The FIA dismisses Aston Martin’s appeal, Hamilton keeps P2

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The FIA has dismissed Aston Martin’s request for review and appeal of Sebastian Vettel’s Hungarian Grand Prix disqualification.

Sebastian Vettel has been disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix due to the FIA being unable to obtain a one litre fuel sample from his car after the race, as required under the regulations.

The team requested a review of the penalty claiming that the problem arose because of a fuel pump issue.

For their request to be granted the team was required to present “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.

However, upon reviewing the evidence, the FIA dismissed their request.

“The alleged “New Evidence” was derived from analysis of more than 100 channels of fuel system related data,” the verdict document read.

“It concludes that there was a fuel system failure in Car 5. 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 litre 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.

“At the first hearing on August 1, 2021, Aston Martin stated that, according to their calculations using the Fuel Flow Metre (FFM) and taking into account the amount filled into Car 5 before the race, there should have still been 1.44 litres in the tank.

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“However, as Aston Martin now explain, an analysis of various data carried out after August 1, 2021 showed that there was actually less than 1 litre remaining at the end of the race due to an initially unnoticed malfunction in the fuel system.

“In the original decision, the Stewards only assumed the fact that there was not enough fuel in the tank. The question of what caused that situation was left out of consideration.

“Art. 6.6 in its entirety and Art. 6.6.2 of the F1 Technical Regulations unequivocally calls for a remaining amount of 1 litre and does not allow any exceptions under which circumstances or for what reasons it could be dispensed with.

“Therefore, for the assessment of whether or not the 1-litre requirement was broken, it does not make a difference why there was less than 1 litre.

“There may be a couple of explanations why at the end of a race the remaining amount is insufficient. In any case, it remains the sole responsibility of the Competitor to ensure that the car is in conformity with the regulations all times (Art. 3.2 FIA International Sporting Code) and it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained (Art 1.3.3 FIA International Sporting Code).

“In order to be able to affirm a ‘relevant’ fact, Aston Martin would have had to present facts that actually more than 1 litre of fuel was remaining.

“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,” the FIA concluded.

With this, Lewis Hamilton’s P2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix is confirmed.

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