Charles Leclerc has avoided being disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a fuel irregularity was found in his Ferrari before the race.
Shortly before lights out at the Yas Marina Circuit, the FIA issued a statement saying: "There was a significant difference between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car."
Stewards issued a fine of €50,000, but Leclerc keeps his third place.
The FIA's findings read: "TD/014-19 required teams to declare the amount of fuel that they intended to put in the car for the laps to the grid, the formation lap, the race, the in-lap and any fire-ups that would be needed. The Technical Delegate was able to confirm the fuel mass put in the tank by checking in accordance with the procedure specified in TD/014-19.
"There was a difference of 4.88kgs between the team’s declaration for car 16 and the Technical Delegate’s measured fuel mass.
"The team’s declaration was therefore inaccurate and constituted a breach of the
Technical Directive. This in turn constitutes an infringement of Article 12.1.1.i of the International Sporting Code."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had said pre-race that he expected Leclerc to be disqualified over the race, which may have increased scrutiny on Ferrari's engines.
The Scuderia's mid-season pace gains caught the attention of rival teams, and the FIA, who have issued several technical directives, seen as an exploration of the legality of Ferrari's PU.
It would be nice to know how much fuel Ferrari actually consumed. Did they use more than 110 kg? Or less? The FIA has a declaration rule, fine no argument, but the more important question is how much fuel was used? I assume it was less than 110 kg given that most teams under fuel their tanks in most races. Is Abu Dhabi a high consumption track? Or do most teams underfill the tank? If they underfill then forget about cheating right?
The FIA can measure the fuel remaining post race so as to eliminate all doubt.
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