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F1 China 2013: Webber to start from back after fuel penalty
13 April 2013
Mark Webber has been penalised by the race stewards after running out of fuel after his only qualifying run of the second part of qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday.
After setting a fast lap time in Q2, Webber suffered fuel pressure issues and was ordered by the team to pull over behind the barriers, which meant that he failed to progress to Q3 and ended up with a provisional 14th place on the starting grid for Sunday's race.
However, further investigation determined that the car had run out of fuel - only 150ml remained in the tank - and as a result was unable to supply the mandatory test sample to FIA officials after the session ended.
That's a breach of the rules, and - just as happened to Lewis Hamilton in Spain and Sebastian Vettel at Abu Dhabi in 2012 - all of Webber's qualifying times were deleted and Webber sent to the back of the grid for the start of the Chinese GP.
"A fuel bowser problem caused an incorrect fuel measurement to be delivered to Mark's car," the team revealed subsequently.
"Basically collector pressure dropped out right at the end of that in-lap," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner elaborated. "It's annoying more than anything, but we'll deal with it.
"It's disappointing to have an issue but these things happen - we've seen it with other teams as well. But the most important thing is to understand what has happened," he continued. "The good thing about the race here is that, particularly with the strategies, it is open and Mark's demonstrated the year before last he can come from a lowly grid position and still be right up there by the end of the race."
Horner also revealed that had Webber made it into Q3 then he would have followed his team mate Sebastian Vettel's strategy of choosing the harder prime tyres at the expense of a shot at a front row starting position.
"We will be running a different strategy to the cars ahead," Horner explained. "They will be needing to pit certainly within the first ten laps whereas hopefully the medium tyre will go quite a bit further than that."