Ricciardo faces investigation for fuel limit breach

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Daniel Ricciardo is under investigation by the FIA stewards for a potential breach of the fuel flow limit rules.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported Ricciardo’s car “exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h”.

“As this is not in compliance with Article 5.1.4 of the 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

Under new regulations introduced this season a driver’s engine may not consume fuel at a peak rate higher than 100kg per hour.

The FIA had experienced difficulty in monitoring the fuel flow rate limit on cars earlier in the weekend. Yesterday the teams were advised by race director Charlie Whiting of a change to the fuel flow filter frequency.

“Due to time constraints before the qualifying session the FIA data versions will not be changed [to the new frequency],” Whiting added. “The revised monitoring will be processed by the FIA off­car.”

Red Bull had changed the fuel flow meter on Ricciardo’s car before the race. The same component was not changed on Sebastian Vettel’s RB10.

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177 comments on Ricciardo faces investigation for fuel limit breach

  1. I thought that would get calculated as a whole looking at the GP and not constantly as I thought cars could juggle the fuel at will.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 16th March 2014, 10:02

      Nope @peartree, it is both a 100kg over the race max, and that 100kg/hr flow rate that they have to keep. The flow gives a maximum to what you can use at any moment, while the maximum fuel allowance means you won’t be able to do even that flow for the whole race (but long enough apparently to be over the flow rate consistently in the case of Daniel Ricciardo here, apparently).

  2. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 16th March 2014, 9:51

    Daniel Ricciardo has been disqualified for fuel limit breach.

    FIA to post confirmation soon.

  3. TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 16th March 2014, 9:53

    Kevin Magnussen could be on for an unexpected bonus – and beat Hamilton’s record. Rookie start, qualify 4th and finish 3rd is a stat I expected to stand for a while.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th March 2014, 9:58

      It would (sort of) equal Jacques Villeneuve’s record from 1996 @tribaltalker. He finished second on debut after starting on pole and leading most of the race.

      • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 16th March 2014, 15:39

        Good call @geemac! I’d forgotten – he pushed Damon Hill quite hard that year in the Williams. I was mostly watching for Hill in those days.
        So Magnussen is in good company – two world champions with comparable starting stats.
        Maybe someone could do an article on rookie driver stats and the correlation with subsequent performance?

  4. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 16th March 2014, 10:03

    It would be such a shame if Daniel was disqualified for that superb drive! I hope the FIA just gives a fine to Red Bull or something else.

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 16th March 2014, 11:57

      Yup, fine driving when you’re cheating, no ?? Everybody drove slow to stay within the fuel limit, just 1 guy drove the hell out of that car. No wonder he got so high.

  5. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 16th March 2014, 10:05

    I’m hoping for a 10 grid penality and not a disqualification …

  6. Although what I do find hilarious is I guarantee if it had been Vettel who had suffered from the issue it would be “dirty cheats!” “Ban him from racing forever!” “Red Bull should be disqualified from the championship!”.

  7. Old Lightnin (@lightnin-hopkins) said on 16th March 2014, 10:08

    Just how brilliant was Daniels drive if he was miles behind the Mercedes and struggling to keep kev behind when he had more power? Vettle is gonna wreak this kid. you’ll see

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 10:19

      Really? What if Seb’s performance on Saturday is what the current RBR car is worth when it’s running within the regulations’ limits? Surely beating Ricciardo to 12th isn’t much of an accomplishment

  8. Tasimana said on 16th March 2014, 10:09

    The FIARce. Dan doesn’t deserve this given the way he drove. Red Bull owe him an apology. Vettel will be pleased though.

    • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th March 2014, 10:12

      Yeah Vettel will be real pleased his team now has 0 points as opposed to 18.

    • anon said on 16th March 2014, 10:28

      If it was a clear technical breach that potentially gives a performance advantage, then ultimately the team should face a sanction irrespective of how unpopular the result it. I know it won’t be widely supported, but if it is definitely breaking the rules then it shouldn’t be the case that a driver can get away with it just because their performance made them popular.

  9. I fail to understand why, with all that technology, the fuel useage maximum rate cannot be limited automatically. Surely this is not something the driver should be able to change.

    • Archimedas (@archimedas) said on 16th March 2014, 10:14

      I disagree, i want to see some strategic planning from drivers or with a team input when to back off and when to push using more fuel.

    • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 16th March 2014, 10:32

      They are barely getting most of their cars to run, so no surprise. Remember, they have only had a few days of testing in a few weeks. Sure the electronics on the car should take care of the max flow limit, though the driver should be able to adjust it. I’am sure that will come, but first they have to get them running properly.

      If the engine was a commercial project, they would have been doing years of real life testing. Given all that, I’am quite surprised to see so many classified finishers(even with Ric’s DSQ), but it must be said, that only two of them with an Renault engine…

  10. shukudai said on 16th March 2014, 10:12

    He didn’t know what his car was doing.

  11. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 10:17

    That would be a shame if Daniel was to be disqualified. This would also be a really bad news for Red Bull. The consistently exceeded fuel flow surely gives a performance boost. Without this boost, with flow within proper limits, the Red Bull car would not be competitive.

    • You are just assuming that. We still don’t actually know that it exceeded the limit, and no concern was expressed on Friday (where they also seemed fairly competitive).

    • Mads (@mads) said on 16th March 2014, 10:29


      Without this boost, with flow within proper limits, the Red Bull car would not be competitive.

      Why not? Ricciardo put it on the front row without using fuel too quickly.
      Illegal would, theoretically be anything as little as 100.01kg/h. Depending on how accurately the fuel flow meter can actually be.

  12. renan said on 16th March 2014, 10:19

    obviously RBR Pit crew was trying to be clever, im pretty sure they knew it all along during the race.. RBR should be punished.. not good for the driver though..

  13. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 16th March 2014, 10:26

    The very worrying word in the report is “consistently” – it implies either a software fault or that Ricciardo was gaining a clear advantage for the majority of the race. Unfortunately I’d say this is a done deal, but rules are rules.

  14. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 16th March 2014, 10:30

    I wonder if this will have ramifications for the future of the Australian GP… It would be easy to feel that Australians’ performances are continuing to be undermined.

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