April 13th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - The stewards of the Chinese Grand Prix have excluded Mark Webber from the results of qualifying after his Red Bull stopped out on track during Q2 without enough fuel remaining to provide the required sample for testing.
Under the regulations, a one litre sample must be taken from each car after qualifying to be tested against a sample provided before the race weekend. If the car stops out on track instead of returning to the pits, then there must be an additional quantity of fuel in the tank that would be sufficient to return the car to the pits.
In Webber's case, an issue with the fueling system resulted in his car being short-fueled by 3kg. Consequently, he did not have enough fuel to provide the necessary post-qualifying sample. Webber will now start from the back of the grid, which means his Chinese Grand Prix will be largely about damage limitation rather than fighting for victory.
This is not the first time such Red Bull have had a fueling problem in qualifying. At the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel had a similar issue that resulted in him being sent to the back of the grid. Vettel recovered to a crucial third place and went on to win the Drivers' Championship at the final round of the season in Brazil. While it is unlikely that Webber will be able to finish tomorrow's race as high as third, he will have the advantage of a competitive car and DRS, and the team will be able to make setup changes to the car to make overtaking easier.
Webber's misfortune could turn into the viewers' gain, as he is likely to deliver an entertaining drive in tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix.