Dennis suspects Vettel ran out of fuel in Bahrain - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Dennis suspects Vettel ran out of fuel in Bahrain

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Dennis suspects Vettel ran out of fuel in Bahrain

Mar.21 (GMM) Ron Dennis has been quoted as questioning Red Bull's claim that Sebastian Vettel suffered a spark plug failure whilst leading the 2010 season opener in Bahrain last weekend.

Initially after the 22-year-old pole sitter gave up the lead of the race to the eventual three podium-getters, Red Bull diagnosed an exhaust problem.

A subsequent media statement clarified that it was actually a spark plug problem within the Renault engine that was the matter, but Spain's AS newspaper reported last week that Vettel simply slowed to prevent running out of fuel.

"The lap times dropped so rapidly that one can imagine the electronic control unit (ECU) switching to a conservative programme to save fuel," Dennis is quoted as saying in a report of the Cologne newspaper Express.

Briton Dennis is the chairman and a 15 per cent shareholder of McLaren Group, whose subsidiary McLaren Electronic Systems (MES) supplies the control ECU run mandatorily by all F1 teams.

The 62-year-old was speaking late last week at the launch of McLaren's new MP4-12C production supercar.

His theory would explain how Vettel's RB6, having perhaps conserved enough fuel for a final surge, was able to record fully competitive times in the final laps to prevent Nico Rosberg from passing.

During Dennis' long reign as McLaren team boss, Adrian Newey worked for a long time with the British team. And Newey, the main author of the RB6, is renowned for pushing the envelope with his F1 designs.

"The problem with the Red Bull could be design," Dennis continued.

"It could be the fuel tank is too small, or the fuel consumption is higher than they expected," he added.

Renault's engine boss Rob White told Express that the French marque has also been analysing the cause of Vettel's Bahrain problem.

"The investigation to identify the reason for Vettel's engine problem is ongoing," he said.

"A problem with the spark plug was found, but we have no reason to suspect a defect in the component itself."
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 12:12 PM
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That's what I thought during the race! If you looked at the lap times both Nico and Schumi were suppose to pass Vettel, then all of a sudden he started picking up the pace?? If you have a broken exhaust header or a spark problem, you're not getting any performance back after a couple laps!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 02:43 PM
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He also didn't complete a cooling lap at the end of the race and just parked it. I think he was super low on fuel.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Red Bull still insist it was faulty spark plug(s).
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 06:33 AM
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Of course they would not admit that! If they will, their blistering pace in the opening laps would not be real according to what the car should weigh! Anyway, 18 more races to go, I'm sure a lot of things are going to be unveiled as the season progresses.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Vettel scoffs at Dennis' 'low fuel' theory

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Vettel scoffs at Dennis' 'low fuel' theory

Mar.25 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel on Thursday scoffed at Ron Dennis' suggestion that Red Bull did not tell the truth about its problem in the Bahrain season opener two weeks ago.

Having initially said a failed exhaust was the reason for the German's slowed pace, the team later clarified that it was in fact a spark plug problem.

But Dennis, the former McLaren team boss and ongoing chairman of the Woking based group, speculated last week that Vettel may actually have been running low on fuel.

"Maybe Ron Dennis wanted to attract attention with his theory, because otherwise no one asks for his opinion anymore," Vettel, 22, is quoted as saying from Melbourne by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

To reporters at Albert Park, the Bahrain pole sitter and early race leader reiterated that his problem was caused by a spark plug with a broken tip.

So why did he pull to the side of the track immediately after the chequered flag, if he had not run out of fuel?

"Because at the time I thought the exhaust was broken and I didn't want to do any more damage," he explained.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 03:53 PM
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I was wondering about the pick up in pace over the last few laps as well. I'm not sure how much of a jump it was, but he may just have settled in to running at a slower pace after setting the pace all race. Also, I was watching the BBC broadcast, and the commentators on pit wall were commenting on the fact that the RB6 sounded differently and not right, leading everyone to believe it was an exhaust problem, although a spark plug sounds like an explanation for the car sounding off as well.
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