• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel excluded from qualifying

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012 « Massa disappointed with ninth | Raikkonen hopes win spurs Lotus on »
Sebastian Vettel had originally qualified in third place © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel has been excluded from qualifying after his Red Bull failed to return to the pits under its own power during qualifying.

An FIA decision over four hours after the end of qualifying announced that Vettel could start from the back of the grid after he stopped on track at the end of Q3, though the team later confirmed he will start from the pit lane. The stewards accepted that the reason Vettel stopped was a case of force majeure, but excluded Vettel due to "an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes". Vettel is allowed to start from the back of the grid, while all those drivers behind Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber move up one place.

The full FIA decision reads as follows:

'The Stewards received a report from the Race Director that car 1 failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

'The Stewards heard form the driver and team representatives and studied telemetry evidence that showed the reason why the car was stopped.

'The Stewards accepted the explanation and considered the incident as being a case of force majeure.

'However, a report was received from the Technical Delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes.

'The Stewards determine that this is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and the Competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the Qualifying Session.

'The Competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.'

Reacting to the decision, Vettel said he would try and see the race as an opportunity.

"One of the best ski jumpers of all times once said 'Every chance is an opportunity and as far as we are concerned there are still plenty of chances tomorrow'."

Team principal Christian Horner confirmed Vettel would start from the pit lane so that the car can be taken out of parc ferme conditions tonight.

"During the slow down lap following the final run of Q3, Renault instructed to immediately stop Sebastian's car on the circuit due to an issue with the fuel system," Horner said. "After speaking with the stewards, who accepted the situation of force majeure for technical reasons for the car to be stopped, unfortunately, for reasons yet to be fully understood, 850ml of the required one litre was pumped out of the car following post race checks.

"As a result, the FIA has excluded Sebastian from qualifying and we will withdraw the car from Parc Ferme in order to investigate further. Therefore Sebastian will start from the pit lane for tomorrow's race. We will need to make the most of Mark's strong front-row grid position and Sebastian will have a busy evening ahead of him."