Mark Webber excluded from qualifying

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Mark Webber has been excluded from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix after his car failed to return to the pits due to a fuel shortage.

The Red Bull driver was forced to stop out on track during Q2 due to a fuel shortage, although he did manage to qualify 14th thanks to the time he had already set. However, Webber will now start from the back of the grid following the ruling from the FIA.

Cars are required to produce a fuel sample at the end of each session for the FIA, and the governing body has ruled that Webber would not have been able to supply this had he returned to the pits.

The team have confirmed that his car was under-fueled due to a technical problem.

“A fuel browser problem caused an incorrect fuel measurement to be delivered to Mark’s car,” the team revealed on Twitter.

This is a similar problem to the one Sebastian Vettel faced at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he received the same penalty as Webber has today.

However, Webber was well aware that he could face such a sanction.

“It was a lack of fuel pressure so I couldn’t get back, so we stopped the car and qualifying was over before it started really,” he explained to the media.

“We’ll see what the rules are. I’m sure we’ll go through the process. It may be a double whammy.”

Webber will be able to start on fresh tires tomorrow, but the Australian driver did not hide his disappointment over the result.

“I think everyone’s in a similar boat saving tires. The option is not really the tire for this track. It’s completely wrong.”

To make the situation all the more painful for Webber, he believes that he could have challenged the front runners for pole position, which was eventually claimed by Lewis Hamilton.

“This is disappointing. Q1 went very well for me and the car has been quick all weekend.”

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Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”