JULY 24, 2011
Oh you silly fuel...
Sebastien Buemi has been demoted from his 16th qualifying position to the back of the German GP grid after a Toro Rosso fuel sample was found to differ from the sample that all teams must provide.
An FIA statement read: "The stewards, having received a report from the FIA Technical Delegate that the fuel sample taken after qualifying from car 18 showed an increase in one given GC peak area of an absolute amount greater than 0.1 per cent for the component present at a concentration below 0.8 per cent, and having heard from the FIA analytical chemist and the team representatives and examined the fuel test graphs, determine this to be a breach of Article 19.8.3 of the technical regulations and decide to impose a penalty of exclusion of car 18 from the results of qualifying."
'GC' refers to gas chromatography and Article 19.8.3 says: "GC peak areas of the sample will be compared with those obtained from the reference fuel. Increases in any given peak area (relative to its adjacent peak areas) which are greater than 12 per cent, or an absolute amount greater than 0.1 per cent for compounds present at concentrations below 0.8 per cent, will be deemed not to comply."
By way of explanation, Toro Rosso said: "During Friday's FP1, Buemi's car had a fuel pressure problem, which then got worse at the start of FP2, which is why he did not do a timed lap in that session. After FP2 the entire fuel system was changed. When the fuel sample was taken from his car after qualifying, it did not match the one provided to the FIA prior to the start of the season.
"The team believes that some part of the new fuel system contained a chemical that contaminated the fuel and caused the non-conformity."