Aston Martin’s request for a right to review Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification from the Hungarian Grand Prix has been dismissed, although a formal appeal is still to be heard.
Vettel was disqualified after originally finishing second in Budapest because the FIA was unable to extract the required 1.0-liter of fuel for a sample post-race. Only 0.3-liters were available from Vettel’s car, with Aston Martin claiming there was 1.44-liters still in the system but unable to be removed.
After lodging its intention to appeal on the night of the race, Aston Martin pushed ahead with an appeal as well as requesting the right to review the penalty due to discovering what it believed to be “a significant and relevant new element,” which provided two avenues to try and get the penalty overturned.
However, the petition for a right to review has been dismissed by the stewards following a hearing on Monday after the new element was simply the complex analysis of more than 100 channels of fuel system related data that showed a failure meant fuel had been lost, leading to the lesser amount in the car.
“It concludes that there was a fuel system failure in Car 5,” the stewards’ report regarding Aston Martin’s submission states. “As a result of the loss of fuel cell pressure, the air pump in the fuel cell activated a maximum output. By pumping air through the fuel cell, a significant amount of fuel was inadvertently discharged from the fuel cell of Car 5.
“As a result of that, it was only possible to obtain a 0.3-liter sample of fuel, significantly less than the volume that was expected to have remained. Failure of the fuel cell pressure relief valve to seal is the prime suspect but any leak path from the fuel cell would have caused the loss of fuel pressure and resulted in the loss of fuel.”
The stewards determined that while the fact the fuel system failed was a new element, it isn’t relevant to the penalty as there are no exceptions for the required 1.0-liter sample. All the element explains is why a sample wasn’t available.
Aston Martin can still push ahead with its appeal to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal if it wishes, but the stewards’ wording when dismissing the right to review request suggests it will struggle to overturn the decision.
“In order to be able to affirm a ‘relevant’ fact, Aston Martin would have had to present facts that actually more than 1 liter of fuel was remaining,” the stewards wrote. “The explanation why this requirement could not be met is not relevant to the decision as to whether a breach of the regulations has occurred.”