MUNICH – When Sebastian Vettel crossed the finish line in second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix, German motorsport fans were thrilled. But it wasn’t long before the former had a bad premonition.
Because instead of being in Park Fermi as required, the four-time world champion parked his car on the edge of the track. In most cases, this is a sign that there is not enough fuel in the tank – which can lead to disqualification.
When asked about this in TV interviews, Vettel assumed not a shortage of gasoline, but an overheated sensor. The German did not fear any punishment, either. But it turned out differently.
Not enough fuel in a Vettel
The FIA regulations clearly state that after the race there should be at least one liter of gasoline in the tank. Background: Gasoline is checked for its composition by inspectors; These samples take more than just a few milliliters.
The required liter could not be taken from the Aston Martin Vettel, however, it was enough only 0.3 liters.
As a result, everything went its way. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer has been appointed for the hosts. After a short listening session, we went back to the race car. Another attempt was made to find the necessary fuel in the car. without success.
Vettel has been temporarily disqualified
Then the FIA put Vettel out temporarily, but Aston Martin doesn’t want to let that sit on them. The race team assumes there is still another 1.44 liters in the car despite removing 0.3 liters. According to this, a defective fuel pump is said to be responsible for the small amount of fuel that can be found.
“We know how much to fill up before the start and we know how much was consumed during the race. Thanks to the ‘Fuel Flow Meter’, which is already FIA approved,” explained Szafnauer, “Motorsport-Total.com”.
Accordingly, the World Automobile Federation can “check it out for themselves”.
The protest must be filed first
Then the racing team informed the FIA that they wanted to file a protest. However, this is only a preliminary announcement. Following the ruling, Vettel’s team now have 96 hours to decide whether to truly protest the disqualification. An unexpected decision anytime soon.
The car, number 5, was confiscated on Sunday evening. Vettel’s car is now being brought to France. There, in turn, it is dismantled by engineers from the FIA, or the tank is exposed and searched for the 1.44 liters announced by Aston Martin.
If engineers find 0.7 liters or more missing during investigations, the team must protest. “We had to prove to the FIA that gasoline was still present and that 300 milliliters was sufficient for a representative sample. That would be the basis of our protest,” Szafnauer continued.
Summer vacation helps Aston Martin
The team leader did not want to know that the rule clearly states that a liter of gasoline must actually be removed. “It’s an old rule that goes back to before we had all the measurements and sensors.”
The next few days will show if there is really more fuel in the tank and only the fuel pump can’t deliver it to the top. It is also possible, for example, that the sensors in the car were not calibrated accurately and that the results were incorrect for Aston Martin.
Even if experts do not assume that Vettel’s disqualification will be withdrawn, it is not impossible. Especially since Aston Martin is lucky on one point: Formula 1 is on the summer break. If the next race is to be held next weekend, there will be no time to examine Vettel’s car more closely.
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