Webber sent to the back of the grid over fuel error

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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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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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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166 comments on “Webber sent to the back of the grid over fuel error”

  1. Massive blow for Webber, however it will be interesting to see how he does from back there.

      1. I don’t get how they can do this with the type of technology they have!??? I mean my car tells me how many kilometres it has left in the tank! As soon as they sent him out, surely they knew he was low on fuel? Should have told him to get back to the pits and not do a timed run!

        1. Your fuel tank is very different. The methods that yours uses to estimate the range are not applicable to an f1 tank.

          1. Are you serious ?
            So genius, how would you, an expert judge a level of an F1 Tank ?

          2. I think the way they measure fuel consumption / miles left in F1 is by measuring the difference in fuel flow before and after the injectors, and subtracting that from whatever was in there in the first place. So if the computer is fed with the wrong information about how much fuel was put in to start with it would’nt know that it was running out of fuel. I don’t know if they have another system, that measures the actual content inside the tank, but my guess is that they don’t.

            In you road car the fuel gauge is not precise, normally it is just a piece of floating plastic connected to a potentiometer, and is affected by things like wear and sloshing of the fuel.

          3. @soerenkaae

            I hope you get COTD for that. Fascinating stuff!

          4. @mike
            Thanks. I was trying to remember where I read this, and I now remember that it was in article about how to setup and use telemetry systems.
            Must have been in “Racecar Engineering” either Jan or Feb issue.

        2. Why they don’t have have a fail safe ie measure the wight of the car and of the fuel browser using separate systems to measure both weights. if they don’t match you know there is a problem. You could also measure the flow going in have a flow meter in the line just in case both separate balances failed at the same time.

          For Quali you could just used measured Jugs where you could visually see the amount of fuel delivered simple and low tech is sometimes the way to go.

          Thinks must finish that Job application for RBR any one know Adrien or Christians mail addy

        3. I mean my car tells me how many kilometres it has left in the tank!

          But it doesn’t tell it very well. Try it. I bet you can drive another 30-50 km longer than your car predicts, because it doesn’t measure precisely, and you need a safety margin. The same system in a F1 car would mean you would always carry too much fuel, which means losing time every lap.

    1. @dufus – F1 tanks have many baffles and separate chambers: they are hugely more complex than road car tanks simply because they are subject to much higher g-forces. If they weren’t segmented, the fuel would slosh significantly and cause destabilisation mid-corner.

      So although good for performance, it makes it much more difficult to monitor fuel levels. The easiest way therefore to ensure they don’t run out of fuel is to properly calculate how much they need for that amount of laps, which I’m assuming is where the error was made.

      It shouldn’t have happened really as obviously they must’ve known what was required but I’m guessing it was probably an error with the fuel bowser delivery, so the intended amount wasn’t put in the car.

      1. Wow, ok.
        Baffles and stuff.
        Cmon i,m trying not hard to laugh.
        Delivery = Pressure = flow .

        1. @dufus – that is nothing to do with monitoring fuel levels. My point is that you can’t simply measure the amount of fuel in an F1 tank in the same way as a road car tank as @matt90 correctly pointed out. You’d need several fuel level sensors!

          Just read this article and then decide for yourself how simple it is.

        2. the f1 fuel tank is not a tank,its just like a bag of polythene stuck behind the drivers seat.(ok not a bag of polythene obviously a much tougher material, but it looks like a massive bag of polythene.. u get the point) so you cannot put some mechanical measuring mechanism inside. its all about the how much flows where etc..i presume the car by itself cannot decide how much fuel is in the tank. hence the problems with webber.

    2. Conspiracy theory! It’s one way of keeping the drivers apart, effectively rewarding Vettel No 1 status as a result of last race! Discuss.

      1. I don’t think that the team would make this kind of offers, in order to keep the drivers apart. But I can’t say that I didn’t have this kind of thoughts popping into my mind…

    3. Guys, so gutted that RBR will pull such low moves on MW. This must be Helmut Marko pulling the plug on the bowser. Come to think about it, can’t they start the pit sequence immediately at the green lights and just drive 100% of the race in primes?


      1. Errmmm. No?

        The tyres wouldn’t last the race for starters….

        1. even with 3 sets of prime? (i assume they do have 3 sets)

          1. They would incur a penalty for not using both compounds.

          2. i mean, they jack up the car on options when the lights go green (out of parc-ferme conditions) and then just use 3 sets of prime for the rest of the race?

          3. You mean change the tyres from options before its even left the pit lane?

          4. Drop Valencia!
            14th April 2013, 0:25

            no, a set of tyres is only considered used after it exits pitlane, so you can’t even do it on the last lap a-la-shuie penalty style.

          5. Yeah, Schumacher, if nothing else, has helped them iron out the rule book.

    4. It will add one more interesting layer amongst layers to this race. With so many different strategies employed, who is to say Webber doesn’t have a chance for points or maybe even podium. Anything can happen.

      As far as all the conspiracy theories, I don’t buy it. Two reasons – Red Bull cares too much about the Constructor’s title to do this on purpose & this has already happened to Vettel as well. Was that a conspiracy when it happened to Vette? Can’t have it both ways.

  2. I see someone banging the door tonight!

  3. He has done well in China from the back of the grid, but as he said after he went out this afternoon, the tyre situation was a lot different and the car was also a lot more dominant than it is now.

  4. Will he choose to start from the pits?

    1. @jjjj – almost inevitably: the Red Bull’s straight line speed is very poor as usual – he was 10 km/h slower than Rosberg’s Mercedes in the speed traps.

      1. @vettel1 Straight line speed is never a forte of RedBull, we should ideally see how much speed it carries coming out of the corners.. I bet RedBull will be on the top…

        AbuDhabi was different because it did not have such big tyre degradation issues, that is what Webber has to plan for…

        1. @jjjj – now I have had more time to think of it there are several problems, such as the tyre degredation, the fact it will likely be an unknown set-up and indeed (one which I overlooked) the curfews. They may not wish to use one of their overtimes!

  5. Drop Valencia!
    13th April 2013, 10:31

    Atleast they can put a tall diff in and start from pitlane….

    1. If they don’t give him a set up like they did with Vettel in Abu Dhabi to help maximise the DRS, the team is retarded.

    2. this year they only have 2 overtimes – and since they gambled already with starting in the midfield (focus on race setup) I doubt that they are going to do this.

  6. kimiforwc2013 (@)
    13th April 2013, 10:39

    Reminds me of Ecclestone saying to avoid trouble between drivers: We simply didn’t give him enough fuel.

  7. @vettel1

    “The team admitted it had not put sufficient fuel in the car.”

    Case close mate.

    1. @cyclops_pl – so still, I fail to see how there was anything sinister about it which you were implying by saying Red Bull “screwed him”. Nobody said the same of Abu Dhabi…

      1. If it happens to Vettel its a screw up, if it happens to Webber it’s conspiracy. Pretty simple stuff really, it baffle me how people cannot understand this simple concept. <—- SARCASM ALERT

        1. When it happened to Vettel in Abu Dhabi it was never stated that it was a case of underfueling the car. The main explanation for Abu Dhabi was that they had fuelled the car correctly but the Renault engine had consumed too much fuel and that was why the Renault people had to contact the Red Bull people to tell them to stop the car. This time it was 100% Red Bull’s fault.

      2. Nobody said the same of Abu Dhabi…

        Because it is simply not the same case, in Abu Dhabi the team admitted that there was enough fuel in the car and the call to stop didn’t come from the Red Bull team, it was made by the Renault engineers

        1. They definitely screwed Webber. I’m amazed though that the sabotage campaign began right away. I thought they’d give him at least one GP to race “fair” before the dirty tricks campaign began. Webber himself declined to outright condemn the conspiracy theorists! He knows, he knows…

        2. @tifoso1989 – they didn’t actually immediately, until the results had been determined: the same as in this case.

          Oh please @joepa, why would Red Bull hamper their own constructor’s championship efforts? I do hope you are joking…

          1. If you read the article, you would have found this:

            “The team admitted it had not put sufficient 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.”

          2. @vettel1

            Oh please @joepa, why would Red Bull hamper their own constructor’s championship efforts? I do hope you are joking…

            RBR would intentionally sabotage Mark Webber’s competitiveness in qualifying to neutralize the threat that he poses to teammate Finger-Boy Vettel under fair and equitable conditions in the actual race. I agree with you that the team does not want to undermine Webber to compromise their chances of winning another WCC. Rather, they’re simply out to ensure that Webber does not beat Vettel like he would under normal, open, honest, genuine and fair racing conditions (the kind that Webber has only rarely enjoyed in competition with Vettel). RBR knows how talented and resourceful a driver Mark Webber is, and they no doubt fully expect MW to claw himself up from the back of the grid to fourth or fifth overall (if not third) by the finish of the GP and to contribute to the team’s points-haul (and Webber can expect a talking to if he doesn’t). But as you very well know, they cannot take the chance of having their No. 2 driver beat their anointed star, and without the possibility of tricking Webber into complacency again by issuing team orders that would ostensibly favor him, they are taking a slightly more aggressive tack and playing the low-fuel/no-fuel game.

          3. @joepa – exactly as Keith said. It’s nothing more than a stupid conspiracy theory.

          4. Trust me, RBR is not trying to compromise Webber. RBR wants both drivers on the podium at the end of every race, and they don’t care which driver finishes higher than the other. And if they do care it is for reasons that involve sponsorships.

  8. Marko was right, there will be no team orders anymore. He forgot to mention the rest of the sentence…To avoid having to give them, we will screw webber’s race since saturday. Go seb go.

  9. “It is the second time in six races Red Bull have had a car sent to the back of the grid for this reason.”

    Setting aside ridiculous conspiracy theories (please), how can the best funded team in F1 repeat a mistake like this ?

    1. I’d give you an answer, but I’ve already set aside my ridiculous conspiracy theory.

      1. Rofl nice one!

    2. Same way Mclaren had multiple pit stop blunders last year. Mistakes/problems can happen.

      1. @mike – Likewise, mistakes and problems can be MADE to happen. Case in point…

  10. I remember a couple of years ago he started from the back and ended up fighting for the podium. Lets see if he can do something similar this year.

    1. Red Bull isn’t as good as in 2011, so I don’t expect a podium, 5th or 6th at best with a good tyre strategy and not getting stuck behind any cars for several laps.

      Prophet Brundle after the Australian GP. “Once again if Mark Webber didn’t have bad luck he would have no luck at all.”

      Sigh. . .=\

    2. Points are definitely possible but I will give him driver of the year is he gets a podium barring exceptional circumstances.

      1. Vettel has already done it last year in Abu Dhabi. If RB give him a proper setup like they did to Vettel ( I dont see why they wouldn’t) he might pull it off. Ofcourse tyres are much different right now and neither him or RB look as good as Vettel and RB did at end of last year but there is a chance.

        1. There was also multiple safety cars in that race Vettel benefited from.

          1. not really. Only one position was due to safety car; the overtake of BUT.

        2. also a question of ability , 3 x WC against few time winner ??

  11. A pit lane start seems like a good decision in such a situation instead of getting knocked in the first corner and so they can give him a better set up for the race.

  12. As specified in the technical delegate’s report (Document 21)

    There’s Mark’s Favourite number again…

    1. lol, what part of document 21, don’t you understan mark.

      1. kovi^ Comment of the year :’)

    2. Haha! “Document 21 Web *slams drinks bottle*, document 21”!

  13. did anyone see Helmut Marko sneak out of Webber’s box with a jerry can?

    1. i did. He was dropping fuel all over the place. I don’t understand why the fia don’t take some kind of action. Oh yes i’ve forgotten, max mosley is not longer around, he must be getting a good spanking, somewhere in london.

    2. That avatar sums up your statrement completely

      1. excellent! *tenting his fingers*

  14. “there won’t be team orders… *cough* cuzwebbersgonnastartfrompitlane *cough* “

    1. go to the top of the class A+.

  15. Marko: No one should mess up with my finger boy !!

    1. Why is everyone saying this? it’s got nothing to do with Vettel. Yeah sure, I think Webber got shafted too. but we had three weeks to get over it.

  16. The most striking thing about the whole matter was his interview on the BBC afterwards. He simply didn’t seem to care anymore, it was the very first time I saw Webber looking tired of everything thrown his way and just accepting he wasn’t going to win a title anyway. He came across in a very “yeah well of course it happened to me but no one else cares so why should I”-kinda way. That’s my interpretation though, maybe it was just me…

    1. No, he was just uncomfortable – he knew ha ran out of fuel but did not want to admit it in case RBR came up with some other miraculous legalistic reasoning that would have saved his 14th place.

      1. precisely

    2. and that would be why Seb is a triple champion and Mark is not ! At this level you have to want it more and have drive and determination above your skill , otherwise you become just another F1 driver who won a few races , which is still better than 99% drivers around , but not better than 99.8% drivers who won a World Championship , and definitely not better than the 99.99% who won 3 or more , and hes got at least 10-12 years left , ,,, realy Mark has spent more years than Seb in a championship capable winning car but really he is just another massa , barichellio , coulthard , irvine , patrese , berger , fretzen,etc , very very good drivers but at this level its just not enough

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        13th April 2013, 21:25

        I’m not sold that Vettel is much better than Webber – there’s too much interference from Red Bull for anyone to make that claim.

        1. @freelittlebirds – Had to point out how hilarious that post of yours is. Good one.

  17. All the crazy conspiracies theories aside, Red Bull’s sense of timing is excellent.

    1. In a sport where a team can deliberately order its driver to crash no theory is crazy.

      1. I doubt any team could. That needed the input from Flab-io and young Piquet who was stupid enough to comply.

        1. thatscienceguy
          13th April 2013, 13:04

          Piquet was the one who suggested the idea in the first place.

          Not exonerating Flavio, he should have said no, but Piquet brought it up, not just complied.

  18. That is actually an incredibly small amount

    only 150ml of fuel was on board

    given that Webber had parked the car, it shows what the teams learn by doing these run dry tests during pre season testing.

    Sure enough for Webber I guess its more or less equally bad to start in 22nd or in 14th, he will have his job cut out anyway if he wants to finish in the solid points paying positions. I hope we see him do a very nice charge into the top 5!

  19. Hmmm was it really a mistake! Just the other day I told my friends look what will happen to webber at the next race. Ops not enough fuel

    1. thatscienceguy
      13th April 2013, 13:11

      So according to you, Red Bull will spend millions this year running Webber’s car, and they’ll be completely happy spending that money but making it very difficult for him to pick up valuable WCC points?

      Be realistic. If they didn’t want Webber they’d just pay him out of his contract and put a new driver in. It would be cheaper and better for the team in the constructors championship.

      And last time this happened, it happened to Vettel. Was that some conspiracy too? Or was that just a mistake, but when the same mistake happens to Webber it’s a conspiracy?

      1. I hope someone comes and answers this, because I’d truly love to hear what they come up with.

        1. Can it be as outrageous as risking not only points but the safty of your driver/fans and marshallls by getting your driver to plant his car into a wall? ; ]

          1. thatscienceguy
            14th April 2013, 1:07

            Completely irrelevant. Completely different team, run by a completely different type of person, in a completely different situation trying to get a result for a completely different purpose. That was also forcing a siutation to directly lift one driver into a winning position in an uncompetititve car, whereas this has no tangible benefit at all for a car which is competitive. You cannot compare the two situations.

            What is the benefit to Red Bull? And make it good, because so far you haven’t come up with a good reason for disadvantaging their own team.

      2. You try to apply ordinary mens logic, but when you are a multi-billionaire who can literally burn hundreds of millions of dollars without much thought, your decision-making power is very different. Can you attempt to explain why RBR needs Helmut Marko? Horner and Newey are VERY capable people, don’t you think? The only reason for Marko to be there is to ensure that Dietrich Mateschitz wishes are fulfilled.

        1. thatscienceguy
          14th April 2013, 1:02

          Oh, Dietrich Mateschitz, who has a very good relationship with Webber and who deals directly with Webber every year come contract negotiation time? Yeah, I’m sure he is giving direct orders to undermine someone who he has a lot of respect and personal time for.

          1. Thank you!

  20. Webber is one of F1’s best overtakers, so I’d expect him to be deep in the points by the end of his first stint on prime tyres.

  21. Do NOT tell me for 1 minute a modern F1 team does not know how much fuel they have pumped into their car.
    There are sensors everywhere. And they will be in the Bowser as well as the car. Something as important as fuel level and flow must be a focus.

  22. To be fair to Red Bull, at least they admitted their error, unlike when McLaren did the same thing in Spain and tried to pretend that Hamilton had a problem with his car.

    1. Actually they didn’t. It was “a fuel pickup issue” which could have been that there wasn’t enough fuel or it was a technical issue. They were fuzzy about it as long as possible.

    2. “We’ve got an issue with the fuel collector,” explained team principal Christian Horner. “By the looks of things it’s either the collector or the fuel bowser. Basically collector pressure dropped out right at the end of that in-lap.”

  23. What a surprise

    After all the drama since Malaysia is anyone really surprised red bull stuffed up webbers car

    Tell me how you under fuel a car doing one timed lap in quali

    Maybe red bull were hoping for a safety car

    Really red bull come on

    1. Tell me how you under fuel a car doing one timed lap in quali

      The same way they did to Vettel six race ago, presumably.

      1. That’s not correct because it was never fully disclosed what the problem was with Vettel in Abu Dhabi. It was NEVER stated that they had underfueled the car in Abu Dhabi. The main theory was that the fueling was correct but that the Renault engine had consumed too much fuel, hence why Renault had to make the call to Red Bull to tell them to stop the car.

        1. The fact that Vettel was told to stop the car indicates that while they put in enough fuel to get back to the pits, there wasn’t enough for the compulsory fuel sample at the end of the session. I have no idea how you’ve jumped to the Renault engine suddenly consuming too much fuel, when it didn’t happen with the other Renault powered cars in Q3.

  24. it seems tinfoil hats are high in demand these days.

    1. Indeed.

  25. Its just what i expected of Redbull, under fuel the car and put Mark as far away from Vettel as possible, Mark’s last chance for the championship is clearly now being removed by Redbull so he might as well give up now and return to Australia.

  26. Is there going to be anymore news on shocking announcements which was truly expected that Mark will start from pit lane but will there be any gearbox changes, reprimands, impeding?
    The Perth boy Dan Ricciardo is a serious contender for Webber’s seat at Red Bull next year after that magnificent 7th place in Q3 and I hope he continues the form. There is two Australians competing last year and this year and we could even see 1 competing as Webber will be furious as I am sure he wanted to pay back Vettel but who knows he could stuff up on his start

  27. ….next year if Webber exits the sport

  28. Everyboy is reading into this article assuming that it was just an error in fuel calculations. Seriously? It´s obvious this is strategy. He gets to start either from the back(not good) or start from the pit($100 says he starts from the pits).
    SV did it in abu dhabi and it worked well for him. Webber was regularly on pace in practices and qualy so I see no reason why he cannot do something similar to this. It´s also fair to assume that since the gloves are off between them, they want to keep him far away from SV and before anybody comes out saying that it doesn´t make sense to send him to the back and lose valuable points in the WCC, who says they are gonna lose points? Webber will get into the points on merit, maybe no higher than 9th but he´ll get some; it´s better than to have them bag a lot of points risking their 2 drivers race and punt each other off meaning 0 points for the team!

    1. That makes some sense in a ” crude ” way …Maybe that is the reality …some things as they say just cannot be explained in public
      Personally If I am webber , I will race as if my pants are on fire . And for god’s sake come into the pits when you want , don’t ask the team

      1. (@hamilfan) (@karter22)(@aka_robyn) I don’t think we can truly know if there was any foul play involved – on the one hand, it certainly seems timed to perfection in regards to keep Webber as far away from Vettel as possible, and we’ve learnt in the past that RB have no qualms in sacrificing Webber at the altar of Vettel’s ill-gotten championships. On the other hand, I also have doubts that RB would willingly jeaporadise potential contructors points, so I’m not sure where I stand on the conspiracy theories.

        However, I think I’d go with (@hamilfan) here;

        And for god’s sake come into the pits when you want , don’t ask the team

        Whether RB screwed his race on purpose or not, we know from past experiences like Abu Dhabi that RB are more than willing to pit him and put him in traffic if it will clear the way for Vettel, so hopefully he can trust his engineer and avoid any RB strategist ideas.

        Would love to see Mark really get the bit within his teeth and drive the wheels of the RB, maybe even getting on the podium. That, plus the fact that (in my eyes) the three best drivers on the grid are starting line-to-stern should make for an great race.

        One side-note though, which I know everyone feels already – if a driver is not qualifying, or driving around 50 seconds off the pace to preserve qualifying tyres, things are surely getting quite silly?

        1. @sgt-pepper , @hamilfan , @aka_robyn

          it certainly seems timed to perfection in regards to keep Webber as far away from Vettel as possible, and we’ve learnt in the past that RB have no qualms in sacrificing Webber at the altar of Vettel’s ill-gotten championships

          I couldn´t have said it beter myself. Like I said before, they won´t lose much points, Webber will get into the points, remember the STR don´t count and the others are much slower compared to the RBR although he will have his work cut out with the FI cars but other than that, he´s got a points finish in sight.

          This is also another way to have a more even WCC! Look at grosjean for Christ´s sake, the guy is fast and strangely enough, he´s nowhere to be found in regards to Kimi´s position! Another way to keep things even with regards to the WCC. The only teams I see constantly having both cars near each other are the Ferrari and the Mercedes!

          I totally agree that Drivers should pit when they need to and not ask for permision! The great drivers can keep track of what is happening on track and work effectively with his engineer, it just sucks that poor Webber can trust no one at camp RBR, not even his engineer! And I totally agree, I hope that Webber does another Silverstone-not-bad-for-a-#2-driver type of race!

          One thing is for certain, the race is set up to be a cracker! I can definitely see sparks fly at the start when Hamilton tries to cover Alonso´s lightning start while having to deal with Kimi as well! This pole for Hamilton will surely not last too long. He´s gonna get mugged at the start!

          1. *can´t Where is an edit button when you need one!

    2. Jean-Christophe
      13th April 2013, 21:11

      Might make sense but doubt it. In those situations, there’s always someone who will be so revolted that they would speak. That would have terrible consequences.

      1. not if it is stated in their contracts that they can´t say anything that goes on the team or else…

  29. “I had to stop on the circuit, so qualifying was over before it started really. We need a bit of luck now; it’s not the optimum starting position, but we still have to try to get something from there.”
    ~Mark Alan Webber

    look at the humility of this man !!
    his bosses r backstabbing him and just look at his temperament..:-)
    HATS OFF Mark. We r behind u.!! Go for a podium.

    1. @webtel In what way are they “backstabbing” him? In the last race they told his team mate not to overtake him.

      1. Vettel got away with it–thats stabbing in the front.!!/
        but yeah..’sabotaging’ cud have been a better word.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      13th April 2013, 16:57

      I have to say – I really admire Mark’s behavior. He takes them in the chin and just gets up and continues to fight. I guess Red Bull felt that breaking the KERS again was too obvious.

      1. (@freelittlebirds)

        I guess Red Bull felt that breaking the KERS again was too obvious.

        This literally had me in hysterics.

  30. Webber needs that pit lane start with ‘race spec’ car as Vettel had in Abu Dhabi, although changes in DRS this year mean it’s unlikely to be as helpful. He’ll also need the two vital Safety Cars that we had in Abu Dhabi last year to get up into the points.
    A handily timed crash would be nice… any non-volunteers?!

    But seriously, did anyone notice photo of the fuel bowser for car #2 that Antonio Felix da Costa posted this morning… haha!

    1. I think Vergne or Ricciardo would happily volunteer…….

  31. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. @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.

      1. 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?


        1. No, I think he’s saying “he’s not believing it but that’s what people think”.

    3. May be the Hungry Heidi drank the fuel from Webber’s car.. LOL

    4. @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.

      1. (@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.

        1. @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.

          1. You can tag & ignore “lovers” as well. Oh, no wait, we need comments.

          2. 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.

          3. @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.


            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.

          4. “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.

    5. @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.

    6. @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.

    7. 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.

      1. @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…

        1. 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

          1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
            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.

    8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      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.

      1. @freelittlebirds

        It’s a non-catastrophic failure always that plagues him.

        So why did it “plague” Vettel six races ago?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          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?

          1. 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.

    9. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
      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.

      1. @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.

    10. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
      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.

    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.

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

    1. Drop Valencia!
      14th April 2013, 0:42

      woooo hooo! love it!

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

    1. @smudgersmith1 Hardly! They’ve already identified it as in issue with the fuel bowser.

      1. and you believe that !!!

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

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

  37. 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

    1. @elchinero

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

      Isn’t he in mario kart


      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

      Just like the fuel “conspiracies” in Spain and Abu Dhabi 2012 with other drivers, eh?

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th April 2013, 1:27

      Isn’t he in mario kart

      +1 – hysterical

  38. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
    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…

  39. SlackBladder
    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

  40. SlackBladder
    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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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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