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Vettel: Disqualification left a "bad taste"

NEWS STORY
26/08/2021

Sebastian Vettel admits that his disqualification from the Hungarian Grand Prix left a "bad taste", as he calls for an easing up on fuel sample rule.

On a day that saw the formbook turned on its head, one of several heart-warming aspects was the sight of Sebastian Vettel back on the podium.

The German, who has endured a tough couple of seasons has been showing a return to his old form since joining Aston Martin, and finishing second at the Hungaroring - albeit courtesy of those first corner shenanigans - was a reward that surely few F1 fans would deny the four-time champion.

However, with his overalls still damp from the celebratory Champagne, the German was called to face the stewards, and despite his team's best efforts he was subsequently disqualified when officials were unable to retrieve the mandatory one litre of fuel from his car.

Admitting that the episode left a bad taste in his mouth, Vettel has called for an easing of the rule.

"It's very bitter," he told reporters as the Spa weekend got underway, "because, I think first, we did not have an advantage. Second, there was no intention, or no way that we could actually explain that too little fuel was in the car.

"Something happened over the course of the race, I don't know," he added, "a leakage or something, that the fuel simply wasn't there anymore.

"I think it was the last lap, we found out that something might not be right and we were very surprised when the fuel wasn't in the car," he continued.

"It's very bitter, but those are the rules, so we have to accept and carry on. It was a very big day, and also big points for us, but we obviously have lots of races left, and we'll try to squeeze some points in those."

Asked if this was the first time he'd experienced the situation, he admitted: "Probably yes. I don't remember...

"I mean, for me, I was on the podium, I had the hype of the race. It's just really afterwards that you're not allowed to take the reward, as in the trophy, as in the points, so I think that's the big disappointment.

"But in the moment, obviously I was there and I had the emotions and it was a great day. You look back and you have nice memories, but a bit of a bad taste left knowing that you got disqualified.

"It is a hit, it's a large hit," he said of the 18 point loss that left his team seventh in the standings, having briefly been promoted to sixth, just 9 points behind race-winners Alpine, "because obviously now we're something like 20 points behind the people ahead.

"But we'll see," he added. "You never know when the next opportunity is there and we have to be there to take it. We have a lot of races this year, it's bit unclear how many but I think there'll be a lot... and we will get our chances so hopefully we can use them."

Asked if the FIA should look at the rule, he said: "Looking back it's clear, the rules are as they are, and we got disqualified. Looking forwards, obviously it's very bitter, and I think in the circumstances that obviously I understand better, because I was the one who suffered from it, you don't wish that to anyone else to happen, it should probably have a little bit more tolerance.

"But I don't know how and what exactly you need to write down on paper in black and white. That's for other people to come up with."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Spa, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 27/08/2021 1:42

"Surely with that rule in place teams should create a 1litre 'well' within the fuel tank encasing a one way valve that preserves the mandated 1 litre sample required for testing. That would ensure no further problems can be encountered. It's that simple......"

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2. Posted by F1nerd, 26/08/2021 21:23

"I do think the punishment was a bit harsh especially for the driver, maybe a 10 place grid penalty for the next race would have been better for the team, driver and the fans."

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3. Posted by Defiant, 26/08/2021 20:14

"I agree that its a tough penalty, but the rule is an old one, its not something that the team wasnt well aware of. So as frustrating as it is, a rule is a rule. They must have known how much fuel was in it, with all the telemetry these days. So I'm guessing they just pushed it hard to try for the win, or to at least ensure the 2nd place, so Seb may have been an unknowing accomplice to the infraction. "

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4. Posted by Greg, 26/08/2021 16:31

"@ChickenFarmerF1. Have to agree, the rule is pretty antiquated given todays testing availability. F1 seems to update the rules if someone gets an advantage by some out of the box thinking on wings, diffusers etc, but basic fuel sample still a 1 litre is so old....
I do feel sorry for Seb his drive was great only to have it taken from him"

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5. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 26/08/2021 15:21

"I feel for the guy. But the rule is pretty unambiguous.

The have to be able to get samples for testing, so some volume has to be specified. With some testing equipment that I know exists these days, a few drops is probably sufficient for testing, vs probably needing a lot more back when the rule was written. So, the quantity probably be dropped to something like 300ml, or maybe even just 150ml, with no consequence to the ability to do the testing, with each party still being able to retain 1/3 of that sample. So I get Seb's point. "

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