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Renault suspects fuel equipment trouble caused Vettel’s Q3 fail

Red Bull’s engine supplier Renault suspects that the fuelling equipment problem caused Championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying fault for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel l move down to the back of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race grid following penalty. Due to a fuel irregularity, the governing FIA said in a statement.

Formula 1 sporting regulations policy states that drivers must come back to the pits with their own power so a one-litre fuel sample can be taken from the car for post-event examination. Following the Abu Dhabi GP post-qualifying test revealed he only had 850ml of fuel on board his car after Q3.

Renault trackside operations head Remi Taffin said that he was awaiting a final report from Red Bull, but he still believes possibly it is the fuelling equipment problem.

“We now have gone very deep into the investigation and, if we look back at what we learned from Saturday qualifying to Sunday morning, we obviously eventually discovered that we were missing a bit of fuel in the cell,” Taffin told Autosport

“We have checked the numbers; we have checked what we have done with the fuel ‘robot’ and every single number says we should have had the fuel. So Red Bull are now checking with the supplier of their ‘robot’ to check out that we had the right delivery. This is in progress.”

Autosport reported that – Taffin said that there had been no change to Red Bull or Renault’s normal fuel strategy for Abu Dhabi qualifying compared to previous grand’s prix, and analysis of its data showed that consumption had been as normal. We have checked everything on our side and could not notice any problems, so we are now waiting on whether that fuel went in or not,” he added.

During the Q3 final session Renault ordered to Red Bull need emergency stop for Vettel. Taffin said that the first warning the team had that there was not enough fuel was when the data on Vettel’s in-lap showed a lack of fuel in the collector.

“We were sure at that point that we had the required level, so we did not understand why we had this drop in collector level, at the time we had a brief discussion on our intercom where we said we have this problem, it is bizarre, it is weird, and it should not be this way. He said.

“We thought that there was a problem in the fuel system somewhere and, as we later explained to the stewards, we could not afford to have a fuel pump that is running dry – because it could seize and cause the engine to be broken. That is why, when we discussed it with the [Red Bull] engineers, we gave the call to stop the car.”

Autosport asked if they would change actions for the final two races, Taffin said: “I think first we have to wait for the answer. If there was nothing we can find as an explanation we will be surprised, but we will review things with Red Bull and try and find the best solution between us. It will be a common decision. We will not do something on our own.”


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