Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2021

Vettel’s second place in Hungarian GP in doubt over fuel sample

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel’s second-place finish in the Hungarian Grand Prix is in doubt as his car contained insufficient fuel at the end of the race.

The FIA’s Formula 1 technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed they had only been able to remove 300ml of fuel from Vettel’s Aston Martin.

The F1 technical regulations state: “Competitors must ensure that a one-litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event.”

Vettel stopped his Aston Martin on-track after taking the chequered flag and returned to the pits on foot. His race engineer Chris Cronin advised him on the radio to drive “super-slow” and “save fuel” after he crossed the line, then later on the lap told him to “stop in a safe place”, which he did.

A team representative has been summoned to appear before the stewards at 8:20pm local time.

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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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54 comments on “Vettel’s second place in Hungarian GP in doubt over fuel sample”

  1. Well that’s a slam dunk

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st August 2021, 19:14

      Yes, and to be realistic, Ocon was given information by the team on lap 1. That is also a slam dunk. If these penalties go ahead, Hamilton’s luck will be ridiculous.

      1. Hard to imagine it won’t be a straight disqualification – as for Ticktum in Formula 2 last year for the same thing:

        https://www.racefans.net/2020/09/06/ticktum-disqualified-from-sprint-race-ilott-declared-winner/

      2. On the formation lap to the restart? What sort of information was he given?

        1. @thegianthogweed I’m not sure since the lap in question was technically a race lap.

        2. Well wasn’t that the crux of why Hamilton could not be told to come in to change tires? I dint know the rule on whether that was a proper formation lap. That would be awful for both of them to lose their trophies.

      3. And the irony is that iirc this rule arise from
        Hamilton running out of gas post race in Canada with Mclaren.

        1. Wasn’t it post qualifying? I think you can stop post race so long as their is sufficient fuel in the tank but in qualifying you have to make it back to the pits.

          1. I think that’s right. I’m corrected.

  2. I can’t believe the endless amount of luck Lewis has……

    1. How on earth is Vettel running out of fuel anything at all to do with Hamilton?

      Firstly, the penalty isn’t even decided yet. Secondly, why single Hamilton out when ever driver expect Ocon will benefit from an exclusion. Why not lucky Sainz getting a podium? Sad that your hate for Hamilton blinds your vision.

      1. Lewis moving from 3rd to 2nd place would give him 18 points instead of 15, so 3 points extra.
        Max moving from 10th to 9th would give him 2 points instead of 1.
        So Lewis gains 2 points on Max.
        Other drivers are mathematically still in contention for the championship, but it really is between Lewis and Max.
        That difficult to understand?

        1. Is it difficult to actually read my comment rather than reply with maths that I’m well aware of @ChrisVB?

          Hamilton gains points, Sainz gains points, hell even Verstappen gains a point. Everyone seems to get a point expect you who can’t seem to read a simple comment.

          I’m well aware that it increases Hamilton’s Championship lead. My point is what does Vettel using too much fuel have to do with Hamilton in any way at all? The correct answer is that it doesn’t. Why constantly try find ways to make Hamilton seem ‘lucky’when Hamilton had no impact on this at all. He’s living in your head rent free and that ain’t healthy.

    2. If Vettel is DQ’d (as he should be if he has broken the technical regs) then Hamilton will only gain an extra two points over Verstappen, so hardly on a par with the Imola or Silverstone red flags in terms of the impact.

    3. IF Vettel is DQ, then Verstappen also moves one place, so net gain of just +1 point to Hamilton.

    4. Lewis is lucky by losing his pole position or for coming 3rd or being booed or by being unwell – which one?

      Reply moderated
    5. @marcusaurelius Hamilton has had a penalty for this twice already. So he still has some compensating to go before he’s in the plus on the luck-o-meter.

      1. luck-o-meter is a Mercedes device.
        The amount of luck consumed by Lewis, this year exceeds the total amount available for all drivers combined.

        1. 18 points at Imola when be should have been a lap down. Instead restarts after red flag with a repaired car.

          Max has a puncture when easily winning at Az, losing 25 points.

          Lewis takes out Max, damaging his car enough that Merc said he would have retired if not for red flag. Gets red flag, gets repaired car, gets lenient penalty and wins. 25 points.

          Bottas torpedo’s the only 4 cars capable of giving Ham a fight today, Lewis finishes 3rd, gets promoted to 2nd. Gain of 20 points.

          Nearly 100 points gained due to luck.

          Reply moderated
    6. Duncan James Steward
      1st August 2021, 20:56

      you make your own luck — Hamilton has enough fuel, how is that luck !

      Reply moderated
  3. Until now, this has always been a disqualification. Lewis Hamilton was disqualified in 2012 Spanish GP and lost pole position because of this.

    1. Indeed @bulgarian, if a car does not comply with the technical regulations then the only available penalty is exclusion from the session. Would be a shame for Vettel but those are the rules.

    2. I mentioned this in the live chat, as vettel asked to stop immidiately thought about the rule 1l fuel must remain in the end to give sample… The rule is there, there is min and there is max fuel at the start with max fuel use limit+1lt sample… i think this will be bad for vettel unfortunately if it is true… i doubt teams can calculate fuel use too precisely thats why they re given min and max fuel loads with fuel use limits + 1lt fuel sample mandatory… It is not about qualifying as it is about checking fuel for many stuff for regulations so someone dont use illegal fuel or additives etc…

  4. If true, Vettel must have been seriously underfueled. He has spent almost entire race in the slipstream of Ocon which is said to have impact on fuel consumption. That would be rookie error from Aston Martin.

    1. Probably Aston calculated with a more rainy and slower race, what was denined by the longer red flag period?
      Because without the red flag, probably one third of the distance would have been run on a wet track.
      Is fuel consumption lower at races with lenghty wet or rainy periods? Or not that much as there is likely more wheelspin? Quite naive question.

      1. Davethechicken
        1st August 2021, 20:34

        @jockey ewing, I would have thought yes consumption would be lower, less grip means less aggressive acceleration, fewer engine revs and lesser throttle inputs.

        1. Davethechicken
          1st August 2021, 20:36

          And longer braking distances mean less time on throttle also

    2. Another interesting question – although it is less relevant in this case:
      Are the cars having a tank capacity fixed by a specification, or is it allowed to fit smaller tanks?
      (I know the maximum allowed fuel for a race is 110 kg, and that can be filled into a tank which has at about 150 litres capacity)
      And if it is allowed are teams doing so to have some downsizing opportunity? As far as I know they the fuel consumption is showing a reducing trend, so many entrants used to load the tank with much less than the allowed maximum in the last seasons.

      1. they have min and max fuel allowed in the car and max fuel use for the race + 1lt has to remain in the tank for checking/testing the fuel used for legality of fuel/additives etc…

  5. What about Russell, who stopped shortly after passing chequered flag?
    Seb’s case seems clear-cut, though. 300 ml with 1 liter being the minimum requirement.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      1st August 2021, 19:37

      It’s not illegal to stop on the slow-down lap post-race for the purposes of preserving a one litre fuel sample (although it is illegal in qualifying).

      Aston Martin’s mistake appears to have been not instructing Seb to stop soon enough.

      Almost certainly will be a DQ, infringements of the technical regs almost always are.

  6. Well observed. The crashed that took out 5 drivers surprisingly attracted little bitterness. Instead max blamed “a Mercedes ” even though it was a McClaren that actually hit him. Funny from someone who wanted to move on from Silverstone.

    Reply moderated
  7. The way this is going by morning it’ll be Ham and Max on the two top steps of the podium as usual.

    1. Sharing the podium with Bottas too? 😜 /s

      1. Bottas is celebrating his Bottas Bowling Award with Toto.
        Strike in one.

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st August 2021, 20:00

    That’s a real shame – he drove a great race and would have won were it not for the slower pitstop. It was impossible for Vettel to overtake the Alpine on track as evidenced by how difficult Alonso made it for Lewis. The fact that Vettel got so close and nearly made a pass is really, really impressive.

  9. Great more luck for Lewis

  10. Lopes da Silva
    1st August 2021, 20:19

    This was already quite a bad race for Aston Martin. Apparently it can get even worse.

  11. Odd how there is such a huge amount of investigations and penalties. The stewards are working overtime.

  12. Could it be that Vettel uses more fuel compared to other drivers. His constant pushing today may have exacerbated his higher fuel usage.

    I mean, I remember his engineer during his RB days telling him to “respect the beeps”.

    Just trying to think something different here.

    1. Davethechicken
      1st August 2021, 20:54

      @prab, correct me if I am wrong but as I recall the RBR at that time was using exhaust gases to generate down force with the diffuser. Off throttle they were using fuel and resultant exhaust gases to increase downforce in corners.
      Maybe the beeps were interlinked with that?

    2. @prab one of the usual strategies of RBR in the Vettel era was to both underfuel the car and use a rather short gearing. This made the car much quicker than their rivals in the first laps of the race, and they used this advantage to build a gap, get their rivals out of the DRS zone, and then mantain it while saving fuel. That’s also one of the reasons why they had a lot of troubles overtaking: they hit the rev limiter with DRS.

  13. If he’s broken the technical regulations then sure, DQ him.

    That said, it seems like overkill if they need an entire litre of fuel to perform a sample test 😂

    1. Some illegal additives won’t show in too small a sample, a litre makes sure they can’t hide anything in the noise.

  14. Seems like a slam dunk DQ, has a driver in this situation ever not been DQ’d? Not even sure why they are summoning him to stewards, what can he/the team say to avoid being penalised?

  15. If/when Vettel gets the DQ I think I’ll be done with F1 for the foreseeable future. Years of Mercedes domination, and the first time we have a real championship battle Mercedes spend the first few races whinging about how unfair it is before getting a sequence of luck combined with dominant car performance that means the contest is redundant.

    There is no penalty or tactical mistake that is big enough to stop Mercedes making their way to the podium. Max is the only person capable of challenging but can’t do much when tyres and other drivers and sending him into the walls.

    40 free points for Hamilton in two races, and a car that could take 2 seconds a lap out of the competition around the Hungaroring is too much to overcome. And that doesn’t even include the free points he got at Imola thanks to another Bottas incident.

    1. Hard to argue with this.

    2. Bye David. We’ll miss you :-)

    3. Exactly what i tink, David.

      +1

    4. NeverElectric
      2nd August 2021, 4:26

      Yeah, bye. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

  16. It’s hard to believe Verstappen’s luck. He’ll go from 10th to 9th without having to overtake another car.

  17. 1 litre of fuel is quite a lot for a laboratory environment.

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