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Mark Webber excluded from qualifying

Apr 13, 2013, 5:30 AM EDT

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Mark Webber has been excluded from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix after his car failed to return to the pits due to a fuel shortage.

The Red Bull driver was forced to stop out on track during Q2 due to a fuel shortage, although he did manage to qualify 14th thanks to the time he had already set. However, Webber will now start from the back of the grid following the ruling from the FIA.

Cars are required to produce a fuel sample at the end of each session for the FIA, and the governing body has ruled that Webber would not have been able to supply this had he returned to the pits.

The team have confirmed that his car was under-fueled due to a technical problem.

“A fuel browser problem caused an incorrect fuel measurement to be delivered to Mark’s car,” the team revealed on Twitter.

This is a similar problem to the one Sebastian Vettel faced at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he received the same penalty as Webber has today.

However, Webber was well aware that he could face such a sanction.

“It was a lack of fuel pressure so I couldn’t get back, so we stopped the car and qualifying was over before it started really,” he explained to the media.

“We’ll see what the rules are. I’m sure we’ll go through the process. It may be a double whammy.”

Webber will be able to start on fresh tires tomorrow, but the Australian driver did not hide his disappointment over the result.

“I think everyone’s in a similar boat saving tires. The option is not really the tire for this track. It’s completely wrong.”

To make the situation all the more painful for Webber, he believes that he could have challenged the front runners for pole position, which was eventually claimed by Lewis Hamilton.

“This is disappointing. Q1 went very well for me and the car has been quick all weekend.”

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  1. manchestermiracle - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    How does Red Bull ever win a race with this level of incompetence? I really hope Webber finds a different ride next year, he deserves better.

    • icemanpjn - Apr 13, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      He can’t do better. Red Bull is still probably the best place that he can be, regardless of blunders like this. All the major teams have dropped the ball from time to time. A few years back, McLaren and Ferrari failed to go out in qualifying until after rain came and they got knocked out early on, which was just plain stupid on their part. McLaren blundered pit stops by the boat-load last year and failed to adequately fuel Lewis, getting him demoted from pole to the rear. Blunders aside, Red Bull is still probably Webber’s best chance for wins.

    • chaparral2f - Apr 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      Incompetent? The only thing incompetent is your comment. Do you really think that RB is such a terrible team? Lewis wanted to drive for them and Kimi has indicated he would consider it, so they couldn’t be too bad. I agree that Webber should be in a different ride next year. Perhaps Marussia would suit the level of talent that he has…

    • apexassassin - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      Webber doesn’t deserve better, but I see your point. RBR often makes terrible mistakes/poor decisions during the races… Interlagos last year, ferrari did every thing right but RBR still took the title.

      I suspect the fuel rig failed, though I didn’t see that in print anywhere.

  2. chaparral2f - Apr 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Oh, the Red Bull conspiracists will have a field day with this one. They will trot out their incessant nattering that RB is hamstringing Webber intentionally, despite the fact that RB wants a WCC even more than a WDC. As for our man from Manchester who feels RB is incompetent, why would every other driver on the grid trade places with Webber if they could? We saw that Lewis begged Bernie to help me get a ride at RB. Kimi has indicated that he wants to go there as well. Guys like Webber have always been around and they for whatever reason, seem to attract bad luck like fleas on a dog.

    • apexassassin - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Lol, Mark Webber. Just slightly better than Nick Heidfeld.

  3. apexassassin - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    That ought to teach Mark to stay in his place and keep his mouth shut. Can’t wait until he’s out of RBR and would love to see Kimi take his place.

  4. thefranklinsgotoindia - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Webber does not deserve any better. I reject the conspiracy theory, and simply pin the blame on RBR. As the commentators say, he does do well in qualifying. HOWEVER, that’s because he’s got a running start. He can’t start a race to save his life. He probably couldn’t start a manual transmission car on a hill. Webber’s time is done.

    • techmeister1 - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      It’s naive to believe that Red Bull isn’t plotting against Webber constantly. They want him to finish second to Vettel so that they get maximum points, but they don’t want Webber to win if they can help it. Obviously in Malaysia he was faster all race than Vettel and that’s why at the end of the race they imposed “multi-21” which Vettel violated because he’s an egocentric meathead, in spite of being a competent driver.

      For red Bull to not fule Webber’s car properly and not tighten the when nut properly shows incompetence and/or a clear effort to not outshine Vettel as Webber did in Malaysia. Vettel is unable to deal with the reality that Webber is as fast or faster on any given day with the same equipment that Vettel has.

      If you look back on how many times Webber’s car has had KERS or DRS issues compared to Vettel, it’s obvious he isn’t getting equal equipment most of the time. And then when they take parts off of Webber’s car and install them on Vettel’s car after he crashes and damages the front wing, it’s obvious that Red Bull is shafting Webber for all the world to see.

      The sad reality is that Webber’s best chance of winning the past few years is by being in and Adrian Newey designed car. Red Bull certainly did not have a fast car in China however so the other teams may be gaining ground on Newey. If it were not for Newey Red Bull would be lucky to run mid-pack as they simply don’t have their act together.

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