Ferrari fined for 5kg fuel discrepancy, Leclerc keeps podium

Less than one hour before the start of the race, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said a fuel check revealed a “significant difference” between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car.

This alleged breach of an FIA technical directive was referred to the stewards, who waited until after the race to investigate.

The TD in question requires teams to declare the amount of fuel in the cars for the reconnaissance laps to the grid, the formation lap, the race, the lap back to the pits and “any fire-ups that would be needed”.

In their report, the Abu Dhabi GP stewards revealed that there was a difference of 4.88kg between what Ferrari had declared and Bauer’s measured fuel mass.

It was not known whether Ferrari risked a sporting penalty, although Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said “I can’t see how he [Leclerc] won’t be [disqualified]” when asked about the issue pre-race.

However, the stewards have opted to fine Ferrari €50,000 for the inaccurate declaration, with no further punishment.

That means Leclerc’s third-place finish in the grand prix stands. 

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto spoke to media before the decision was communicated.

At the time, he said: “I don’t think there’s much to explain, there has been a discrepancy between measurements.

“We believe that our measurements are correct. I think there is one measure which is not, but it’s in their hands.

“We’re happy on our side to understand and happy to go in detail, but it’s not part of our discussion, our decision. So we are simply waiting as you are.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 3rd position, on the podium with his trophy

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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