Horner blames human error for Yas Marina qualifying debacle

6 November, 2012

Sebastian Vettel stops on track after during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 3, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.Nov.6 (GMM) Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted that “human error” probably led to Sebastian Vettel having to start Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the field.

After qualifying third in Abu Dhabi, the championship leader was asked by his Red Bull engineer to “stop the car” on the track, apparently with a technical problem.

But when the scrutineers tried to extract the mandatory 1-litre fuel sample from the RB8, the pot fell a few hundred millilitres short, resulting in the German’s disqualification.

He started the race from the pitlane, Vettel only rescuing his title lead by charging through the field to third.

So what happened at the end of qualifying?

“To be honest, we have no clear answer but I suspect that it was human error,” team boss Horner is quoted by Germany’s Sport1.

“Renault gave us a clear statement that we should stop the car. Because we feared that it could be something that damages the engine, we followed their instructions,” he added.

“We had to explain to the stewards why we stopped the car, they accepted our argument, but then we had to give the one litre sample.”

Horner said that Renault has not been able to explain why too little fuel was put into the RB8.

Subbed by AJN.


  • Hawk

    is it Renault that refuels? I didnt know.
    Horner should also stop the lies. Whoever told the car to stop knew there was not enough fuel.

  • Venezia

    It is clear they qualify with little fuel and forget that it has to be race fuel!

  • Disgusted with 2012

    They were short 150ml, a little more than 1/2 cup of liquid. This was not gallons or even quarts short, it was a fraction of a cup. That in mind, its easy enough to see how an error can be made. Yes, Renault plays a role in interpreting data to instruct the teams on the amount of fuel burned, etc… That is what they are contracted to do as part of the engine supply agreement. There are no lies here, possibly a fuel equipment calibration problem, possibly human error. This is not a unique instance with RBR, Hamilton was caught out for a similar problem, although in his case they were aware of the fuel level, while RBR were reacting to a sensor reading that did not correlate with other information, leading them to believe there was a more serious problem.

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