After a dramatic race in Hungary, Sebastian Vettel finished second behind Esteban Ocon. However, the FIA announced late on Sunday that the Aston Martin driver had been disqualified from the race.
A statement released by the board confirms the decision and the reasoning behind the call:
“After the race it was not possible to take a 1.0 litre sample of fuel from car 5,” a statement from the FIA stewards explained.
“The team was given several opportunities to attempt to remove the required amount of fuel from the tank, however it was only possible to pump 0.3 litres out.
“During the hearing in presence of the FIA Technical Delegate and the FIA Technical Director the team principal of Aston Martin stated that there must be 1.44 litres left in the tank, but they are not able to get it out. This figure is calculated using the FFM or injector model.
“Given this situation, car No. 5 is not in compliance with the requirements of Art. 6.6 FIA Technical Regulations. According to Art. 6.6.2 competitors must ensure that a 1.0 litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time. The procedure was followed however the 1.0 litre sample of fuel was unable to be taken.
“The Stewards determine to apply the standard penalty for technical infringements. Therefore they took into account, that it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained.
“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 10.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.”
To simplify the rather elaborate statement, Vettel was disqualified from the race because his team could not present enough fuel samples from his car. The rules dictate that the team must be able to present 1 litre of fuel sample from the vehicle. This is done to ensure that the drivers don’t get the advantage of having a light car during the finish.
Aston Martin are expected to appeal the decision. Their strategy is to show that there was 1.7 litres of fuel in the car via petrol flow rate calculations. However, the main point is that the 1 litre sample was unable to be produced at the time. Keeping that in mind, it will be very difficult for Aston Martin to get the upper hand on the situation.