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Almost five hours after the end of today's qualifying session, the FIA has ruled that Sebastian Vettel will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid after he was found not to have sufficient fuel in his car.
In a repeat of the incident at Barcelona when Lewis Hamilton was stripped of pole after stopping on circuit at the end of qualifying with insufficient fuel, Vettel, who qualified third today, will start from the back of the grid.
The statement issued by the stewards at 22:30 local time, 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 from 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."
The move, which will delight those that don't want to see the championship decided just yet, means that Fernando Alonso should be able to close the 13 point gap the German has built up in recent races, while Hamilton, who still has a mathematical chance of winning the championship, could still pull off one of the greatest turnarounds in sporting history.
Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.
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