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The three reasons for Vettel's start from the pit lane

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Vettel: Start from the pit lane
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S ebastian Vettel was last in the four times in a row front row of the grid, two of them on pole position. In the time table of the starting grid for the Abu Dhabi GP, the Red Bull driver landed third, four positions ahead of his World Cup rival Fernando Alonso. But Vettel's name is at the bottom of the official starting grid.

All training times canceled

The defending champion was disqualified four and a half hours after the end of qualification. After his fast lap on the way back to the pits, he stopped 400 meters from the Parc Fermé on the open track. However, the regulations require the driver to return to the pits on his own. The only exception: force majeure. But even then, depending on the location of the stranded car, a certain amount of gasoline has to be on board for a fuel test. At Vettel it was 350 milliliters too little.

In such a case, the rules are very clear. The car is illegal. This means that all training times are canceled. Vettel has to start the race from the end of the field in his 99th GP appearance. Incidentally, it is not a premiere for the two-time world champion. In 2008 in Montreal, Vettel started from the very back after a crash in training. And finished eighth, back then on ToroRosso.

Three reasons for starting from the pit lane

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner announced on the evening of the disqualification that Vettel would win the GP Abu Dhabi will pick up from the pit lane. Compared to a normal start, Vettel gives away five to six seconds because he is only allowed to drive off when the last vehicle has passed the SafetyCar 2 line. Nevertheless, the tactic makes sense for Vettel. There are three good reasons why a start from the pit lane is better for him than standing on the 24th grid position next to Narain Karthikeyan.

Starting from the pit lane allows Vettel to completely convert his vehicle . For example, he could put a ninth engine into circulation without penalty. Usually that costs ten starting places. But how do you want to move someone back ten places who is already at the very back? After a brief discussion, the engine supplier decided not to use the joker. The reasons remained in the dark. Apparently the replacement engine is not the best in terms of engine performance. But he will change the gearbox for this.

Vettel therefore does withoutinvoluntarily in the world championship fight against Alonso to the advantage of two almost brand new engines. Engine number eight, which premiered on Saturday morning in Abu Dhabi, only has 23 laps on the clock.

Red Bull too slow on the straight

But Vettel can't just run a fresh one Starting Renault V8. He is also allowed to modify the entire setup of the vehicle. That is also necessary because he will have to overtake a lot on the 55 laps on the Yas Marina Circuit. He would have found it difficult to coordinate the training. Red Bull invested the advantage of the double DRS in additional downforce.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were the slowest cars in the field at the end of the 1180 meter straight with 311.4 and 311.2 km /h. For comparison: Pastor Maldonado's new third on the grid was measured at 325.8 km /h. Fernando Alonso with 319.7 km /h. Only the McLaren were as slow on the straight as the Red Bull at 313.7 km /h. Red Bull will choose a longer seventh gear and a flatter wing setting in the race.

Later pit stop announced

Vettel is not worried that he will get stuck in the field: 'We should then benefit from our double DRS.' The choice of tires also plays a role. Although Vettel was banished to the end of the field, the top ten rule applies to him as third on the provisional starting line-up. So he should have started on used soft tires from his 24th place on the grid. They already had three laps on the tread. Now the German is free to choose.

He will presumably start the race on a new set of medium tires and then put on the best-preserved set of soft compounds in the final. Since Pirelli predicts a one-stop race, you could almost bet that Vettel will postpone his pit stop as long as possible to make up places. Because from the Sauber, Force India and Williams it will be tough in his race to catch up. The best way to overtake them is with a late pit stop.


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