Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Magnussen was disqualified for using 170 grams too much fuel

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen was disqualified from the United States Grand Prix because he used just 170 grams too much fuel, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told media in Mexico.

Speaking to RaceFans in an exclusive interview, Steiner said the team took a conscious decision to push Magnussen’s fuel use to the limit because they were trying to pass Esteban Ocon.

“We knew we were taking risks and it didn’t work out,” he said. “We pushed too long to try to overtake Ocon. We knew that, that we were taking risks, and then in the end we just didn’t get enough time to get into the fuel limit again.

“I think we knew what we were doing, that we were taking risks, the risk was just too high. But sometimes it happens when you risk.”

The extra 170g took Magnussen over the 105 kilogram limit by 0.16%.

Steiner admitted he considered calling off Magnussen’s pursuit of Ocon. “I could have stopped [him] attacking Ocon, because I knew what was going on, but we wanted to try to get in front of him then save the fuel. But we didn’t get in front of him. So it’s a fine line how much risk you take and we were a little bit too much.”

The team did not realise until the second half of the race they were not going to be lapped by the race leader and would therefore need enough fuel to complete the full 56-lap distance, Steiner added.

“We were aware of that one but with [Lewis] Hamilton [making] a second stop that screwed it all up. That was our plan up to I think about 20 laps to go, to get lapped, and then we didn’t. That was the problem.

“That’s why we couldn’t make the savings needed to be within the limit. We were well aware and we could have stopped him as well and let [Sergio] Perez by and [Kimi] Raikkonen by and we would have been lapped.”

Haas error was down to “inexperience”, Steiner admitted. “We took risks and it didn’t pay. It’s one of those scenarios, we were aware of all the lapping and all that stuff but it just didn’t work out.”

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18 comments on “Magnussen was disqualified for using 170 grams too much fuel”

  1. Haas error was down to “inexperience”, Steiner admitted. “We took risks and it didn’t pay.

    Well, props to you Mr. Steiner, for stepping up and admitting it was an error. I half expected him to complain about the unfairness of the disqualification. Good stuff.

  2. I do wonder whether others also hoped to be lapped, because if they did, they didn’t do such a good job of it, given how much first Hamilton lost behind them (true, aided by blistering tyres, but still), and then Raikkonen …

  3. Something to console you when you next ” fill ‘er up” at the service station, you could probably have a lifetimes worth of fuel (and more) for the cost of that 170 grams of fuel, come to think of it 170 grams is about equal to a glass of wine, makes Petrus and Conte Romanee sound positively cheap.

    1. Really? I was of the understanding its not too dissimilar from from our commercially available fuel. I can only get 98RON in NZ, but I know in the UK some garages offer 99 as standard, and near race tracks even 100RON.
      I recall a few years ago a test was done Shell V-power and the composition of their forecourt fuel and F1 fuel was nearly identical.
      Given I pay NZ $2.459 per litre for 98 (about £1.23), which sounds cheap for europe, but is actually expensive downunder, and I have a not so frugal Passat 3.2 4motion, that 170gms would not be a lifetimes worth of fuel, in fact, I bet it wouldn’t even get a me 2miles.

      1. what I meant to say before hastily clicking reply, is that the price isn’t too dissimilar either. So don’t fool yourself, 170gms of F1 Fuel still wouldn’t but buy a litre of road going premium fuel.

        1. Anthony Blears
          25th October 2018, 21:16

          The cost of the mistake – being disqualified – is greater than the cost of the fuel :0

          1. With the fuel flow limit of 100gk/h they need to make every gram of fuel as perfect as possible.It mus cost a lot more than mass produced fuel just trying to barely attend regulations at the lowest cost.

  4. Fair enough. Sounds like they would have made it had they been lapped, so maybe worth a go.

    1. Of course they would, the article didn’t mention but you can estimate they need ~1.875kg/lap. (105kg/56laps)

      The problem is taking too long to realize they wouldn’t be lapped and having no planned action once it’s confirmed they wouldn’t get lapped. Once they started lap 56 they had to abort the racing against FI… just park the car or drive at VSC speeds, anything that saves them from DSQ. Only 10 car in the lead lap, so the only way to not score points is getting DSQ’d.

  5. Why not park the car immediately at any point in the last lap, or cruise around as slow as needed? 11th place was a lap down, so you secure at least 10th even if you don’t complete the last lap.

    I wonder if they didn’t knew the penalty for going over the limit is a DSQ or they thought they could save enough in the last lap.

    1. Or, just come in and get some fresh tires. Maybe have a wheel gun guy fumble a bit.

  6. So are we saying that cars are filled with more than the maximum allowed fuel now? (for sample purposes) And that they can’t run out of fuel like in the old days???? We were told that this was not the case in the race when these rules came in in 2014…

    1. Dale Wickenheiser
      26th October 2018, 3:23

      This is the pinnacle of motor sport? As if having to manage the tires isn’t enough. Sorry, can’t think of anything other than they should change the name to “F1 on parade”. I know the arguments have all been made about the fuel limits and I’m on the side of ‘this is ridiculous.’ Either they race, and maybe run out of fuel, or they parade around.

  7. I really struggle to understand F1 at times. The ICE capacity and 105kg of fuel carried are already defined by the regs aren’t they? Just limit fuel tank size. Let them burn as much as they want per lap, and if the 105kg runs out before the end then its game over.
    Imagine if Usain Bolt was limited by how much air he was allowed to breathe or how many calories he ate the day before, to make it fair for the slowpokes.

    1. They also need fuel for the formation and victory laps, as well as a small sample for post-race scrutiny.

    2. Athletics is sport where we want the fastest and best to win. F1 is a show like the WWE. It has to look good and leave the punters wanting more. There is more ‘sport’ in a children’s egg and spoon race.

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