Toyota, World Endurance Championship, Spa, 2018

Alonso car inherits pole as Toyota admits “error” led to team mates’ disqualification

World Endurance Championship

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Fernando Alonso will start his first World Endurance Championship race from pole position after an “administrative error” by his Toyota team led to their other car being thrown out of qualifying.

The number seven Toyota of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez car had all its lap times from qualifying deleted after the stewards ruled it ran with an incorrect fuel flow meter. They will start Saturday’s race from the back of the field and one lap down while the number eight car of Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima inherits pole position.

Toyota accepted responsibility for the error and said it had no bearing on the car’s performance.

“An incorrect identification number for the car’s fuel flow meter was declared for the number seven prior to qualifying,” said the team in a statement. “This subsequently emerged during post-qualifying scrutineering.

“The team accepts full responsibility for the error, which had no impact whatsoever on car performance. The fuel flow meter which was used in the number seven was fully homologated and calibrated.

“Team processes and procedures will be strengthened immediately to avoid any repeat of this unfortunate error.”

The Rebellion entry of Andre Lotterer, Bruno Senna and Neel Jani has been promoted to the front row of the grid alongside the Toyota.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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11 comments on “Alonso car inherits pole as Toyota admits “error” led to team mates’ disqualification”

  1. The Alonso show…

    1. In as much as a good racer Alonso is, its too hard to ignore the fact that Toyota would do an “incorrect identification number for the car’s fuel flow meter”.

      1. @pinakghosh, so, now we are in a situation where accidents cannot happen and everything must be a conspiracy theory? I mean, I can recall Porsche getting in trouble a few years ago about fuel sensors as well, so these issues have occasionally cropped up (particularly since the WEC dictates that teams must run multiple fuel flow sensors – I think the rules dictate they must have at least three sensors (two to read the fuel lines and a third as a back up if one of the first two fails) fitted to the car).

  2. Good grief, those quotation marks … Media manipulation 101.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      5th May 2018, 6:17

      Cynicism: always come prepared when the WEC or Alonso is involved.
      I think I just lost my interest in this year’s Super-Drawn-Out Season much quicker than I’d anticipated. Traditionally the series is well worth it until Le Mans, and I was expecting to hold out until the final half-hour of that (depending on whether the running order is 7-8 or not).

      Oh well, there’s always something else. Super GT yesterday was good, and there’s the SRO GT Sprint Cup at Brands tomorrow.

        1. nase, let’s be frank – I suspect that, if the two cars had qualified the other war around, you probably wouldn’t be seeing all these paranoid conspiracy theories popping up here.

          If it had involved the car Alonso was driving, I suspect those who are posting those theories would instead post with glee about how Alonso was being screwed over. If it had involved any other cars in the LMP1 field, then they’d probably be expressing sympathy for the drivers and lashing out at the ACO and the incompetence of the team.

        2. FlyingLobster27
          5th May 2018, 18:20

          Let me tell you where I’m coming from.
          I used to be a massive WEC fan. In 2015, the series clearly peaked, and I was one of the commentators annoying F1F readers with my excitement. Late 2015, the tables turned though. The Fuji race was decided on team orders, and not just the win: all three steps of the podium were fixed. I get why teams do it, but that was a red flag for me. I switched off the DTM for this kind of rubbish and I switched off the WEC finale too. In 2017, Porsche fixed all the races starting immediately after Le Mans, and again, I stopped following. The WEC had become cool in the run-up to Le Mans, and a waste of time afterwards.

          What’s happened in the run-up to this season? Well, the series that has a history of team orders sees a driver known for demanding preferential treatment arrive, and what do you know, he gets that treatment straight away with a calendar change for his sake. That context is very difficult to escape, and the cynicism that it generates just makes following the series difficult to get excited for. The fact that Alonso, he for whom the calendar was changed, is getting an edge through the team (team’s mistakes or otherwise, I don’t care) just compounds the glumness.
          I’ll probably tune in to Le Mans 2018 because it’s an important race and it should be a straight fight, but Le Mans 2019 is yet another can of worms. It’s the season finale, the championship decider. The result of Le Mans 2019 will be fixed if the championship dictates it. And don’t tell me “it won’t happen, Le Mans is too important”, because the run-up to this season indicates that nothing is too important when it comes to certain people and certain goals.

          I don’t delve into conspiracies, as I don’t have the time or energy to waste on something I don’t enjoy. So I’m just calling it as I’m feeling it, and telling you: I’ve decided to switch off the WEC, yes before any racing has even started, because I can’t enjoy it in this context.

  3. Ara iyada! Machigatta kuruma ga kyoku ni aru, wareware wa kore o shūsei suru hitsuyō ga arimasu!

  4. Remember that time Ferrari broke the seal on Massa’ gearbox so as to gain Alonso a spot and to start on the better side of the grid?……. yea, me too

  5. Will Kobayashi ever get any luck?!

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