FIA stand firm on weighbridge rules

Date published: November 13 2018

The FIA will not change the weighbridge rules in Formula 1 after the incident with Sebastian Vettel in Interlagos on Saturday.

Vettel was ordered on to the weighbridge during Q2, and at a crucial time in the qualifying session in Brazil.

In his impatience, he did not turn his engine off initially, and ruined the scales when he drove off them under his own power, leading to a reprimand and a fine for the Ferrari man.

He admitted to being frustrated at having to wait at that particular time, while former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo said the FIA should change the rule so drivers who are yet to set a time are not brought in to be weighed.

However, FIA race director Charlie Whiting sees no need to change the current rules, and that drivers will still be weighed at random.

“I think all it’s done is reminded the teams that if they choose to do something like that then they run a risk. Two risks, really, in this case,” Whiting said.

“The first one obviously was the time they spend doing a lap which is a little unpredictable.

“If you add another minute to that for the potential of being weighed then you need to factor that into your decision.”

He also added that Ferrari risked that exact situation by doing the exploratory lap in Q2, before coming in to change tyres and put the softs on in favour of the race start.

“What annoyed Sebastian [Vettel] obviously was being stopped. Ferrari did something slightly unusual,” he continued.

“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.”

Whiting also said that the process is “completely random” and that there is a system that is programmed which stops drivers at any point.

“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,” the FIA race director 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.”

Whiting also admitted that the incident was a new one for the stewards.

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

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.