NOVEMBER 3, 2012
Vettel relegated to back of Abu Dhabi grid!
Sebastian Vettel will start the race from the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi after his Red Bull was found to have insufficient for sampling purposes and therefore infringed Article 6.6.2 of the F1 technical regulations. By Tony Dodgins (@TonyDodgins)
Vettel stopped his car on the circuit on the slow down lap after his final run in Q3, in response to a command from the team. The rules require that a car must be driven back to the pits under its own steam other than for reasons of force majeure.
After almost five hours of delibarations extending as far as 11pm Abu Dhabi time, the stewards were satisfied that such was the case. An independent examination, however, revealed that there was insufficient fuel in the car. Lewis Hamilton fell foul of the same regulation after taking pole position at this year's Spanish GP.
Vettel's times were therefore disallowed and he starts from the back. All those behind his original third place on the grid are promoted one slot, meaning that Fernando Alonso now starts the race sixth, with a podium finish closer in his sights. Vettel must hope that Abu Dhabi's double DRS zone allows him to make significant progress at a circuit on which overtaking has proved problematic in the past.