• Webber Receives Grid Penalty over Vergne Clash

    Mark Webber has been given a three-place penalty for his collision with Jean-Eric Vergne during the Chinese Grand Prix.
    According to the stewards: “The driver of car two [Webber] admitted that he attempted to overtake car eighteen [Vergne] because he believed car eighteen would give him sufficient room.”
    “Car eighteen maintained its normal line through the corner and car two was unable to avoid the collision. The driver of car two admitted it was his mistake.”
    Vergne said: “I think Mark could not have got through from where he tried and I’m not even sure if he was trying to pass me.”
  • Gutierrez Receives Grid Penalty for Bahrain

    Esteban Gutierrez has been penalised for crashing into Adrian Sutil during the Chinese Grand Prix.
    The Sauber driver has been given a five-place penalty for the next race in Bahrain.
    Gutierrez hit the Force India at the turn 14 hairpin during the race, causing both to retire. The stewards report said Gutierrez “admitted he had misjudged the closing speed on car 15″.
    He apologised to Sutil and Force India after the race: “Right before going into the long straight I had Checo (Perez) fighting behind me, and I approached the corner too fast.”
    “I was braking at the same place where I usually brake, however, didn’t anticipate the loss of downforce and the amount of speed I had. I tried my best to stop, but didn’t succeed. It was definitely my fault, and I apologise to Adrian and to his team.”
  • Telemetry Issues Dog the FIA

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    F1 teams will not have the full benefit of the FIA’s telemetry link for the third race in a row in China.
    Continuing problems with the telemetry link between race control and the cars means the drivers will lack real-time updates from the FIA about the track.
    The limitations will be the same as they were in Australia and Malaysia: drivers will be without the red, yellow and blue cockpit warning lights, the Safety Car mode in the cars will not be automatically activated when needed and teams will not automatically receive blue flag warnings when one of their cars is about to be lapped.
    It also means the FIA cannot automatically disable DRS in the cars in the event of wet weather conditions or a yellow flag situation in a DRS zone.
  • Webber Penalised after Fuel Issue

    Red Bull’s Mark Webber will start Sunday’s 2013 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai from the back of the grid after the stewards found that he did not have enough fuel in his car for the mandatory one-litre post-qualifying sample.

    The news compounds a miserable day for the Australian driver in which he had initially qualified in 14th place after being told over the radio to park his car midway through Q2.

    Red Bull later confirmed that the stoppage was caused by a refuelling problem that led to 3kg of fuel not being delivered to Webber’s RB9.

    “The fuel bowser has been immediately quarantined for further investigation,” said team principal Christian Horner, after stewards found just 150ml of fuel in Webber’s car.

    A similar problem forced Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel to start the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

    Under the regulations, any car that stops on the track during qualifying must have enough fuel left for the mandatory one-litre minimum sample, plus an additional amount proportional to the amount of fuel that would have been used in returning to the pits.

  • Hamilton Takes Pole in China

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton beat Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix.
    Hamilton was nearly 0.3 seconds quicker than Raikkonen as he took his first pole position for his new Mercedes team.
    Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was ninth as team-mate Mark Webber missed the top 10 shoot-out after a fuel issue.
    The Australian stopped out on track in second qualifying, apparently having run out of fuel, and was unable to make it into the top 10 shoot-out, ending up 14th.
    He will be sent to the back of the grid unless the car has enough fuel in it to provide a one-litre sample as well as the amount of fuel required to get it back to the pits from where it stopped.
    Team principal Christian Horner said: “We saw a big drop in collector pressure which either means there is not enough fuel in the car or there is a problem with the fuel pump. So there is either a problem with the car or the fuel ‘bowser’, which puts the fuel into the car.”
    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was sixth ahead of the impressive Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso and McLaren’s Jenson Button, who like Vettel used ‘medium’ tyres in final qualifying in an attempt to gain an advantage in the race.
    The drivers ahead of Button and Vettel will all have to pit relatively early to change the fragile ‘soft’ tyres while the ‘mediums’ will last around 20 laps.
    But Vettel and Button will have to use the ‘softs’ later in the race.

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