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Formula 1

Albon thrown out of Australian GP qualifying over fuel breach

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Alex Albon has been excluded from qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix as his Williams Formula 1 car did not have enough fuel for the required post-session FIA sample.

Albon narrowly missed out on making Q2 in Melbourne, with the end of the opening segment compromised by a late red flag.

That set up a two-minute shootout in which no driver in the relegation zone was able to improve sufficiently to progress, including Albon who was 16th and 0.031s slower than the Haas of Mick Schumacher.

Albon then stopped the car on-track on his inlap after being instructed to do by the team.

After the session, the FIA could not take the sample of fuel required by the regulations, which is one litre plus the amount of fuel necessary to drive the car back to the pits under its own power from the position where he stopped, in Albon’s case an extra 0.15 litres.

It was only possible for the FIA to take a 0.33-litre sample.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Day Melbourne, Australia

This offence is an automatic disqualification from the session, and the same that cost Aston Martin a podium finish in last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel.

Williams will investigate the cause but suspected the hectic late shootout contributed to the issue.

“We could see we could see a problem as he came in towards the pitlane, where something wasn’t quite right,” said Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.

“So we opted to stop the car just to make sure we didn’t damage anything.

“I think the fact that we had to go queue at the end of the pitlane after the red flag, to get that lap in the outlap was then a lot more aggressive than we had planned.

“I think that’s why we were a bit lower than we would have liked to be.”

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