Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014

Ricciardo stripped of second place – Red Bull to appeal

2014 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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

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  1. 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.

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

  3. 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?

    1. knoxploration
      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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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?

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

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

  6. 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?

  7. Bjorn Sandberg
    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.

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

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

    1. lol. So I assume they sabotaged both cars then?

  10. 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.

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

      1. 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 :)

    2. 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.

    3. 1.Yes

      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.


    4. 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.

  11. . 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.”

    So if there were Inconsistencies up and down the pit lane why oh why did they get it wrong and nobody else did?
    In my mind the other teams planned and stayed well within those Inconsistencies and Red Bull decided to wing it here and blame the flow meter if anything happens. So to me it seemed more like a test session where Vettel had the right software/hardware and did not go anywhere but Ricciardo had his fuel meter changed without the same software to regulate it and got second place. Now this may be a good test result for Red Bull/ Renault because now they know the extremes and they just need to find the middle ground somewhere.
    *Takes off tin foil*

  12. We have been told that car 3 ” exceeded consistently” the max fuel flow rate but we haven’t been told by how much, it can’t have been by a great amount as that would almost certainly have resulted in an excessive total fuel use for the race, RBR are appealing on the grounds that this is a metering error outside their control, I expect that given the complexities of the system and the changes the FIA have instituted to try and overcome innaccuracies already apparent in the system that RBR will be given the benefit of the doubt, I await further details with interest.

    1. Not really… Regarding total fuel usage here’s a quote from another site regarding the same issue.

      A document issued by the FIA Formula 1 Technical Delegate Jo Bauer following post race scrutineering states that “during the race car 03 consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100kg/h”
      In 2014 Formula 1 cars are limited to 100kg of fuel in the race and it cannot flow to the engine at a rate of more than 100kg per hour. This seems rather strange as the race lasted 93 minutes which means that with the maximum 100kg of fuel in the tank the highest average fuel flow the Red Bull could have and still finish the race is just 64.5kg/h (approximate) so ‘consistently exceeding’ must be a number of spikes on the trace rather than running regularly over 100kg/h. However this could still bring performance gains.
      Meanwhile it is worth noting that the flow meter on the car in question was changed after qualifying.

      1. knoxploration
        16th March 2014, 13:39

        It’s also worth noting (from the stewards’ decision) that the fuel flow sensor was changed because it was faulty and registered a change in its reading from lap to lap during a session, then it was replaced with another that was also faulty, and then the original known faulty sensor was put back into the car and the team told “tough luck”.

  13. This makes Kevin Magnussen’s race the joint best debut ever, along with Jacques Villeneuve (excluding Guiseppe Farina, who won the first ever grand prix).

  14. Very sorry for Ricciardo, but Red Bull had to be dealt with in proper, strict manner. They basically illegally boosted the performance of the car which never should be treated leniently.

    1. Haha, sorry mate, just had to say how much I love your avatar!

    2. @cyclops_pl I see what you did with your avatar

  15. So this means that Magnussen did better than Hamilton on his debut for McLaren

  16. DIGUSTING. stupid rule, what is this 100kg/hour rubbish? why isn’t it just 100kg for the race? what advantage is gained anyway going over? the driver is not at fault here, he should get no penalty, take the points off redbulls constructors points and get rid of this BS rule.

    1. Aaron (@tripperhead)
      16th March 2014, 13:50

      This is my question. Why double up on a new rule? Seems ridiculous.

      1. Exactly. The teams should be allowed to use THEIR 100kg of fuel however they want. If the teams can find ways of maximizing the fuel usage without running out, then let them. It would only make for better racing.

    2. The total fuel allowance is 100kg, and the total rate at which that fuel may be used is 100kg/hr.

      Both of these rules have been published for months, and both are designed as improvements in fuel economy, not performance at any cost are required.

      Unfortunately, as Ricciardo HAS gained an advantage, even if not his fault, he cannot be allowed to keep 2nd place and 18 points.

      Ultimately, it is down to the team to ensure this does not happen, especially if as reported they were informed by the FIA but chose to ignore the warning

    3. Quoted from another forum:

      “The fuel flow as opposed to total fuel consumption limit is solely to cap the horsepower to a sensible level. The old N/A engines simply had an RPM limit which was enough to control how much air they could possibly suck in. Now that we have forced induction, the best way to do that is fuel flow limit. Air limit could work as well but I suspect fuel is more straight forward and still leaves a reward for those who manage to get the most power out of the least amount of fuel.”

      “Uncapped power is not a good idea. Most likely the teams and engine manufacturers themselves are responsible for introducing this point in the regulations anyway. Do you really want to watch a procession of fuel saving alternated by short jumps where they turn the engine up to 1500 horsepower to fly past the guy in front on a straight?

      The limit is reasonable as evidenced by the increase in straight line performance over last year. It’s clearly harder to get the power down even without allowing insane overboost scenarios which nobody is waiting for.”

      1. Exactly, people who complain about this rule either don’t understand F1, or can’t think.

        Sure, almost everybody is disappointed that Daniel is disqualified, thats does not mean that the rule is wrong or bad.

        It is very necessary rule for more performance equality, for wheel to wheel racing, for costs, for reliability etc.

        1. Sad thing is that there is no such thing as equality, especially if you have ever watched a formula 1 race. Limiting fuel just adds unnecessary costs, and unfortunately the only reason for the rules are the profit margins of the auto makers and the “green ethos”.

          The FIA cannot be taken seriously, because they are not interested in containing costs, only promoting certain agendas.

    4. It’s to level the playing field. A maximum boost pressure is not specified in the new regulations, which eliminates the need for blow-off valves that ruin the sound of American racing cars.

      By limiting the fuel flow you limit the air flow since the air/fuel ratio is constant, which limits the boost pressure.

      Note that in the days of normally-aspirated engines, boost pressure was zero for everyone, and it was accepted as fair. Now it’s [whatever] for everyone, so should also be accepted as fair.

  17. Another way for RBR to justify themselves is to show that the driver has no way to change the maximum fuel flow. It could be so, it could be done so that EVERY engine map uses the same maximum fuel flow (peaks), even if it averages lower fuel consumption. This way they could argue, that FIA warned them, but they couldn’t do anything about it. The next race the same scenario, the next race the same scenario etc…

  18. Have to take my hats off to the stewards and the FIA. Ballsy move to exclude Ricciardo but if RB was trying to be too smart than I’m happy they are paying the price.

  19. Oh well, at least it’s adding some intrigue and excitement to what was one of the dullest races i’ve seen.

  20. That’s downright heartbreaking. But it did almost seem too good to be true.

    To be honest, it’s a rule I’ve never understood. As long as the driver finishes the race within the fuel limits, does the rate at which he uses it really matter that much? That said, rules are rules. I’m very surprised that Red Bull chose to ignore the warnings from the FIA. As always, I’d be very interested to know exactly how much time Ricciardo gained by breaking these rules.

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