F1 won't change weighbridge rules after Vettel incident

  • 13 Nov 2018 10:07
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

The FIA will not make any alterations to the weighbridge rules in Formula 1 in response to Sebastian Vettel's incident last weekend. Vettel damaged the scales as he pulled off from them on his own accord, rather than waiting to be pushed away.

The German admitted that he was frustrated as he hadn't yet set a lap in Q2, and pitted for the soft tyres. The FIA called him in on a random screening, with Vettel wanting to get in and out as soon as possible.

The four-time world champion was investigated by stewards post-qualifying and was handed a reprimand and a €25,000 fine. Daniel Ricciardo defended Vettel, saying it was unfair to call a driver in when he hadn't yet set a time in changing conditions.

"I think all it’s done is reminded the teams that if they choose to do something like that then they run a risk, said race director Charlie Whiting. "Two risks, really, in this case. The first one obviously was the time they spend doing a lap which is a little unpredictable. If you add another minute to that for the potential of being weighed then you need to factor that into your decision.

"What annoyed Sebastian obviously was being stopped. Ferrari did something slightly unusual. They went out one on type of tyre to explore the track as it were, came in, and there’s a risk. There will always a risk that you’re going to be stopped. They know that and they should factor that in. This is what I’m always telling the teams.

"It should be something that they say ‘if we do this, how is this is how long it will take, we might get stopped so we have to add a minute’. It’s something they should always factor in. And I think it’s completely random. It’s a system that we program to say ‘we’re going to stop the first car, second car, third car, so we don’t know which cars coming in.

"I think Jo [Bauer, FIA technical delegate] seldom tries to stop the first car that comes in because in a short qualifying session like that the first car could be a car coming in with a mechanical problem having just done a half a lap. But to see two cars come in for strategic reasons after one lap is unusual. It’s just the way it goes.”

Replies (5)

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  • boudy

    Posts: 1,032

    Again this makes sense, although drivers might not agree with it. Changing this procedure might bring more issues than it solves. Vettel acted dangerously on the weigh bridge and could have hurt someone.

    • + 1
    • Nov 13 2018 - 12:02
    • ENDR

      Posts: 43

      Yeah, scales getting shot from under the car, great...
      But what's the point of weighing a car that hasn't set a lap yet? What would be the point of running underweight only to return to the pits? Or better yet - what would be the HARM in doing that? In my view - they can run the car as light as they want (even data gathered wouldn't apply to "real" conditions), but the timed laps need to be done with the car over the minimum weight limit.

      • + 0
      • Nov 13 2018 - 18:35
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,032

      This issue is that in those conditions the car has to be applying to the weight limit. Just because this rule is not convenient it doesn't mean they should change it.

      • + 0
      • Nov 14 2018 - 07:59
  • NSBiker

    Posts: 18

    Saw the video of Vettel pulling onto the scales for weighing....
    One of the comments from the tech recording the weight was that with the engine running, it was difficult to get a proper reading. He instructed Vettel to shut off the engine which he did.
    At this point Vettel is frustrated and waving his arm about gesturing to get them to hurry up.
    Apparently they still had difficulty getting a proper weight, likely because he was disturbing the scales simply by waving his arms about. The weight measurement is probably +/- less than 500 g so the arm waving could easily upset the reading. His frustration and action was a part of the problem.
    If I am not mistaken .... the rules are specific and clear that when under Parc Ferme conditions, which they are during qualifying, the car MUST conform to all the rules including minimum weight, at all times.

    • + 0
    • Nov 13 2018 - 18:53
  • Then this is bound to happen again.

    • + 0
    • Nov 14 2018 - 09:18

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