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FIA rule out changes to weighbridge rules after Vettel incident

Written by  Nov 13, 2018

Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has ruled out changing the random weighbridge system after Sebastian Vettel's qualifying incident in Brazil.

With the threat of rain arriving at Interlagos, Ferrari opted to do a quick pit-stop of their drivers in Q2 switching from the Supersoft tyre to the more durable Soft on which they would start the race.

In the process, however, Vettel would be called to have his car randomly weighed leading to a chaotic scene as the German tried to rush through the process and was later penalised with a reprimand and a 25,000EUR fine.

“What annoyed Sebastian [Vettel] obviously was being stopped. Ferrari did something slightly unusual,” race director Charlie Whiting explained.

“They went out one on type of tyre to explore the track as it were, came in, and there’s a risk. There will always a risk that you’re going to be stopped, they know that and they should factor that in.

“This is what I’m always telling the teams. It should be something that they say ‘if we do this, how is this is how long it will take, we might get stopped so we have to add a minute’.

“It’s something they should always factor in.”

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Post-qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo suggested a tweak should be made that only cars with banker laps registered should be called in to be weighed to avoid a driver being caught out, Whiting, however, disagreed.

“It’s a system that we program to say ‘we’re going to stop the first car, second car, third car, so we don’t know which cars coming in,” he added.

“I think Jo [Bauer, FIA technical delegate] seldom tries to stop the first car that comes in because in a short qualifying session like that the first car could be a car coming in with a mechanical problem having just done a half a lap.

“But to see two cars come in for strategic reasons after one lap is unusual. It’s just the way it goes.”

In all his year's of experience, the Briton admitted the situation, which saw Vettel break the scales as a result, was a first in his career.

“A driver losing his temper and breaking the scales, it’s not something that we’ve come across, frankly.”

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