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. Jonathan Sarginson said on 16th March 2014, 15:02

    ..the above system, regularly used in generation 4/5 fighter aircraft uses a principle of sending an amount of fuel far in excess of engine requirements to the ICE; the excess is then returned via a Fuel Cooled Air Cooler (ACAC) to be used to cool engine, oil, or charge air, thereby reducing the frontal area required of Air Cooled radiators…

  2. Michael Brown (@) said on 16th March 2014, 15:12

    I don’t understand the fuel flow rule. It’s unnecessarily complicated. Surely limiting the amount of fuel to 100kg is enough to promote fuel efficiency?

  3. DaveW (@dmw) said on 16th March 2014, 15:29

    Seems open-and-shut to me. The fact that the stewards warned them repeatedly during the race will shade any appeal attempt. Also the stewards set in a very detailed record of what they did. The purpose of an appeal is to resolve a situation in which the rules were unclear at the time, or where the regulator plainly exceeded its discretion. It is not to simply to bypass the initial application of the rule. You can’t just ignore a rule you don’t like and then appeal the punishment, not unless the stewards were plainly acting out of line.

  4. sumedh said on 16th March 2014, 15:30

    Why does FIA have a rule that it itself cannot reliably police? Ridiculous

  5. Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 16th March 2014, 15:43

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

    It’s clear to me that RB expected this action and had the statement prepared. They ignored the FIA prior to and during the race… the arrogance of the management is obscene! It’s a real shame they used Daniel as the pawn in their little game of chess… I’ll be interested in the outcome of the appeal.

  6. So this is “trickery”. Sensor fun.

  7. Whether the FIA made poor sensors or not, sounds like RB (Ricciardo) was using up to 100Kg/hr where everyone else was using up to 96Kg/hr.
    Much as I like DR he therefore had a performance gain of up to 4% – a significant amount where even though Rosberg won by a whopping 26s seconds, this equals less than 0.5% of his time.

  8. Alan Miller (@alanmiller) said on 16th March 2014, 16:12

    Well, after reading the stewards findings I (begrudgingly) agree with the decision. If there is one good thing to come out of this it will be that the teams will do more than just pickup a box-o-fuelflowsensors at the local dollar store. Although the FIA’s fuel flow sensor homologation could be a farce. Nothing to prove this, just pure speculation. Although I do find it odd that Red Bull is challenging this ruling, from what I’m reading they don’t have a leg to stand on unless they have some sort of bombshell. But even if they do they would have presented it to the FIA already. Their challenge might simply be a show of moral support to their driver and nothing more. Similar to other sports teams challenges to show that they back their player.

    RBR tried to find the limit of what they could get away with and instead of gaining some sort of advantage they were bit hard by the regulatory body. On to the next race, I hope RBR will make something of it.

    God! Nothing like a conniption to wake you up in the morning.

    (By the by if anyone is going to attempt to say that I’m a Red Bull fanboy let me save you the trouble. Yes, yes I am. If sticking with your team good or bad, right or wrong makes you a fanboy, then I completely accept that moniker. At the very least give me credit that I admit it.)

  9. Hairs (@hairs) said on 16th March 2014, 16:27

    Being told by the stewards during the race to do something to remain within the rules, and refusing repeatedly to do it, means that Red Bull knew they were pushing up against a brick wall. Why would they do it?

    They’re obviously hoping that some behind the scenes negotiation will allow them to overturn the decision. It’s all very cynical and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The most hated team in the pitlane continues its journey.

  10. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 16th March 2014, 16:46

    I do not understand why the FIA send a warning to RBR to reduce fuel flow rate, when RBR had already breached the limit. This totally goes against Charlies warning about 100% compliance.

    I honestly hope RBR wins this one. It’s too big a mess for the FIA to just turn it down. Surely this will be as big as Mercedes tire-gate last year.

  11. evered7 (@evered7) said on 16th March 2014, 16:53

    FIA should have black flagged Ricciardo. The sentiments are high because he was on the podium after a good drive. If he was never allowed to finish perhaps people would leave their emotions before accusing the FIA.

    The fact that RB chose to ‘ignore’ their warnings sends a very wrong message to the other teams too.

    Any chance the other teams would have heard the warning to RB during the race? If they did and still ran below limits, they must be appreciated for sticking by the rules.

  12. Chad (@chaddy) said on 16th March 2014, 17:04

    The new fuel regulations have been called “the most important change to F1″ and yet the FIA provides teams with faulty fuel sensors– unacceptable, completely unacceptable. Some people seem to think RB was trying to cheat or juts being “arrogant” (please); they were up against a rock and a hard place. It sounds like they decided to do what they knew could limit his fuel usage, otherwise they had a junk sensor that was useless. I suggest the FIA fix the most important sensor on the car, and then they can defend the regulations, that were here followed in spirit and according to RB data, in fact.

    • evered7 (@evered7) said on 16th March 2014, 17:11

      @chaddy, if the sensors are all faulty why weren’t other teams found in breach of the rule? RB were warned and simply chose to ignore it because they already had their defense in place.

      If your speedometer is not accurate, would you still risk going at the limit or play it safe and be a few kmph below? Many teams seems to have done the latter while RB chose the former approach even after being warned.

      • Chad (@chaddy) said on 16th March 2014, 17:17

        Not all the sensors were faulty, but some were (hence the pre-race, last minute changes from the FIA).

        As for your speedometer analogy, the FIA’s broke, and Red Bull had another one to use to stay below the limit. And the FIA is saying “you were speeding– look we have a broken sensor to tell us!”

      • Your speedometer is wrong more than likely. They generally read high, by up to 10%. If you are trying to legally get somewhere as fast as possible, you get a GPS speedometer app, find out how fast the spedo reads when doing the speed-limit and drive to that. This is why enforcement of speed limits is done with accurate measurements, and why you can get speeding tickets thrown out of court if the LIDAR gun is not calibrated on schedule.

        • Chad (@chaddy) said on 16th March 2014, 17:38

          Exactly. They made a rule they can’t enforce because they shirked it on production. And people calling for teams to be penalized for being given crappy equipment is ludicrous, especially when there is an alternative and temporary solution at least until the FIA fixes their issue. Sorry Red Bull has been so successful, but it is due in part to not letting themselves get screwed over when they are in the right.

          Respect for rules comes not from arbitrary application of them, which any fool can do, but from protecting the integrity of the system determining their breach. This DSQ doesn’t mean the stewards aren’t allowing any teams to get unfair advantages or is making sure there is a level playing field– this is purely about power and politics, and has no foundation in supporting their own rules or implementing a straightforward limit on fuel consumption.

        • evered7 (@evered7) said on 16th March 2014, 17:51

          The article posting Stewards explanation clearly explains the issue. I don’t see RB having a case here. The equipment may be faulty but that doesn’t give you the right to go by your own methods.

          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.

  13. Rules are rules. But these are the kind of rules that simply destroys the “racing competitiveness” that everyone is always demanding. I don’t know any more what kind of F1 FIA wants. Truly don’t know. 2014 is the year to remember 20 years since Senna died. For me, if he was alive, he would just say: “These rules are stupid! We, the racers, are human beings design to win. Whatever it takes. And if we stop fighting for the gap to win, because we’re concerned about the stupid software has to be upgraded or with the level of gasoline, bla, bla, bla, we are not racing any more. We are just simply and ordinary people from whom was taken the right to race!” I would subscribe.

    • Chad (@chaddy) said on 16th March 2014, 17:44

      The people defending this DSQ fall into at least one of four camps:
      A) Hate Red Bull for dominating for 4 years
      B) Don’t like Daniel Ricciardo, I suppose
      C) Want teams to bend over for the FIA and be uncompetitive when an external factor screws things up (instead of pushing to the limit, even into the gray when they feel they are in the right)
      D) Chant rules are rules are rules are rules to protect their own biases– And they don’t even know if one was broken, but god forbid you don’t listen to the FIA’s nonsense instructions before the race so that a team wouldn’t have any chance of winning.

  14. Is there some reason there can not be a mechanical flow restriction in place? Pumps have a max pressure by regulation, a plate or fixed diameter tube could easily restrict the maximum flow. If you are using a sensor you know is not precise, you need to accept all readings within that precision.

    I don’t think RBR will win their appeal, but if they used a more precise method they are right in spirit. Spirit is ignored by the teams all the time so it’s only fair the FIA ignore it too when it suits them.

  15. Jason (@jason12) said on 16th March 2014, 17:49

    So RBR knowingly decided to break the rules here, unbelievable.

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