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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Ferrari blame fuel hose
Ferrari mechanics extinguish the flames licking Michael Schumacher's car
The fire could not deny Schumacher victory in Austria
A damaged fuel hose caused the pit-lane fire involving Michael Schumacher's car at the Austrian Grand Prix, Ferrari have said.

The hose used to refuel Schumacher's Ferrari during his first pit stop at the A1-Ring had also malfunctioned during team-mate Rubens Barrichello's stop minutes earlier.

"During Rubens Barrichello's pit stop on lap 21, a small amount of fuel remained in the breather hose of the rig, which was then used to refuel Schumacher's car two laps later," said a Ferrari statement.

"It appeared that a seal was damaged on the breather hose, so the fuel left inside it was able to escape on to the exhausts, thus starting a fire, which was further exacerbated by vapour escaping from the same hose."

Mechanics dealt with the fire and Schumacher, who barely moved despite the flames flickering behind his head, went on to win the race.

Ferrari and the FIA, the sport's governing body, launched an investigation into the incident.

But the FIA has confirmed to this website that there will not be a re-evaluation of refuelling.

FIA president Max Mosley said a fail-safe system in the hose, which was introduced after Jos Verstappen's Benetton ignited at the 1994 German Grand Prix, had done its job on Sunday.

"After the Verstappen fire, the fuel delivery hose was modified to incorporate a fail-safe cut-out system, which did work on this occasion and prevented any serious blaze," Mosley said in a statement.

"If there is to be a fire, then better in the pit lane where it can be dealt with efficiently and expertly, than somewhere out on the circuit."

Berger backs fuel stops
19 May 03  |  Formula One
Schumacher shrugs off fire risk
18 May 03  |  Formula One
Schumacher escapes to victory
18 May 03  |  Formula One
Austrian GP as it happened
18 May 03  |  Formula One

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