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Formula 1 Australian GP

Albon disqualified from Australian GP qualifying

Alex Albon has been disqualified from qualifying for Formula 1's Australian Grand Prix after his Williams car couldn't produce a large enough fuel sample.

Marshals assist Alex Albon, Williams FW44, after a breakdown in Qualifying

At the end of Q1, Albon parked his Williams on track in the final sector after hurriedly being told by his race engineer to stop the car immediately.

It soon transpired Albon's car was stopped because it was almost out of fuel, F1 cars having to produce at least a one litre fuel sample so the FIA can carry out its scrutineering checks after the session.

However, Albon was referred to the stewards after the FIA's technical team could only extract a 0.33 litre sample in parc ferme.

On Saturday evening, the stewards decided to exclude Albon from qualifying, meaning he will start Sunday's race from the back of the field.

The stewards' statement read: "After qualifying, Car 23 had insufficient fuel to yield the required one litre sample.

"Given this situation, Car 23 is not in compliance with the requirements of Article 6.5 of the FIA Formula 1 Technical Regulations.

"According to Art. 6.5.2 competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time. The procedure was followed however the one litre sample of fuel was unable to be taken.

"The stewards determine to apply the standard penalty for technical infringements. Therefore they took into account, that it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained.

"The stewards have received a request from Williams Racing to allow Car 23 to start the race. The stewards therefore grant permission for Car 23, Alex Albon to start the race."

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Albon had qualified in 16th after failing to get his tyres up to temperature on his final push lap, as a late red flag only gave drivers two minutes to cross the line from leaving the pitlane.

That meant Albon had to queue at the end of the pitlane to gain track position ahead of the green light, and Williams' head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes that extended period out in the pitlane and the outlap "race" with fellow competitors may have contributed to Albon's lack of fuel.

"We could see a problem as he came towards the pitlane at the end of that lap where something wasn't quite right, so we opted to stop the car just to make sure we didn't damage anything," Robson explained ahead of the verdict.

"I think the fact that we had to go and queue at the end of the pitlane after the red flag to get that lap in meant that the outlap was then a lot more aggressive than we had planned.

"So, I think that's why we were a bit lower than we would've liked."

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