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. The Bear! (@justgassing) said on 16th March 2014, 12:04

    Crying shame after what appeared to be a superb drive. Rules is rules, but i think that the FIA must take a little bit of common sense into their decision. (not possible)?
    It would make more sense to penalise the team and not so much the driver.

  2. kpcart said on 16th March 2014, 12:04

    i wonder when the engineers say over the radio “press the overtake button”, if that goes over the fuel flow limit, it would have to increase considerably, even if for a few seconds. how does the FIA know the fuel flow rate of each car? do they ahve sensors and modems on the injectors? over what time frame is the flow rate calculated, seconds, minutes?

  3. Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 16th March 2014, 12:22

    Is there really a point in introducing a maximum fuel flow rule when the drivers are giving it their all to preserve it and get to the chequered flag?

    • Mads (@mads) said on 16th March 2014, 12:34

      @pezlo2013
      In qualifying yes. It limits their power. But in the race I think it is completely overkill to both limit to maximum fuel flow, and limit the total amount of fuel. One or the other would surely be enough.

      • Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 16th March 2014, 12:54

        The fuel flow restriction altogether is a joke in my opinion. Surely it cant be right to put it on a car that has 100L of fuel trying to cover 300km+ on a regular basis,
        And why do it in qualifying where it is highly likely that you will exceed the limit whilst edging every bit of performance out.
        Are the FIA basically saying you cannot push 100% in Qualifying when it really counts, and no to pushing hard during stints in the Race?
        Either I’ve completely missed something or I’m losing my interest for all FIA governed sports as a young 16 year old adolescent in Melbourne, I’m more looking forward to my mid-year exams in June!

  4. name113 said on 16th March 2014, 12:45

    It’s a done deal, Dan is penalized

  5. JohnH (@johnrkh) said on 16th March 2014, 12:48

    It is going to be a bitter pill for Ricciardo to swallow. Horner is the one at fault if this turns out to be true. This is something Ricciardo would have no control over or knowledge of.

  6. stevensanph said on 16th March 2014, 12:53

    Joe Saward ‏@joesaward 1m
    Ricciardo excluded. It’s official.

  7. RH0258 (@rh0258) said on 16th March 2014, 12:58

    Am I the only person who feels this rule is necessary? I’m not going to pretend that I know why it was introduced but unless I’m mistaken, it needs to be in place because:

    (a) Safety. There have already been concerns about drivers using the ‘lift and coast’ tactic to save fuel. If this rule wasn’t in place (and you could use as much fuel as you want in a lap), then drivers would have more incentive to use potentially dangerous fuel saving strategies to make up for times when they want to really push. Additionally, it could create massive time differentials between cars using a lot of fuel against cars who are using extreme measures to save fuel. This goes against the point of the 107% rule, to stop cars that are too slow being on the track, which again was made for safety (although I’m not 100% sure I agree with that).

    (b) Overtaking. Say you’ve behind a few slower cars which it is possible (but difficult) for you to overtake. Then you have two options:
    (1) take the risk of damaging your tyres and wasting extra fuel.
    (2) Save both your tyres and some fuel. Wait for either them to pit or for a gap to open up to pit. Then, with the fuel you’ve saved/will save later, try and gain a few seconds over them to gain the places.
    I doubt many will pick (1). I know this happens to a lesser extent with the undercut but it would be dramatically more extreme if we were to add a massive fuel difference as well.

    Note: On Ricciardo I think It’s harsh he’s been disqualified (BBC twitter) and it would have been fairer if he got a time penalty, shame the rules do not allow that.

  8. John Harvey (@jrhonf1) said on 16th March 2014, 13:00

    where are official results? Formula1.com still shows him qualified as 2nd.

  9. Jere Jyrala said on 16th March 2014, 14:13

    Previously there was no restrictions on fuel flow rate per hour at all, so I don’t understand that why it has to be only 100 kg, which is already the maximum capacity for full tank!?

  10. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 16th March 2014, 14:44

    What nobody is talking about is the method the FIA use to collect this Fuel Flow Rate data. I understand it is via telemetry from the sensor itself, and i certainly see a future scenario where this could fail. So what then? What is the redundancy built into this system?
    From the telemetry fiasco last season, i can’t see any.

  11. Andy said on 16th March 2014, 20:06

    F1 is over regulated even in almost every areas. You give them a fuel limit of 100kg per race limit, fine; but let them use it as they wish.

    This is the sort of thing that turns off viewers and racers away from F1. You have a race where a popular guy and deserved podium finish, then later it’s taken away for a technical reason is just bad for everyone. I wonder if this happened with a red F1 car what would have been the verdict?

    We want to see new technologies, new designs and new ways of thinking. the FIA’s idea of making F1 a speck race is dreadful.

  12. News Flash:
    FIA to become governing body for all world sports and amateur organisations!

    FIA to penalise Usain Bolt for exceeding the acceleration allowance over first 20m hence giving him an unfair advantage. Penalty: All past Gold medals withdrawn.
    FIA to penalise Valentino Rossi for utilising all his riding skills for entire GP thus providing him unfair advantage. Penalty: All past championships withdraw.
    FIA to penalise Roger Federer for exceeding 200km/h serves for entire match. Penalty: All past Grand Slams withdrawn.
    FIA to penalise America’s Cup winner for utilising the wind for 100% of race duration providing unfair advantage. Penalty: Cup withdrawn.
    FIA to penalise Jean Todt for exceeding his limit of stupid rules in one season. Penalty: Extend his contract.
    FIA to penalise Jean Todt for ruining one of the best sports in the world. Penalty: Extend his contract.

  13. Zippythehog said on 17th March 2014, 1:37

    It’s a silly rule. However, if everyone agrees to race, one must follow the rules.

    These are race cars. They go fast. Typically, this takes energy. If a team can be more efficient than the competition, they should be rewarded. If not, penalties like this should not be implemented. Perhaps some revision to the rule to award contingency points for efficiency.

    That notwithstanding, if one competes, they should expect to have the rules universally enforced.

    It’s a silly rule.

  14. rob01189 (@rob01189) said on 17th March 2014, 10:11

    “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.” Mark Webber conspiracy theorists form an orderly queue please!

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