Ricciardo stripped of second place – Red Bull to appeal

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Daniel Ricciardo has been stripped of his second place in the Australian Grand Prix after his car failed a technical inspection.

Ricciardo’s Red Bull was found to have “exceeded consistently” the limit on peak fuel consumption of 100kg per hour, a new rule introduced for the 2014 season.

His exclusion from the race results after more than five hours of deliberation by the FIA stewards. Ricciardo’s car was found to be in violation of Article 3.2 of the sporting regulations and article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations.

The stewards issued a ten-point explanation for their decision, claiming Red Bull had failed to use a fuel flow model the FIA recommended for the racing, following problems with their fuel flow sensor during practice. The sensor had been changed on Ricciardo’s car prior to the race.

They also claimed Red Bull were told during the race their fuel flow rate was too high and were advised to make adjustments to reduce it, which they did not do.

According to the stewards, Red Bull chose not to use the recommended model because the sensor was faulty. However they noted that “regardless of the team’s assertion that the sensor was fault, it is not within their discretion to run a different fuel flow measurement method without the permission of the FIA”.

Red Bull immediately announced their attention to appeal and released the following statement:

“Following the decision of the FIA that Infiniti Red Bull Racing is in breach of Article 3.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations with car three, the team has notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect.

“Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations.”

During the race weekend the teams were advised by race director Charlie Whiting of a change to the fuel flow filter frequency. The teams were given the following notification:

“Following a review of the fuel flow data from the practice sessions the following change will be applied for qualifying and the race.

“The maximum fuel flow limit mFFMIllegal will be checked using a fuel flow filter frequency (parameter fdmFFMFuelFilter) of 5Hz instead of the 10Hz currently configured in the FIA data version.

“Due to time constraints before the qualifying session the FIA data versions will not be changed. The revised monitoring will be processed by the FIA off­-car.”

Ricciardo’s exclusion means Kevin Magnussen is promoted to second place and the other McLaren of Jenson Button takes third. Sergio Perez’s Force India moves up to tenth place for the final championship point.

See the revised race results and updated drivers and constructors’ championship points standings.

This article will be updated.

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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220 comments on Ricciardo stripped of second place – Red Bull to appeal

  1. Shame for Daniel, but unfair on the rest if that (and it presumably did) gave him a performance advantage, so can’t really quibble with the decision. Quietly pleased that means a podium finish for Jenson too, although it never really looks good to have these things decided after the race, especially when it’s a high-profile home podium in the first race of the year.

  2. Robert Tang (@robertthespy) said on 16th March 2014, 12:59

    Deeply disappointed but he will bounce back and surprise us more!

  3. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 16th March 2014, 12:59

    I’m still going to consider him the second placed driver, even if the points table doesn’t show it.

    • tvm (@) said on 16th March 2014, 13:02

      Totally ignoring the fact that if McLaren had done like Red Bull then Magnussen would have passed Riccardo?

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 16th March 2014, 13:05

        No, just considering the fact that Daniel drove a great race, and it wasn’t his fault.

        • tvm (@) said on 16th March 2014, 13:12

          true that, fair is fair.

        • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:33

          It wasn’t his fault but it’s very possible that had he used the correct amount of fuel, he wouldn’t have finished on the podium

          • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th March 2014, 23:14

            He had no ‘choice’ about using the correct amount of fuel – the flow rate is set from the pit wall and the engine management system will adjust to match, delivering power as required.

        • LosD (@losd) said on 16th March 2014, 16:50

          Well, since he would have been quite a bit slower, he’d probably been far lower in the standings.

          While it is both true that he drove a great race, and it wasn’t his fault doesn’t change the fact that his car was much faster than it would have been.

  4. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 16th March 2014, 12:59

    It’s harsh on Dan but rules are rules

  5. Albert said on 16th March 2014, 13:01

    What a shame, I can imagine this hurts more than the car breaking down mid-race.

    RBR needs to fix their electronics, the car seems quick and otherwise reliable enough.

    I hope DR has better luck next time.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:33

      didn’t Vettel retire fairly early on?

      • knoxploration said on 16th March 2014, 13:34

        The car’s reliable. The engine, not so much.

        • Skett (@skett) said on 16th March 2014, 14:38

          To be honest I think, in a way, that this actually shows that the renault engine has come on even more than we realised. It’s gone from being unable to manage a race distance at reduced power at the start of the Bahrain test, to doing a complete one at a “consistently higher” fuel rate to what it’s even designed for! Can’t really complain about that!

  6. Julien (@jlracing) said on 16th March 2014, 13:02

    You’ve got to feel for Daniel, he did a great job during the weekend. But rules are rules, and it would be strange if they would come away with it. At least we could wiitness the biggest smile in the world on the podium today and I’m sure he will soon be on the podium again.

  7. Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 16th March 2014, 13:04

    damn that means I get less points in the prediction championship… not that there were much to begin with, but still…

  8. JohnH (@johnrkh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:04

    Maybe Horner should be stripped of his place, also brings into question the team and how it is run. If they are willing to cheat in such a blatant manor in the first race of the season what have they done in the past?

    • knoxploration said on 16th March 2014, 13:16

      Have you ever considered that it just might not be cheating, even if it actually happened at all? Renault can barely provide them with an engine that doesn’t detonate at half race distance, I highly doubt anybody at the team has time to cheat (or would expect to be in a position to gain from doing so). Parts fail, mistakes happen. If that can be the case with everything else on the car, why not the systems related to fuel flow too? Why so quick to assume the worst?

      And more to the point, which team hasn’t been caught cheating? Ferrari: Multiple times, and currently employs a driver known to have participated in cheating. McLaren: Cheated multiple times, and one of the architects of that cheating is back at the helm. Renault: Cheated multiple times, and in the worst way possible. Williams: Knowingly hired a cheat just as soon as he was allowed back into F1. Mercedes: Hired Schumacher, who is known to have been a serial cheat.

      Have Red Bull cheated too? Probably. But let’s not throw stones here — your own favorite team are likely confirmed cheats as well, no matter which they are. Cheating is endemic in this sport, and I blame the FIA for its lack of transparency and inability to come up with proper, logical rules, let alone to enforce them fairly.

      • russ said on 16th March 2014, 17:29

        I have considered that,But determine No, its fishy.Everyone cheats,But when you get caught you get punished.After a while neweys “cleverness” gets OLD.On a level playing field,red bull is in trouble.Or they wouldn’t need to cheat.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th March 2014, 23:19

        McLaren: Cheated multiple times, and one of the architects of that cheating is back at the helm.

        Who? Mike Coughlan is nowhere to be seen, Pedro DeLa Rosa & Fernando Alonso are at Ferrari…

        Oh wait, you mean the guy on top who demanded an immediate internal investigation when he found out about it, delivering all evidence to the FIA and accepting the punishment without appeal?

  9. Sridhar Gopal (@sridharg16) said on 16th March 2014, 13:04

    Australians and REDBULL not a lucky combination are they.. Really feel for Dan…

  10. skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:04

    What are the possible outcomes of the appeal? Could the 2nd place be re-awarded?
    Red Bull sound pretty confident

  11. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 16th March 2014, 13:04

    This part was changed on Saturday after qualifying, did they have problems within all weekend? Did the FIA request a change as they were themselves getting irregular results from the testing?

  12. Bjorn Sandberg said on 16th March 2014, 13:05

    Exactly what could be expected with this technical solution. If the cars had been equipped with fuel flow rate regulators, this dreadful situation would not have happened.

  13. Mashiat (@) said on 16th March 2014, 13:07

    Sad for Dan. But Kevin Magnussen coming in 2nd :o? Wow, that most definitely exceeds expectations!

  14. Nitzo (@webtel) said on 16th March 2014, 13:08

    Another Australian..another sublime performance..and another sabotage !!
    That’s Red Bull living up to its name. !!

  15. Can someone confirm I’m understanding this correctly, as news sources and comments seem to suggest something completely different to my interpretation…

    As i understand it RedBull control the flow rate to the engine and either RedBull or Renault have designed all components that control this. The FIA simply issue a meter which only checks the flow rate is complying with the rules. (The meter has no direct control over the flow rate)

    The problem is the FIA issued meter suggests the flow rate has been breached, but RedBull are stating it hasn’t and arguing that the meter is faulty and giving a false positive. (rather than what many sources are suggesting which is a faulty meter caused the wrong flow rate).

    I’m I’m understanding this correctly, then the following options exist:

    1. The meter is correct and RedBull have a technical problem and are unable to accurately control the flow rate.
    2. The meter is correct and RedBull knowingly breached the flow rate, and now using “faulty meters” as a cover up.
    3. The meter is faulty and RedBull have done nothing wrong.
    4. The meter is faulty and RedBull thought they would get away with breaching the flow rate as a result.

    • Gdon (@gdon) said on 16th March 2014, 13:24

      Exactly my thoughts but as I have posted after you my feeling is it’s more likley a No. 4 scenario.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 16th March 2014, 14:41

        To me the situation also reads like scenario 4 is the likely one @gdon, MM; that tentative conclusion is partly based on this being Red Bull, they rarely make clumsy mistakes, but rather take risks that might take them too far, but scenario 2 seems too much cheating rather than taking a risk; had it been McLaren last years I’d have thought it might of well have been 1 :)

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:39

      I very much doubt anyone knowingly cheated. It’s something you are just never going to get away with.

      Considering the technical issues so far, I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t the 1st scenario.

    • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 16th March 2014, 15:47


      3. No, there are strict procedures to follow, even if a sensor is broken or suspected to be broken, which they did not follow, even when warned.


    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 16th March 2014, 23:28

      It’s a combination of 2, 3 & 4.

      All sensors, in most fields, have a measure of variance – accepted positive and negative deviance from the expected value. The flow sensors have such a value, which the FIA advise on.

      Red Bull seemed to believe that the FIA’s reading was wrong, despite the FIA assuring them they believed the sensors was functioning correctly and within scope, thus they did not allow RBR to fall back to an alternative measuring method. Red Bull decided to fall back anyway, feeding RIC data from their systems rather than the FIA-mandated flow meter.

      There was unlikely to be any express malicious intent to skirt the rules, but the fact remains someone in the team made the conscious decision to publicly operate outside of the rulebook.

      The Stewards decision and their reasoning behind it is fairly clear cut and not murky at all – the flow meter said RIC was using more fuel that the rules allowed, they told RBR to cut the flow back to normalise the reading, compensate for any variance *and* dodge a penalty. They did not.

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