international expansion of V8 Supercars, as that category is never going to overtake F1 in importance, but a few successful events in (hypothetically) places like India or Korea, may give a circuit a chance to make a decent profit, and also promote motorsport in that country, as opposed to having one expensive race a year and nothing else.
    For the V8 Supercars, I can certainly see the appeal of supporting a Grand Prix, but trading a full weekend of 400km of racing for about 190km seems fairly silly. I’m sure whoever organised this deal could have organised a chance for a better format, after all, if Monaco has a full GP3 and GP2 weekend running, I’m sure Abu Dhabi can cope with a full F1/V8 weekend.

    1. Lots of people have thought that they had a good deal going with Bernie only to find out later that they should have been more specific in the contract regarding exactly what they would get.
      Bernie wouldn’t want people to find the support race more exciting than the main event.

      1. @hohum – The problem with V8 Supercars isn’t that they’re dealing with Bernie, or that they’re supporting Formula 1. The problem with V8 Supercars is that they’re in Abu Dhabi, and they have no business being there. They never have. The only reason why they’re on the support bill this year is because GP2 isn’t going to Abu Dhabi anymore.

        1. I fail to see why the geographic location of the track is responsible.

          1. @hohum – Because V8 Supercars shouldn’t be going to Abu Dhabi in the first place. There is absolutely no reason to, whoever they are dealing with when they get over there. The races in Abu Dhabi have consistently been among the lowest-rated among audiences ever since the series started going over there in 2010. Why is it so important that a domestic racing series goes to Abu Dhabi, when fine circuits like Eastern Creek are forced to miss out on hosting races? If they’re complaining about being mistreated by Formula 1, they really only have themselves to blame.

          2. thatscienceguy
            4th November 2012, 13:00

            They do have business going there. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t.
            The V8 Supercars want to expand internationally. This is no secret. And if the Abu Dhabi authorities want to pay them to fulfil one of their aims, that makes it their business.

            Just because you say something doesn’t make it true.

  7. Shame to hear about the treatment of the V8s, they should take their wares elsewhere where they’ll be more appreciated. Better than this stupid carpark of a track anyway.

  8. This is somethig to do with the concern people have over Maldonado starting 3rd (and a true story): I was making pasta last night before Qualifying and it was looking really promising until the bowl I put it in fell off the counter top and smashed all over the floor.. Bits of white china bowl and pasta everywhere.
    My girlfriend walked up to me, looked at the mess, and asked “what was it?”
    I replied glumly “it was pasta”. She then looks at me and says “looks like you were cooking ‘Pasta Maldonado’..”

    The moral of my story is, he looks promising, in a nice car with good top speed. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up in pieces by Turn 1 much like my dinner.

    1. My policy with women who know enough to make an F1 reference: put a ring on that!

      But I digress. I do hope Pasta can pick up some good points for Williams, and if he must take himself out, hopefully he doesn’t take Alonso with him.

  9. Does Christian Horner expect anyone to actually believe that RBR simply “misplaced” 1 litre of fuel somewhere inside the fuel tank?

    1. @oblong_cheese – I think the more-challenging question is how the hell Red Bull managed to lose fuel inside their own fuel tank in the first place. When you really think about it, it’s almost Python-esque in its absurdity.

      1. That’s indeed the question @prisoner-monkeys! I was inclined to think “fuel pump issue” but then car has trouble getting fuel to the engine, but the main reservoir where the pump is would still be filled enough to provide a sample. And the other trap doors (as @ScarbsF1 describes them) seem to be simple one-way doors. What is RBR doing more complicated that makes that a failure scenario?

  10. As usual Webber is on the money.

    1. I couldn’t give a rats about the Melbourne Cup/horse racing, either. I don’t understand why it appeals to so many people in Victoria/Australia/around the world.

  11. Horner’s argue is ********. the rule saying you should be able to collect 1 litre of fuel without removing bodywork and it applies to everybody especially to Mclaren in Spain.

  12. “Christian Horner: “Renault are convinced that the rest of the fuel is in the tank […] we need to get into the fuel cell to understand what the issue is.”

    Ok, so now this is really MIND BOGGLING. The fuel is there, but it can’t be retrieved. Do they really take the FIA and the rest of us as idiots?

    1. i think for yes

  13. I smell a rat. Opting to start from the pit lane is a significant incremental penalty over starting 24th on the grid. Why would Red Bull do this? – some conspiracy theories for those who enjoy them (1500 word article too long to summarise here http://wp.me/p2HWOP-kV

    1. and too late 03:55 GMT Night all……

    2. I couldn’t have said it better myself. As you say it is all speculation, but well reasoned speculation given what is being reported.

    3. Dude, you have one hell of a point overlooked here.

      Vettel was short by just 150ml of providing a valid quantity of fuel to the FIA. Had the car been stopped a few hundred metres earlier there would have been the 1 lite required in the car.

      This is all irrelevant, since you are required to come back to pits too. So no matter where he stopped on the track, he didn’t come to pits do to lack of fuel, because he needs to come to pits on his own AND have enough fuel for sampling.

      1. Not true. If you read the FIA judgement, they initially accepted Red Bull’s reasons for stopping the car as force majeure. No penalty.

        Subsequently, the scrutineers (who start with car no.1 in the line and work their way down to Vettel’s which is last after being recovered) informed the FIA there was a problem with the quantity of the fuel sample.

        The FIA then reversed the force majeure decision – no penalty – and imposed the start at the back of the grid penalty which now stands.

        As I said in my article, Red Bull had clearly found a plausable reason for stopping the car on the in lap which the stewards accepted – unlike McLaren in Barcelona who said “we cocked up”.

    4. @thejudge13 – I think that there is one small problem with your theory: namely, that the FIA was requested to clarify the system used by Red Bull. This means that the stewards would investigate the system first-hand. Assuming that it exists, they would have seen it for themselves.

      Now, your theory is that Red Bull opted for a pit lane start in order to remove parts of the system. The problem is that the stewards have already seen it, so if the car is presented at the end of the race without it, the stewards will notice. As far as we know, the request for clarification has not been resolved, but even if it has been, the stewards will need to consider the possibility that Vettel’s fuel problem was a result of the fuel redistribution system, especially considering that the parts in question have the potential to alter any ruling. They will want to take a closer look, and the team will be required to present those parts for inspection, at which point the stewards will go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Any evidence of changes since qualifying will show themselves, which is unlikely to go over well with the stewards.

      And if the team fails to present the parts upon request, the stewards may be inclined to start asking questions why. If they suspect foul play, they could probably refuse to inspect the cars at future races – thereby preventing the team from racing – until the parts are presented.

      1. Having met this year 2 part time (ie they are not paid enough to live on but still attend each race weekend and are attached to 2 specific teams) FIA appointed scrutineers, you clearly don’t understand how amateurish the whole process is.

        One of them had an engineering degree – but it was in Chemical engineering. He was 24 years of age.

        Had Vettel’s car had 1 litre of fuel after being returned on the recovery vehicle – that would most likely have been sufficient for them to pass the fuel sample test.

        If you read the FIA statement on what happened, Red Bull claimed technical problems forced them to shut down the car. The stewards at that point accepted this explanation and enforced no penalty – citing force majeure.

        About an hour later the car was subsequently found to have only 850ml for a fuel sample so Vettel was then disqualified from the session for not having the full 1 litre fuel sample required.

        By the way, Charlie went for dinner 2 hours into the debacle and returned a couple of hours later. Race management of safety cars, marshaling and post session decisions is beyond amateurish and needs to be sorted.

        1. If you read the FIA statement on what happened, Red Bull claimed technical problems forced them to shut down the car. The stewards at that point accepted this explanation and enforced no penalty – citing force majeure.

          About an hour later the car was subsequently found to have only 850ml for a fuel sample so Vettel was then disqualified from the session for not having the full 1 litre fuel sample required.

          I’m well aware of what happened. And that is easily explained by the procedure: Red Bull were called to the stewards as soon as qualifying ended, because stopping on the circuit is frowned upon. They get called straight away – in fact, the act of summoning them is merely a formality, since the teams know that stopping on the circuit on their inlap automatically results in a visit to the stewards’ office.

          When they were called, the team gave their explanation. The car was then sent to scruitineering, where it was found that they were short on fuel, and they were subsequently excluded from qualifying. When the team was first summoned to the stewards, the stewards had no reason to believe that the car was short on fuel, or else they would have excluded Vettel then and there.

          You seem to be assuming that the stewards knew Vettel was short on fuel when Red Bull was called before them the first time and/or that they had time to take a fuel sample beforehand. This is why I’ve never particularly liked your blog – you come to a conclusion, and then you assume that any discrepancies are mistakes made by whoever you’re criticising. You haven’t allowed for any other interpretation of events – like, for example, Red Bull going straight to the stewards with an excuse in hand before the stewards had a chance to take a fuel sample. And as far as they knew, Vettel had enough fuel on-board for a sample to be taken, so it’s not like they were covering it up. As far as anyone was concerned, this was a routine visit to the stewards’ office that became something more once Vettel’s car entered scruitineering. You, however, have turned it into a comedy of errors and ineptitude simply because nobody picked up on the fuel shortage straight away when nobody had any reason to believe there was a fuel shortage.

          1. you come to a conclusion, and then you assume that any discrepancies are mistakes made by whoever you’re criticising

            just because you say something doesn’t make it true. You have not demonstrated this accusation at all.

            You, however, have turned it into a comedy of errors and ineptitude simply because nobody picked up on the fuel shortage straight away when nobody had any reason to believe there was a fuel shortage.

            ?????????? It may be in Australia that a Kangaroo jumping on an F1 car is a more likely reason for a car stopping on track than too little fuel, elsewhere in the world….

            Further A visit to the stewards regarding a car failing to return to the pits following qualifying is never as you say “routine”.

            Further still, race and session management from Charlie’s team over the past 4 races has been woeful for a variety of reasons and the ‘silent’ one, Todt, needs to get a grip on it – however a consensual approach from le presidente will be ineffective as Charlie Whiting needs far more rigorous standards to work to, more money and far better procedures and people to deliver something that is not 3rd rate as it is presently.

          2. Since you seem to know everything, explain why Charlie went to dinner? Because I suspect it’s deceptively simple.

        2. I don’t believe that weighing a sample of fuel needs a genius, it’s quite a simple test, doesn’t need 10 super skilled engineers, and even if one goes to dinner I dont see how this can jeopardize a simple weighing procedure.

        3. Charlie had to eat. He was hungry. I dont see why people keep using that against him. There was no reason for the FIA to rush to a decision as it would have made no difference.

          The ONLY people who were effected/annoyed by the late decision were the audience. Charly couldn’t give a F$#k about the audience… that’s not his problem.

  14. I think the BBC must have taken the restrictions off the Vettel story – I could read it in southern NJ.

    1. It’s UK only.

  15. “Bruton Smith scoffs at Austin F1 race (ESPN)” This guy is one of the things wrong with the spirit of racing that used to exist in the US. If it does not directly benefit his empire then it is crap.

    “Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said Formula One racing “never has worked in this country” and he has no concerns about its upcoming race in Austin affecting tickets sales to future events at Texas Motor Speedway.

    “We’ve checked and about 10 people we know are going to it, so I’m not really concerned,” Smith said Saturday at TMS. “Formula One never had done anything in this country. It never has worked.”

    The point he totally misses is that interest in racing fosters more interest in racing. In the ’60s when racers actually raced in many different kinds of racing I became interested in F1 because guys like Jim Clark, Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney raced in Indy Car and F1. I was exposed and infected with Grand Prix fever at an early age after originally being exposed only to Indy Car and “stock car” racing.

    The point is, different racing types crossed over boundaries and ended up helping each other. If everyone then or now had closed minds like Bruton Smith, racing as a sporting industry would be less popular.

    Further, for this self serving executive of a motor speedway that has a history of their own problems, to totally discount all the great racing experiences over the years at Watkins Glen, Long Beach and other venues as if they never happened is truly an ignoramus of the facts from the history of his chosen profession, auto racing.

    Amazing that he has seen fit to disparage F1 in the US rather than embrace it in the spirit more racing is better for all involved in the sport including, racers, business people and racing fans. “…Smith, who owns TMS and seven other speedways where NASCAR races.” Interesting that he must view F1 as enough of a threat to his business as to speak up about it at all.

    1. True, but the TMS president in the same article did have the right attitude.

      1. Good point, would like to see more of that attitude from folks in the racing biz.

  16. That’s all well and good @hairs but this isn’t a charity. It’s up to Spa to sort out their problems, not FOM.

  17. Trenthamfolk (@)
    4th November 2012, 19:44

    Horner: Vettel had enough fuel…

    But you can’t see it! You’ll have to take our word for it..?

    I won’t, and neither will the sponsors when you moan that it’s just ‘so unfair’. Take it on the chin, and stop trying to evade blame. At least Mclaren admit when they’re wrong… which is admittedly, often…

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