• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel's problem being investigated

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012 « 'Excited' Hamilton eyes strong start | Webber 'positive' despite no pole »
Sebastian Vettel stopped on track at the end of qualifying © Sutton Images

Red Bull is investigating why Sebastian Vettel stopped on track after the chequered flag in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel was ordered to stop at the side of the track in the final sector of his slowing down lap after taking third on the grid. He could face a penalty if the car was under fuelled and a gearbox issue could also incur a penalty, but team principal Christian Horner said he did not know the reason for the stoppage as he climbed down from the pit wall at the end of the session.

"I'm not quite sure at the moment," he told Sky Sports. "We've got an issue and Renault asked us to stop the car and that's what we did. Until I get more info I can't really say much more. It could be one of many, many things."

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was sent to the back of the grid when his car was under fuelled for qualifying. If the same is true of Vettel in Abu Dhabi it would be critical for his championship battle with Fernando Alonso, but the Red Bull driver was staying calm after the session.

"I don't know why I had to stop," he said. "It was probably some problem but it shouldn't be something major."

Speaking about his actual qualifying lap, Vettel admitted that his lack of running in final practice due to a brake problem put him on the back foot.

"Obviously this morning wasn't ideal - not being able to run - and we didn't get the answers we were hoping for. Nevertheless, we were settling in quite well this afternoon and the pace was there, but McLaren, and in particular Lewis, are pretty quick so they were out of reach today.

"I'm not entirely happy with my qualifying and the last part of qualifying was quite tricky for me so I think I should have been a little bit quicker. Whether it would have been enough to beat Mark is obviously on a different sheet of paper, but all in all we can be quite happy. My race pace should be good tomorrow and as we know it's a long race here and a lot of thing s can happen."