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. Gdon (@gdon) said on 16th March 2014, 13:18

    . 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*

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 13:23

    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.

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

      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.

      • knoxploration said on 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”.

  3. minnis (@minnis) said on 16th March 2014, 13:26

    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).

  4. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 13:29

    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.

  5. Ean (@ean) said on 16th March 2014, 13:29

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

  6. kpcart said on 16th March 2014, 13:34

    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.

    • Aaron (@tripperhead) said on 16th March 2014, 13:50

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

      • Irejag (@irejag) said on 16th March 2014, 14:45

        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.

    • David (@nvherman) said on 16th March 2014, 14:50

      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

    • 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.”

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 16th March 2014, 15:53

        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.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th March 2014, 20:55

          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.

    • Martin (@aardvark) said on 16th March 2014, 18:31

      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.

  7. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 16th March 2014, 13:37

    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…

  8. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 16th March 2014, 13:45

    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.

  9. maxthecat said on 16th March 2014, 13:46

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

  10. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 16th March 2014, 13:49

    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.

  11. ching ho (@chingh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:56

    This makes it the first time in which Red Bull haven’t scored since the 2012 Italian GP.

  12. Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 16th March 2014, 14:18

    It seems that the situation is much more complicated than “Red Bull cheated”. Honestly, I think both the FIA and Red Bull are at fault here. If the friday sensor gave inconsistent results in FP1, why use it for the race? It’s a bit stupid to limit the performance of a car because of a faulty sensor.
    But then, Red Bull knew this, so why did they push so much? I think that if they had listened to the FIA in the middle of the race they would have been ok.

    It’s really complicated, I think Red Bull did the right thing to appeal, just to clear everything out. Adam Cooper said that other teams ran 96 kg/h just to be sure, probably because they didn’t trust the sensor as well. So, it’s something that needs to be sorted out.

    • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th March 2014, 20:58

      I can sort it out to you and save money :)

      Just get rid of the stupid rule :) lolz.

      100kg per race, boom, … but maybe that would make too much sense, and give the rule makers less leverage in determining the outcome of the championship.

  13. Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 16th March 2014, 14:28

    Has anything happened with Red Bull’s challenge or has the bombshell detonated?

  14. Jonathan Sarginson said on 16th March 2014, 14:38

    Red Bull are now going to have to reveal their secret fuel recirculation system where fuel is returned (after passing thru the fuel-flow transmitter) back to the fuel tank, having been used to cool charge air thru a heat exchanger, therefore this flow is not being used by the ICU

  15. Irejag (@irejag) said on 16th March 2014, 14:41

    I don’t see why the FIA gets to dictate at what fuel flow rate the teams are allowed to use. 100kg of fuel per race. That is fine, but then they should leave it to the teams to decided how much their fuel flow rate is because they all have to use the same amount of fuel anyway.

    • David (@nvherman) said on 16th March 2014, 14:55

      Because the FIA make the rules, therefore they can dictate that the rules are followed and correctly enforced.

      Shame for Ricciardo, but he’s not the first and he won’t be the last.

      What about Hamilton being DQ’d from qualifying in Spain 2012 due to stopping on track because the team were worried there was not enough fuel left to provide a 1kg sample? Same strict interpretation of a rule, that many armchair fans seemed to struggle to understand.

      • kpcart said on 16th March 2014, 15:38

        no that is more like ricciardo stopping 500m after finishing second because he wont have enough fuel at parc ferme. totally different, and this is a rule only first seen today, so ofcourse it is hard to understand, especially since there are claims that the system for measuring the flow rate is not consistent – redbull have appealed because they use the same ECU as everyone else and mentioned other factors like injector rates, so genuinely believe they are not at fault, and that the fia’s reading are at fault —-as other commentators have said, other teams apparently set lower fuel flow rates to avoid problems because they knew of the inconsistencies in readings. there should be no inconsistencies, and penalties should not be applied if inconsistencies are known by the fia. This Is much more complicated and totally different scenario to syphoning 1 litre of fuel out of car with its engine off.

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

          I was meaning more the fact the driver has done an apparently brilliant job, but gets excluded post-session for an infringement that was beyond their control.

          The important point to remember in today’s case is that RBR were warned by the FIA, and specifically told to do something about it, but they ultimately decided not to, instead making their own decision to use their own calculations rather than the FIA’s which is not allowed.

          This might be RBR’s fault, not Ricciardo’s, but as there is no way to tell how much of an advantage this was giving, then DQ is the only answer.

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