Stewards detail reasons for Ricciardo’s disqualification

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Following Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from second place in the Australian Grand Prix the FIA stewards issued the following explanation for their decision:

1) The Technical Delegate reported to the Stewards that Car 3 exceeded the required fuel mass flow of 100kg/h. (Article 5.1.4 of the Formula One Technical Regulations)

2) This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo.

3) The fuel flow is measured using the fuel flow sensor (Art. 5.10.3 & 5.10.4 of the Technical Regulations) which is homologated by the FIA and owned and operated by the team.

4) The stewards considered the history of the fitted fuel flow sensor, as described by the team and the Technical Delegate’s representative who administers the program. Their description of the history of the sensor matches.

a. During Practice 1 a difference in reading between the first three and Run 4 was detected. The same readings as Run 4 were observed throughout Practice 2.

b. The team used a different sensor on Saturday but did not get readings that were satisfactory to them or the FIA, so they were instructed to change the sensor within Parc Ferme on Saturday night.

c. They operated the original sensor during the race, which provided the same readings as Run 4 of Practice 1, and Practice 2.

5) The Stewards heard from the technical representative that when the sensor was installed on Saturday night, he instructed the team to apply an offset to their fuel flow such that the fuel flow would have been legal. He presented an email to the stewards that verified his instruction.

6) The technical representative stated to the Stewards that there is variation in the sensors. However, the sensors fall within a known range, and are individually calibrated. They then become the standard which the teams must use for their fuel flow.

7) The team stated that based on the difference observed between the two readings in P1, they considered the fuel flow sensor to be unreliable. Therefore, for the start of the race they chose to use their internal fuel flow model, rather than the values provided by the sensor, with the required offset.

8) Technical Directive 016­14 (1 March 2014) provides the methodology by which the sensor will be used, and, should the sensor fail, the method by which the alternate model could be used.

a. The Technical Directive starts by stating: “The homologated fuel flow sensor will be the primary measurement of the fuel flow and will be used to check compliance with Articles 5.1.4 and 5.1.5 of the F1 Technical Regulations…” This is in conformity with Articles 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 of the Technical Regulations.

b. The Technical Directive goes on to state: “If at any time WE consider that the sensor has an issue which has not been detected by the system WE will communicate this to the team concerned and switch to a backup system” (emphasis added.)

c. The backup system is the calculated fuel flow model with a correction factor decided by the FIA.

9) The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.

10) Under Art. 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations it is the duty of the team to ensure compliance with the Technical Regulations throughout the Event. Thus the Stewards find that:

A) The team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA. This is a violation of the procedure within TD/ 016­14.

B) That although the sensor showed a difference in readings between runs in P1, it remains the homologated and required sensor against which the team is obliged to measure their fuel flow, unless given permission by the FIA to do otherwise.

C) The Stewards were satisfied by the explanation of the technical representative that by making an adjustment as instructed, the team could have run within the allowable fuel flow.

D) 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.

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290 comments on Stewards detail reasons for Ricciardo’s disqualification

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  1. Matthew (@f1matt) said on 16th March 2014, 13:13

    I thought the fuel rule was 100kg from lights to flag?

    But it’s 100kg of fuel per hour of the race duration then?

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:16

      Both.

      The most you can use in the race is 100kg. But also the maximum rate you can use it at is 100kg/hour

      Obviously, as a race is longer than an hour, they can’t us it at the rate for the whole race, or they’ll run out. But at now point can the fuel flow rate exceed 100kg/hour

    • Yep, 100kg/h.
      Why make it simple, when you can make it complicated?

    • McJamweasel said on 16th March 2014, 13:18

      It’s both. There is a maximum flow rate of 100kg/hr and a limit of 100kg total for the race.

      • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 16th March 2014, 13:25

        I don’t understand one thing. If the fuel limit is 100kg for the race then why a special mention to 100kh/h in the regulations? Can somebody kindly clarify this doubt?

        • Dave said on 16th March 2014, 13:30

          I don’t get this either.

          If the fuel flow was consistently above 100kg/h (which is against the rules), does that mean that the total amount of fuel in the car at the start of the race was also above 100kg (i.e. also against the rules)?

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:33

            No, because they don’t use the max rate (whatever is actually is!) all the time. The consistently probably refers to the fact that the maximum fuel rate kept peaking above 100kg/hour, and it wasn’t just a one off.

          • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th March 2014, 13:38

            These are 2 different things:

            1. you have 100kg of fuel for the race. Simple.

            2. at no point are you allowed aflow rate of 100kg/h. But you don’t have to wait an hour to measure that: it is INSTANT rate. Just like when you drive your car: you are not allowed more than 130km/h at any time, not as an average over an hour !

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 14:21

            Think of like this. You have a journey of 70 miles. That isn’t going to change, and according to conventional road conditions/speed limits (if you stick to them) you know that you can’t possibly complete this in less than 1 hour. The maximum speed limit you will encounter along the way and allowed by law is going to be 70 mph. That maximum speed limit which you will encounter doesn’t mean that you can do the entire journey at 70mph and that you will complete the journey in 1 hour, as you don’t expect to run at 70 mph for the entire journey.

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 8:43

            The precise reason for this is as a power limit.

            With a turbo engine, a rev limit no longer determines the maximum air (therefore fuel) flow rate. By increasing the boost pressure you get more air in the cylinder, which allows you to burn more fuel and produce more power.

            By setting a maximum fuel flow rate, they are ensuring that the teams do not just use insane amounts of boost at high revs to increase power output. It limits power throughout the entire rev range. It also has the effect of allowing higher boost pressures at lower revs, leading to the lovely torquey engines they have now.

            A side effect of this is also that the team who manages to burn said fuel most efficiently has a higher power output.

          • Jason (@jmwalley) said on 17th March 2014, 15:30

            @drmouse, excellent explanation. Thank you for that. Like many people (I imagine), I was mystified by why they would limit the fuel flow rate. Your explanation makes sense to me, so thank you.

          • rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 17th March 2014, 18:21

            Two rules. Both must be obeyed:
            1) Cars must use less than 100 Kg fuel for the whole race.
            2) Cars at full throttle must use less than 27.7 grams of fuel per second (this equals 100 Kg per hour).

        • David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 16th March 2014, 13:36

          @neelv27 Imagine the car running for 56 laps of the race while conserving enough fuel that they’ve still got 30 kg of it. They’re not allowed to just use all of that 30kg on the last lap. Instead, they’re only allowed to use around 2.5 kg of it for the final minute-and-a-half of the race (and the quali laps were something like 1:3x so I guessed that was not far off the time of the last lap).

        • Erik Torsner said on 16th March 2014, 13:43

          The only reason I can think of is that max fuel flow per hour is in effect a way to restrict power output. Fuel is energy and this is a way to restrict how much energy you can insert into the engine at any given time. Want more power? Build a more efficient engine.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 16th March 2014, 14:52

            And that is exactly why the FIA introduced that rule; so far it is thought/seems Mercedes has succeeded in doing just that, hence teams using their engine tend to be able to run the race on average faster than the other teams (see Bottas’ charge).

          • Or, another way to get more power is to use KERS.
            I guess this will show how little I know about racing cars, but I can’t see any reason why there isn’t some sort of “fuel limiter”, just like the engine rev limiter, that prevents the driver from exceeding the maximum allowed fuel rate at all times.
            The engine rev limiter doesn’t care how far down the accelerator is being pressed down, as soon as the engine RPMs exceeds a threshold it kicks in to limit the speed of the engine from going any faster, and that is pretty much how I see a fuel rate limiter working too: as as the fuel rate approaches predetermined threshold (e.g. 99 kg/hr) the amount the electronic readings of the accelerator pressed down is reduced by the software to automatically reduce the amount of throttle to keep the fuel consumption under the 100kg/hr requirement.
            If this was done correctly, and there are a ton of mathematical models to choose from, then no matter how hard the driver tried he simply could not exceed the 100 kg/hr.

          • Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 17th March 2014, 14:03

            @drycrust they are using a sort of limiter, but it does not limit the flow but rather uses a sensor that tells if the fuel will be limited to 100KG/HR. In this case, they identified the problem with the version of that sensor RedBull used, and instead of following the Stewards recommendation, RedBull used their own sensor – which is the whole point of debate that is panning out here on the forum.

            If not for this disqualification, chances are you would not have even known about it! and there are so many more of such rules that makes up the F1. :)

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 18:27

          I think the reason for the fuel flow rate limit is mainly to prevent the cars from being able to develop 1000+hp, and cruising around in fuel saving mode until another car tries to pass at which point it becomes a drag race that neither can sustain. Reliability enhancement ironically is probably part of the reason also.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 16th March 2014, 22:09

            @hohum Thanks for that. I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of a reason for the fuel flow limit and that would make sense.

            However, I think it’s too complex and error prone to be fair. And even if it is fair, people will still doubt that it’s fair because the sensors are raising questions. I think they’d be better off at this time to just change that and go with the 100kg total fuel limit.
            What’s the difference between telling them how much fuel they can use/second and how fast they can drive on certain laps? It feels like just another arbitrary rule to me.

            They’ve got a total fuel limit and the team and drivers should manage it the way they see fit. Just my opinion, but it would simplify things and eliminate situations like this.

    • Martin said on 16th March 2014, 13:22

      It’s 100kg for the race, with a maximum allowed fuel flow at any point of 100kg/hr

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th March 2014, 13:29

      @f1matt Yes, teams cannot use more than 100kg of fuel during a race. But that’s only one of two resitrction on how they can use fuel.

      The consumption rate also may not exceed 100kg per hour. Think of it like saying you’re not allowed to go above 100 miles per hour on a motorway – you don’t have to drive for an hour to get a speeding ticket (trust me…)

      More here:

      Why the new fuel limit is one of 2014′s toughest rules

      • Banburyhammer (@banburyhammer) said on 17th March 2014, 14:08

        Whats astounding about this is the stewards knew about this potential infringement as the race was unfolding. It wasnt a discovery in Parc ferme a- la McLarens second brake pedal.

        Unfortunately for Ricciardo, its right that he was disqualified, but all the anger and confusion has come up with the disqualification out of the blue. If they knew about during the race either black flag him, or inform the viewers and spectators the same way they do when investigating a race incident – by flashing a message on the FOM world feed.

        All the message needs to read is “Car X will be investigated for potentially breaching regulation 1.2.3 after the race”. Commentators can look up the regulation, explain what it means and none of this confusion, anger and disbelief has to occur.

        The rule is sound and logical. The communication is abject.

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 16th March 2014, 15:12

      @fluxsource @gwenouille @matt90 @davidnotcoulthard

      Thank you all for clarifying. Really appreciate it.

    • john burnett said on 16th March 2014, 15:27

      Oh dear, l must be living on another planet – l thought f1 was about a car race – not about who could dream up the most ridiculous rules. It’s a RACE – not drive like an economy run!!!

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 8:51

        By that logic, they shouldn’t bother with engine capacity limits, or rev limits. Just let them build 1000l engines which rev to a million RPM, and burn more fuel per lap than the jumbo jet that brought them all there used in the entire flight.

        The fuel flow limit is no different to the rev & capacity limits. TBH I have argued in the past that they should get rid of those two and just have a fuel flow limit: You may put in this max amount of power, it’s up to you to develop the best way. So you could have a 6l W16 revving low, a 2l V8 revving high, or a 1l turbo i4 with insane boost levels, your choice. You could also develop a turbine engine, or a steam engine, if you wanted, so long as it didn’t consume more than that fuel flow rate at peak.

        I know it’s not going to happen, but that would be my dream formula…

      • grat said on 17th March 2014, 16:48

        No, it’s a sport. Just like Lance Armstrong had his titles taken away for cheating, Red Bull had their points (and their driver’s points) taken away for cheating.

        Every other sport in the world, people can understand this… but because it’s a race car, everyone gets their knickers in a twist over the idea that there are actual rules and regulations governing how the teams compete.

        • Joe P said on 19th March 2014, 4:04

          well said, mate.

          even if you think the rule is stupid you still have to abide by it.

          choose not to do that, and your driver pays the price – as he should.

  2. aka_robyn said on 16th March 2014, 13:14

    The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.

    I will be interested to hear how the team accounts for this!

    • aka_robyn said on 16th March 2014, 13:20

      Ah, I just saw Adam Cooper on Twitter saying it was because RBR didn’t trust the FIA sensors. Still, if they were warned that it was a matter of compliance/noncompliance, I’m not sure why they thought they still had a choice in the matter!

      • aka_robyn said on 16th March 2014, 13:39

        Ha, should have read this whole ruling a lot more carefully before I commented!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 13:40

        Indeed from the article its pretty clear that Red Bull chose to willingly ignore what they were told to do by the Technical representative of the FIA, even after being reminded to do so during the race. I can understand why the FIA stewards would want to be firm on that one, otherwise it would open a can of worms.

        Makes me wonder what is behind this (seems to me an underlying dispute about the sensors, tolerances and backupmodels used in case of failure is boiling to the surface here). Does Red Bull want to challenge that procedure (proving that their method of fuel flow regulation is more accurate and reliable?)? Hard to understand why otherwise they did this, although I guess anyone would protest a disqualification of their driver/car on a new rule.

        • aka_robyn said on 16th March 2014, 13:52

          Yes, it would have been clear from the article if I’d read it more carefully instead of skimming it!

          I really can’t imagine how RBR could have a leg to stand on in their appeal. Like you say, maybe there was some sort of other ultimate goal involved…

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 18:41

            I don’t think it is quite that simple, very obviously fuel calibration has caused enormous problems for the teams in general and Renault in particular, they are trying to run these engines as lean as possible and the software is correlating the accellerator (or torque control pedal) with the fuel injection as well as the electric motor, I think it is highly likely that changing a single setting, especially based on a false sensor reading could not only reduce power but damage the engine. This needs a thorough investigation and a proper solution, nod ad hoc adjustments to guesstimate the correct fuel flow figures.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 16th March 2014, 19:11

            @hohum I agree. @aka_robyn @bascb as HoHum points out this is a legitimate issue, if the fuel flow meters are not calibrated properly the FIA needs to provide some way of testing the calibration of the units on site and recalibrating them that is satisfactory to the teams and engine manufacturers. If a meter all of a sudden started reading differently why should a team be expected to use that meter and reduce their fuel consumption? I am not at all surprised that they are fighting this if they truly believe that the meter was not properly calibrated. This is a bigger issue than one race result if the FIA can’t provide a legitimate method for checking calibration and recalibrating these particular sensors if they are going to police their use this strictly.

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:01

            If a meter all of a sudden started reading differently why should a team be expected to use that meter and reduce their fuel consumption?

            How do we know that it wasn’t that RB/Renault’s system which suddenly started misbehaving?

            All we know for sure is that, part way through P1, a change in fuel flow was seen, as measured by the FIA sensor. There a few reasons for this. One is that the FIA sensor is screwed. One is that they were actually using more fuel.

            Also, this should not damage the engine. At most, it will result in reduced power output. All the teams will be using sensors in the exhaust to ensure that the mixture they are burning is correct, and this will be coordinated with boost pressure and fuel flow. If they are hitting the fuel flow limit, the system should reduce boost pressure (hence air flow) to match.

            I don’t see RB having a leg to stand on, whether the FIA sensors were faulty or not. The disqualification will (and should) stand.

            If the sensor setup can be proven unreliable, it may be changed later. But RB have broken the rules. Even if they didn’t actually exceed the fuel flow limit, the rules say they must use that fuel flow sensor data unless told otherwise.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th March 2014, 14:30

            Guys, @us_peter, @hohum, @aka_robyn (guys and gals then!) I fully agree that this is a serious issue that needs to be solved as quick as possible and its a big shame that it led to a car being disqualified.

            But the issue remains, that @drmouse is right, and so far we can only say with certainty that either the calculation based on the fuel injection amounts (which is only an approximation, not a measurement done 5x second) are off.
            There is reason to believe that the variation shown is indeed a problem with the sensor, and both the FIA and the teams have been working on solving this since several montht and all were aware of how delicate an issue it is.
            However, that is even more reason to be on the safe side of caution with fuel flow (this issue came up for several Renault engined cars during the weekend). From reporting in the German press (who tend to have excellent information from both Red Bull and Mercedes) Mercedes ran into this issue earlier in testing and both they and (some) Ferrari powered teams ran a lower fuel rate, heeding the instructions from the FIA.
            Red Bull was aware of this but felt they wanted to challenge the procedures of the FIA that were (likely grudgingly and with protests) accepted by others. Since DiMontezemelo (and Whiting) mentioned this even before the race weekend, its likely that this was not a judgement of the moment but instead something Red Bull was planning to do up front.
            So then I ask you, who is to blame for this farce? The FIA or Red Bull who effectively put Ricciardo up as Guinna pig to test the rule makers resolve to stick with the chosen procedure for defining / measuring fuel flow during the races?
            Maybe over time other teams will be glad that Red Bull forced further clarification of the issue this way. But for now most of them (as well as likely the FIA does) feel disgruntled that the team made this come to the surface and thereby brought this aspect into view for a wider audience.
            I think that the biggest losers in this still are the fans, and I feel very sorry for Ricciardo.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th March 2014, 15:46

            @bascb,@drmouse, and others, Another question that comes to my mind is: How were RBR supposed to make correction to the fuel flow during the race. I was under the impression that the pit wall were no longer able to make remote control adjustments on the cars, only to receive data and give the driver instructions as necessary.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th March 2014, 18:49

            Is that a trick question @hohum? Its very easy. They call up the driver and tell him to choose a different engine setting.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th March 2014, 19:31

            @bascb, do you think they have a 96% full power map ready to go for just such an event? and the FIA said the driver had no control over it. Hmmm… Radio transmission:
            Horner: Dan, they’re onto us, switch fuel setting to “legit”
            Ricciardo; Errr, right, which setting number is that?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th March 2014, 14:45

            given that this was a subject that was discussed all over the winter, its likely that in fact they do @hohum! And its also not too unlikely that one of the “a bit leaner but not too slow” maps would be much like that too, it would be just another G4 or whatever

        • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:10

          Red Bull’s quote about the sensors being unreliable up and down the pit lane make it pretty clear why they’re making such a stand, and rightfully so in my opinion. If the sensors are unreliable then that’s a much bigger issue, if the one in Ricciardo’s car does turn out to be faulty, who’s to say others in other teams aren’t in the opposite direction?

          There’s been many jokes about F1 turning into WWE lately, (and excuse my tin-foil hat moment for a second but,) wouldn’t these sensors that give 1 team an advantage and another a disadvantage based on maximum fuel flow allowed give the powers that be yet another way to influence results?

          If it does turn out that the sensor is faulty and their fuel flow model was indeed more accurate, then it’s absolutely 100% completely understandable why they did this. They certainly sound confident that that’s the case, otherwise going to be quite some messy egg on their face.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 14:14

            @skipgamer Irrelevant. FIA set the rules, FIA tell the teams what to do. Full stop, end of. Red Bull was given a direct instruction, and they ignored it. Everything else is now background chaff.

            Your conspiracy theory is absurd.

          • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:24

            @fluxsource don’t know what a tin-foil hat is?
            And oh boy, good thing you’re not right otherwise drivers still wouldn’t be able to use run-off areas and would have to re-enter the track where they went off. Full stop, end of? Obviously not, there’s an appeal going on, effective immediately.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 14:29

            I am all for protesting the use of unreliable sensors. But when you put your race results into risk by willingly ignoring instructions to do otherwise, and at the same time knowingly use an unfair competative advantage vs. other teams cars (others had the same issue but DID restrict fuel flow to about 96kg/h to comply despite the unreliable sensors)

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 14:32

            … continued here – , then its only to be expected for the regulator to take a dim view of it and do as it said it would by disqualifying your car from the results.

            With hindsight, its pretty clear that this was what Whiting referred to before the race when he mentioned being strict on fuel flow limits as well as what Luca Di Montezemelo mentioned about wanting the FIA to be strict in keeping the rules. IF you see this, you understand that Red Bull took a risk to challenge these rules knowingly and despite being warned up front in no unclear terms that they would not get away with it @skipgamer

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

            @bascb Really good info there. You’re right, does make it quite a bit more despicable. A united front post-race would have been the more sporting way to deal with the issue.

            Not going to lie and pretend I knew this side of the story. Really interesting to know, cheers!

          • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th March 2014, 23:08

            I guess it comes down to whether or not you want to race and you know you or right, or do what you are told and accept a faulty sensor.

            Pretty cut and dry to me, and yeah, if all it takes is a crappy sensor to take you off the podium, lose say 7 or 8 points, I would say the FIA should have a law suite filed against it for fraud. Ie, knowingly handing out devices which are known not to work to the point where it damages the team’s efforts.

            I think the FIA should be ashamed of it’s self, and it’s a shame that such a rule can have so much influence over the efforts of the team and the driver to where someone is telling to slow down and lose a position because they have a piece of junk reporting bad data.

            Is this racing, or is this about doing what you are told and having agenda smeared all over your face?

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 12:36

            if all it takes is a crappy sensor to take you off the podium, lose say 7 or 8 points, I would say the FIA should have a law suite filed against it for fraud. Ie, knowingly handing out devices which are known not to work to the point where it damages the team’s efforts.

            If you mean that the “crappy sensor” is the reason RB were DNQed: no, it wasn’t. It was RB’s arrogance, refusing to obey an instruction from the officials, both before, and after another warning during the race.

            If you mean that using the “crappy sensor’s” data during the race could have cost RIC 2 places, then that means nothing. All the other teams were using the sensor’s data, and all the others complied. If the sensors were as bad as RB are saying, then other teams were disadvantaged by this, which means RB gained an advantage by ignoring the rules. I.e. cheated.

        • Geo (@geo) said on 17th March 2014, 18:30

          I wonder if the brilliant mechanic, whose decision it was to monitor the fuel flow in their own way, will get fired. I feel sorry for Ricciardo, hope he gets some good races to make up for it. I wonder if Vettel’s car was set up in the same way. I could imagine if he had achieved a good result then been disqualified he would have really freaked.
          So it looks like Red Bull isn’t as fast as they appeared to be. They have a lot of work to do if they plan on having a good season.

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 16th March 2014, 13:57

        Sounds like a pretty stupid decision making from RBR.

    • stevensanph said on 16th March 2014, 13:24

      this is easy for Red Bull to disprove. Simply take the flow/s data and plot it from when the car started to when it stopped. Then take the actual starting fuel and the actual ending fuel.

      Simply put the data should match the actual. If it doesn’t, you can work out the error in the sensor.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:29

        Thing is, that would just show the average flow over the entire race. What the FIA is saying is that there were significant periods where they went over the allowable flow, but they can’t have been over the allowable flow for the entire race (because allowable flow is 100kg/hr and they only have 100kg in the tank).

        • stevensanph said on 16th March 2014, 14:22

          no it wouldn’t.

          the flow per s must be measured on a regular interval. Probably once a second or more. If you plot every data point you can work out the exact fuel that should have been used. This isn’t the average.

          If the fuel actually used = the fuel the sensor said that was used, then the sensor was correct. If there is more fuel left than the sensor predicted, then the sensor is overreading.

          Its simple mathematics.

          • David (@nvherman) said on 16th March 2014, 14:58

            Not as simple as you think, clearly.

            Also not to mention the fact that there is a fuel return flow from the engine back to the tank but AFTER the fuel flow sensor, and it’s not straightforward at all.

          • Dennis said on 16th March 2014, 15:04

            No it’s not a complete picture, unless the rate changes slowly you’ll have gaps between the measurements.

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 16th March 2014, 18:00

            @nvherman that’s the only backup measurement to check against. The sampling frequency is 5Hz, down from the initial 10Hz. Maybe the FIA were allowing teams a little more leeway here. There is sampling error and there will be fuel lost when measuring and in the fuel system. These will be factored in by setting error margins on the allowed measurements.

            The bottom line is that the FIA is firm on this and has said so on more than one occasion. They mandated and homologated the fuel flow meters. The meters supply real-time flow information for every car at a sample rate of 5Hz. I am interested to see raw data and what the discrepancy comes down to, between Red Bull and the FIA, regardless of the fact that the FIA told Red Bull to do something and they decided not to. It doesn’t make a lot of sense given that they had to know we’d be here and that the FIA is autocratic in nature.

          • Neuromancer said on 16th March 2014, 19:40

            In that case why use mass flow on 100 Kg/hour instead of saying the max flow rate per minute or some more sensible and less open to debate?

            Has anyone on the FIA working party actually worked at a high level in the fluids industry?

            Or you know done a thermofluids degree or other relevant qualification?

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 16th March 2014, 21:31

            @ Neuromancer (nice alias BTW, William Gibson), the units are really immaterial, particularly the independent variable (time). The important aspects are that they’re the same for everyone and are accurately measurable. It’s the latter that is in dispute. No matter what we may like to think about the FIA, the fact is that it is comprised of some high-powered intellects on both the legislative and technical sides. The problem with all legislation is designing a successful one-size-fits-all regulation that cannot be circumvented by other smart people the behaviour of whom the law is meant to control. I believe the problem here arises because the FIA wrote the rules in terms of peak fuel flow weight per unit time and then imposed a measuring and reporting device that determines flow in terms of volume per unit time, not taking into account density variations due to temperature.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 22:24

            In that case why use mass flow on 100 Kg/hour instead of saying the max flow rate per minute or some more sensible and less open to debate?

            It isn’t open to debate. 27.7g/s is the equivalent of 100kg/h. And that means it’s the same, whether the units you use are per hour or per second. Just like if the police catch you going 80mph, they don’t have to measure how far you actually travel over a full hour to be justified in stopping you.

            They probably used the units they did just so it would be a nice round number, mistakenly thinking it would easy to understand (when in actual fact the 100kg fuel limit and 100kg/h flow limit seem to be really confusing people).

            As Morty says, maybe there are discrepancies converting between mass and volume, due to the fuel properties and varying temperatures. But the time units they use are of no significance.

          • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th March 2014, 23:20

            @neuro, that was my thinking too.

            mass flow is a process, rate describes change with respect to time.

            It’s also a shame about the technical regulation changes this late in the game, the regulations for the power unit should have been sealed way before (at least 6 months) the motors were homologated.

            It’s just another example of how rule makers don’t appreciate the time it takes to build and test something, the amount of investment that is required nor the time examining the rules and then building a solution tailored to those rules.

            The FIA are not interested in saving people money, only twisting people’s arms in order to get what they want, and I wish people could see that rules only create an order for those who write them, and racing should have more to do with the ‘natural’ order and not what a bunch of technocrats believe it to be.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th March 2014, 18:14

            It would be simple math if we were talking large amounts of fuel at a constant temperature but we are talking very small amounts over fractions of a second or possibly many seconds per lap , until the sensor flow charts are published we wont know either 1;how often, 2;how long, 3;how much.

      • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:43

        If its an issue with the sensor then RBR wouldnt be the only team with the issue. It is unfair to ignore the instructions (gaining an advantage doing so) while other teams abide by the FIA instructions and install offsets.

        • Jon said on 17th March 2014, 7:04

          well stated, RBR were not the only team to use the homologated flow sensors. and this is a sport like any other sport which has rules and regulations. I think RBR should take responsibility for their own fate. I think this is the rule that was going to make F1 a real formula. All teams now have to mind the engine efficiency while choosing an engine manufacturer and should not blame that on FIA. it would be ridiculous coz lotus was running a similar engine and didn’t undertake devious approaches to appear competitive but RBR choose that attempt on Riccardo (underdog) coz had it been Vettel, it would have been worse. Let the Games begin.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th March 2014, 16:05

          @joshua-mesh, and Jon, Where do you get information that other teams were running their engines at 96% fuel flow ?
          From what I read it is not about a blanket calibration of sensors indicating that 96% = 100% in all the sensors, what I read is that this sensor had been OK and then faulty and removed and then had replaced another faulty sensor that had replaced this one in qualifying.
          What is to say that for other teams sensors the errors are undetected but favourable. If it turns out that RBR are manipulating the sensors in some magic way to cheat then I would want them excluded from the points for the year just as McLaren were. But if the FIA are saying ” the sensor may be faulty and causing a power loss but RBR have to accept that or be dsq” then I disagree.

      • sars (@sars) said on 16th March 2014, 14:00

        They have been penalised for ignoring the data from the sensor, because they believed it to be inaccurate, they were warned during the race by the FIA technical representative of their actions and they ignored that too, deciding they knew better. The fault lies not with the sensor, as that may well or may not be faulty, the point is that they needed the permission of the FIA to ignore it.

        • stevensanph said on 16th March 2014, 14:28

          but the rules don’t say that. The rules say that the sensor is what is used to check. It doesn’t say that what the sensor says MUST be followed. So if Red Bull can show that the sensor was over reading then they have not breached the regulations and their appeal will succeed.

          I think the decision is correct. The sensor says they have used too much fuel, so they must be disqualified. It is now for Red Bull to prove they were right all along, which should be a fairly simple task…

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 16th March 2014, 18:04

            stevensanph I think it’s more rudimentary than that: Red Bull likely feels they have a technical argument but the FIA thinks they have a statutory argument and that trumps technicals. They made the rule, they told everyone to install the meter, they allowed that Red Bull were having problems and told them to swap in a new meter, Red Bull ignored that and went with their own fuel flow rate calculations. It’s the ignoring the FIA that’s going to get them disqualified even if they can technically prove their fuel flow calculations limited flow rate to 100Kg/h.

  3. Hans said on 16th March 2014, 13:15

    Sounds like there are an awful lot of variables at play when fuel flow is measured, and especially in Ricciardo’s case where the sensors were found to be inconsistent as we’ll.
    I wonder whether the FIA can keep this up. If there are this many parameters that can affect measurements, there’s going to be an appeal following every single breach.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:43

      I suppose they just need to automate the process.

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

        Get ride of the rule, that will make things A LOT easier! Give them 100kg, let them do what the hell they want with it! This is F1, not ‘formula fuel flow’! Why they so concerned on limiting power? If they can get the car across the line first with 100kg then that is all that matters. They want to make F1 more relevant to road cars? What a joke!
        Keep things simple, fans don’t want all the complicated rubbish! We want things we can see, and understand. When we see an incident on track, we know what’s going on. Even when teams say to drivers to push, or save fuel, we still can see what is going on. But fuel flow? I mean come on, this is FIA, double points?
        V8 Supercars is looking better by the minute :/

        • russ said on 16th March 2014, 17:44

          Brilliant!
          Well said.

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 16th March 2014, 21:25

          Presumably the fuel flow sensor is also used to calculate the maximum 100kg fuel usage also, so if it’s not accurate at measuring fuel flow presumably it’s not accurate for measuring fuel consumption either.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 17th March 2014, 0:43

            @jerseyf1 I’m assuming they literally make them start from empty and then fill the tank from a 100kg reservoir (or less if the team so chooses).

            Of course, that would be too simple and fool proof…so they probably do use the damn sensors LOL

          • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 17th March 2014, 12:17

            @daved No, that’s not how it works. They can put as much fuel in the car as they want, all the FIA looks at is how much is used. It seems simple at first but if you think about it there will be a certain amount of fuel used on the drive to the grid, warming the engine up, cool down lap plus the need to have mandatory sample at the end. They therefore need to be fuelled with more than 100kg when they leave the pit garage to allow them to have 100kg to use lights-to-flag.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 17th March 2014, 14:28

            @jerseyf1 Are you certain of that? I was wondering if they just told them: “You get 100kg for everything” or if they made allowances for all the other stuff.
            I’m not doubting you, I was just looking for something that described the process and details and haven’t come across it yet.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 22:27

          As others have pointed out, the fuel flow may well be how the FIA control the power of the engines. If they can have any fuel flow rate then in qualifying in particular we could see far more power than the regulators are happy with.

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 17th March 2014, 0:46

          @ivz I could not possibly agree more. Why would the FIA subject themselves and the teams to all this mess? It only makes the fans more suspicious of what they’re seeing and the politics of Formula 1.

          Just make it simple, give them 100kg and let’s get on with the bloody program. Simple is always better. Simple is always better. Simple is always better.

          Now if we can get the FIA to remove their heads from the dark place they keep it to come up with these rules (fuel flow limits, double points, etc) then we can get on with racing.

  4. stevensanph said on 16th March 2014, 13:15

    So they were told DURING the race they were using too much fuel, but ignored the technical experts and continued. Wow. Such arrogance.

    • knoxploration said on 16th March 2014, 13:26

      Not quite: They indicated to the FIA before the race that the fuel flow sensor was faulty, and the FIA failed to provide them with a working sensor. Instead, they were essentially told “tough luck, go out and race with a lower peak fuel flow than your rivals and hope you have better luck next time.”

      • Phil_w26 said on 16th March 2014, 13:59

        No mate, stop being such a Red Bull fan boy and read it again. They were told DURING the race to correct it and chose to ignore the directive. If they think thy’re above the rules and indeed the FIA, they deserve everything they get.

        9) The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.

      • Tricky (@jmzwiv) said on 16th March 2014, 14:22

        Where did you get that impression? The statement above says RBR were instructed to apply an offset to their fuel flow to make it legal. i.e. it just needed calibration and was not otherwise faulty. So going on what we know, it’s RBR at fault for not calibrating it and ignoring advice from the FIA.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 16th March 2014, 14:56

        And every one else was told the same, and seems to have decided to play it safe. Not Red Bull, and now they seem to have to pay the price.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2014, 18:28

          @bosyber Exactly. They chose to follow their own judgement over the FIA’s and that’s backfired. They could’ve just played it a bit safer and guaranteed themselves to be legal, but they chose instead to push the limits for maximum performance.

      • Neuromancer said on 16th March 2014, 19:45

        yes this is like sports like athletics saying wel sorry mate looks like a false positive for steroids (the test isn’t that accurate) but you still getting banned for 2 years

        why are there not two or three different sensors on the cars and they have to all agree before there is any sanction.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 22:33

          I think it’s more akin to all athletes being told that a particular supplement which won’t actually cause any performance advantage regardless of what’s in it (maybe due to the release mechanism) has been found to contain a banned substance. To avoid doubt, they explicitly inform all athletes to stay away from this supplement for now. One athlete takes it anyway, is found positive and disqualified from one particular race (but not banned).

        • Joe Papp said on 17th March 2014, 6:17

          “yes this is like sports like athletics saying wel sorry mate looks like a false positive for steroids (the test isn’t that accurate) but you still getting banned for 2 years…”

          Actually, @Neuromancer, as someone who’s serving a doping ban right now from professional cycling, who has cooperated w/ USADA and the WADA, USCF and UCI on a host of doping cases and initiatives, I can reliably and without any hesitation inform you that this F1/RBR/DR/fuel_flow situation is nothing like the hypothetical false positive but still suspended for steroids analogy that you offer – never mind the fact that your example is logically-fallacious, as a false positive is, by its very nature and definition, not a positive test and therefore not a violation for which a statutory penalty can be applied.

          From reading some of your other comments it’s clear that you object to this penalty, but nonetheless you have failed to effectively undermine justification for it with your reply.

  5. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:15

    Bullet #9 is interesting – and that may be the bullet that sinks Red Bull’s appeal.

    But we shall see – I do think the fact that the sensor has not yet been totally proven may still help Red Bull’s cause.

    • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 16th March 2014, 13:17

      Yeah, I don’t see how any RBR appeal can be successful after that. They were warned and could have avoided this situation.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:19

        @stephanief1990 Thing is, though, if Red Bull can prove that the FIA sensor was wrong, it doesn’t really matter anymore if Red Bull chose to ignore it or not. Because that would mean the FIA doesn’t have any proof that Red Bull broke the regulation.

        • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:23

          FIA already have proof – there is a prescribed procedure of what to do in the case of a faulty sensor, and Red Bull ignored it and did their own thing. Regardless of the actual fuel rate, Red Bull broke the rules knowingly and willingly.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:31

            @fluxsource But did they actually go to the backup method? The FIA just says it’s there, but basing from what I’m reading, they’re trusting the sensor reading without having to go to the backup method.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:39

            @journeyer No they didn’t. The first step with inconsistent readings is to apply an offset to the readings the get to ensure compliance. You might say this is unfair as they they MIGHT be running with to low a peak flow, but regardless, them’s the rules. Red Bull were told to do this, but decided not to. Instead, they’d use their own internal model of what the fuel rate is.

            However, the rules state that any switch the internal model is at the instruction of the FIA. Not Red Bull deciding themselves.

            They were given another opportunity during the race to correct the fuel flow. If other teams had found out about this, I imagine that there would have been a bit of stink about it, as Red Bull would have run part of the race with an illegal flow rate, and got away with it.

            They ignored this chance as well. I can’t see how they have a leg to stand on.

            The issue isn’t whether the flow rate is accurate, but whether they followed the rules. Which they clearly didn’t.

            You can’t have teams just ignoring rules because they don’t think they’re right.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 13:48

            The backup method as described in the rules the stewards point to (included in the article) state that its the FIA (their tech. representative) who decides on and instructs the team on what backup to use.

            Red Bull clearly went against that decision and did not use the designated backup system by using their own judgment instead @journeyer. Appealing the decision means they will hope to prove to the Tribunal (or is it the appeal court?) that a) the sensor was indeed faulty and that b) their own calculations and methods followed did in fact make the fuel flow of the car comply with the 100kg/h limit, even when the sensors told otherwise.

            Purpose of that would be to have the FIA come up with a better “backup system” than exchanging the sensor once and when that fails err on the safe side of caution and give away a chunk of power compared to their peers on track.
            Will also be interesting to learn whether other teams were experiencing similar issues with the sensors (and how they acted upon them). I did understand that there was a lot to do about the tolerances the supplier was able to keep to during the winter, so it might be that this is a broader issue of the teams being unsatisfied with the provided measuring device.

          • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th March 2014, 23:29

            is it just me or do I see a lot of posts saying that regardless if it’s right or wrong, people should just do what they are told?

            scary stuff. Red Bull thinking for themselves, maybe thats why they are so successful :)

        • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:01

          @bascb Yup, that is exactly Red Bull’s intent.

          Adam Cooper says that other teams did experience similar issues. Check his Twitter feed.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 14:14

            Yes, I saw that. Although when others DID heed the instruction to hold back and Red Bull didn’t, they can be right about their own fuel measurements at injection, but its still clear that they 1. ignored another part of the rules and 2. clearly had an unfair advantage over (some) of the competition in doing so, meaning that a DSQ is still warranted IMO @journeyer

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:18

            @bascb But if the sensor is found as faulty, it just means RBR pushed closer to the limit of the rule without going over it. The limit isn’t 96kg/hr, it’s 100kg/hr.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 14:33

            yes. But its defined that ONLY the sensor is what defines the limit. And that sensor showed Red Bull going over 100kg/h.

          • Gdon (@gdon) said on 16th March 2014, 14:58

            Yes, though the theoretical limit is 100kg/hr nobody is going to even reach that because the race is over 90mins long. With a 100 kg fuel limit how can you complete the race? Below I quote another article:

            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.

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 16th March 2014, 18:16

            @gdon, there’s a difference between average (mean) and peak fuel flow rates. You can’t run a race at the maximum allowed 100Kg/h flow rate and go longer than an hour in a race. This is why fuel saving – and fuel flow rate measuring – is such a big deal this season. You can use *up to* 100Kg/h at any point in the race, and you can use it as long as you like, but you have to be able to finish the race. What you’re not allowed to do is use fuel at an instantaneous rate greater than 100Kg/h at any point (to gain a competitive advantage).

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:00

            @journeyer,@bascb, I think this is going to be very difficult to resolve based on fuel mass, the accuracy of this fuel flow sensor is going to need to measure the temperature of the fuel as well as its volume and then have software run a computation for every measurement (5xsecond?) because we know that fuel density varies with temperature.
            Has anyone heard/seen by what amount and for how long these overages were?

  6. 2) This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo.

    Point. Give him the points. Don’t give the team the points.

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:17

      How can he have any points when he had an unfair performance advantage over other drivers/cars?

      • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:27

        Sorry but saying Daniel had an unfair performance advantage in today’s race in that Red Bull compared to the Mercedes powerhouses surrounding him is hilarious.

        • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:31

          What?

          He was using more fuel at a faster rate than he was allowed to. If his car was operating within the rules, the car would have likely had less performance. With that reduced performance, could Magnussen have passed him? Could Button? Anyone else?

          Suggesting they should be allowed to cheat because Mercedes have done a better job with the engine is absurd.

          • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:44

            I’m not suggesting he should be allowed to cheat, if it does turn out that the fuel flow sensor was not faulty, you’re right, then he did have a small advantage (obviously it was minor as they would have allowed Red Bull to reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit mid-race with no punishment) compared to other cars… But saying, just blindly that he had a “performance advantage” in his car, which had a huge disadvantage in testing compared to the mercedes/ferrari powered cars is a bit of a joke. And to answer your question’s nobody knows.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:50

            The “disadvantage” they had was caused by failing to build an engine within the rules that was as good as the Mercedes. Which is pretty much the point. That’s a fair advantage, unlike one created by breaking the rules, which is unfair.

            By your argument it’s a case of “Rubbish car? That’s OK, just cheat!”.

            But you’re right – no-one knows the answers about theoretical outcomes. That was supposed to be a rhetorical question, but I forgot to write the answer!

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 16th March 2014, 14:02

            @skipgamer so at what point do you start to measure a performance advantage and at what point do you not? I’m pretty sure you can’t answer that question. It doesn’t mean squat what kind of testing Red Bull had in the winter compared to Ferrari or Mercedes or how the race turned out, the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.

            What kind of performance advantage did for instance Hamilton have in qualifying at Barcelona 2012? He came up short with about 300 g of fuel, which was always gonna be negligible in terms of speed. Yet he was disqualified. Rules are there for a reason.

          • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:18

            @andrewf1
            “the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.”
            That is still to be proven in whatever arena the appeal is judged. Hardly a fact

            My whole point here was not to say that Red Bull did anything right, or if it does turn out that they cheated, that they were in any way in the right, I agree 100% that if they did run above the fuel flow limit, they deserve the reprimand.

            My only point was to reply to @fluxsource to say that saying the driver himself Ricciardo had a performance advantage in his car today, over the Mercedes powered cars around him, is laughable.

            It was a great drive from him regardless.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 14:22

            @skipgamer Unless you want F1 to be a single car series, your point is absurd.

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 16th March 2014, 23:42

            @skipgamer

            obviously it was minor as they would have allowed Red Bull to reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit mid-race with no punishment

            I don’t think that necessarily means they were going to be let off. It could have been that the penalty would have been lessened under mitigating circumstances. As they didn’t act on the advice given by the Technical Delegate, then the FIA have to act accordingly. If Red Bull had acted accordingly, it’s possible the penalty might only have been a 25-second time penalty or similar..

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:18

            “the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.”
            That is still to be proven in whatever arena the appeal is judged. Hardly a fact

            Actually, the rules say you must use the FIA sensor data, unless otherwise instructed.

            They were not instructed that they could use their “backup” method. Therefore they broke the rules.

            And saying Ricciardo should be allowed to keep his points is also unfair. At the end of the day, this is a team sport. His car did not comply with the rules (whether the sensor was dodgy or not). I feel sorry for the guy, but his team screwed him over.

      • knoxploration said on 16th March 2014, 13:28

        How can the FIA say he had an unfair advantage when they themselves admit the fuel flow sensor was faulty and changed its calibration from lap to lap *during a single session*?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th March 2014, 14:38

          because others also had a faulty sensor, got the same instruction and did run with a lowered fuel flow to stay within the limits according to the designated measuring device (the faulty sensor)

        • Mr_Peabody said on 17th March 2014, 8:21

          Without seeing the actual data it is difficult to say whether the Technical Delegate was accurately revising the calibration to the limits specified by the rules or simply applying a fudge factor (constants for those in the applied math business) or perhaps simply acting in a capricious and arbitrary manner. I’m guessing it was the second but without looking at reams of data it is not for the layman to understand.

          Unfortunately the decision reads like FIA having the attitude of because I said so despite the proof that they are supplying defective parts to teams that are leading to defective racing. Maybe they should just supply calibrated fuel flow restrictor ports instead, like say NASCAR has done since long ago. Sealed, supplied at random to teams and tested after the race. Easy to do and bullet proof to enforce.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 16th March 2014, 13:36

        @fluxsource remember 2007? McLaren was DSQ while both Ham and Alo remained in contention for the WDC

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:04

        But did he have a performance advantage? that is the question, he certainly didn’t have one over Rosberg but he may have had one over Vettel and Hamilton whose retirements may well have been due to a mixture too lean.

    • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 16th March 2014, 13:19

      It would still be rewarding the team as the WDC gets far more attention than the WCC. It would also set a dangerous precedent: teams might low fuel their cars to get an advantage so that the drivers keep the points. If a rule is broken then it should be punished otherwise it isn’t fair on every other team who has a legal car/procedure. The team were warned so there’s really no excuse. It just feels very unfair on Daniel but nothing can be done about that.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:44

      Not a chance. Its like when cars are found to be underweight or are released early from the pit box. Unlucky but you can’t let the drivers off because they gained an unfair advantage.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:44

      Not a chance. Its like when cars are found to be underweight or are released early from the pit box. Unlucky but you can’t let the drivers off because they gained an unfair advantage.

  7. Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 16th March 2014, 13:17

    Since it was the 1st race of the year, and if the driver had no control over the issue, why didnt they just reprimand Dan, or more correctly, fine Red Bull, because it was them who made the decisions they made to put them in this position.

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 13:20

      The first race of the year carries as many points as any other… never mind.

      • knoxploration said on 16th March 2014, 13:32

        I LOLed.

        And at the end of the year, if the double points nonsense changes the result, I will be ignoring Bernie’s chosen champion and counting the points as if they were fair and sporting to determine the real champion.

    • Because as far as the rules are concerned, a driver and the team are one and the same.

      If Hamilton has to get a new engine, he will receive a penalty even though he had nothing to do with its failure.

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

      Because Daniel still profited of a better-performing engine.

    • Mashiat (@) said on 16th March 2014, 13:25

      No mercy from the FIA! The teams were warned again and again. Kinda like Massa’s penalty in Brazil 2013.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:46

      He had an unfair advantage over Magnussen and most likely, had his engine using over 100kg/h at the end when Magnussen was trying to chase him down.

      How is it fair to Magnussen and McLaren if Red Bull get away with it? Does each driver get let off once?

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:11

        @petebaldwin, I don’t think he had an unfair advantage over Magnussen who had to fuel save for several laps in order not to exceed the 100kg limit, yet Ricciardo did not need to fuel save and still did not exceed the 100 kg limit, if DR had exceeded the100kg fuel use then the FIA would have included that in their reasons for DSQ.

        • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 19:37

          @hohum – We need to know at what point Ricciardo exceeded the limit. If it was at the end when Magnussen was chasing him, that’s one thing. If it was earlier in the race, perhaps it’s not so important.

          If he used more fuel than allowed to stop Magnussen from catching him, it’s clearly an unfair advantage..

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:53

            IF

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:24

            If it was at the end when Magnussen was chasing him, that’s one thing. If it was earlier in the race, perhaps it’s not so important.

            I disagree entirely. It doesn’t matter if he gained a visible advantage on track, if he was gaining a performance advantage earlier on, that may have gained him enough time to stay ahead of other drivers. If may also have allowed him more time in fuel saving mode, or advantaged him in pit stops… anything.

            If he broke the rules (and whether it was him or his team is of no consequence), he should accept the punishment.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2014, 13:47

      @pezlo2013 Because by not obeying the rule, you have an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Your’re cheating. You cannot separate the car and the driver like that when the final result is achieved by a combination of both factors.

      • Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 16th March 2014, 13:56

        @magnificent-geoffrey I can see where you are coming from, but How can you use more than 100kg/h on average when you have 100kg for a 90 minute to a 2 hour race?

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2014, 14:00

          @pezlo2013 Easily. Just like F1 cars don’t cover 320km in an hour at a race, but they can travel at the rate of 320km/h. Even if it’s just for one lap, you can be pumping fuel in at a rate which, if you carried on at that for a whole hour, would see you using up more than 100kg of fuel.

        • Gdon (@gdon) said on 16th March 2014, 15:16

          Simple answer and I quote:

          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.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 22:37

          The same way that the national speed limit is 70mph, but from a standing start you can never complete a 70 mile journey in an hour or less if you stick to all the speed limits.

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 16th March 2014, 14:49

      The FIA did warn them about their fuel-flow rate and advised them to adjust their settings mid-race, so you could argue perhaps that they’d already been pretty lenient towards Red Bull.

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:25

        Couldn’t agree more. He should probably have been black flagged.

        • W-K (@w-k) said on 17th March 2014, 12:32

          I have a feeling that will the action from the stewards in future races in cases like this, if the team does not turn down the fuel usage.
          Just like in any other sport, the referee’s decision is final. Even if the TV repeat shows the referee is wrong.

  8. quads said on 16th March 2014, 13:19

    “9) The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.”

    The arrogance of this team – does not know any limits…even with regard to fuel limits.

    • Albert said on 16th March 2014, 13:33

      Well, their track record kinda allows them to believe they are right.

      • quads said on 16th March 2014, 18:50

        Well, their track record kinda allows them to believe they are right.

        Are you talking about their track record of the number of times they were suspects of breaking the regulations? If so I completely agree with you, it is rather an impressive and unmatched one!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 17th March 2014, 18:47

      But the FIA technical rep was relying on an unreliable sensor.

      I know the Ref is always right. The Captain is always responsible. but sometimes a ruling needs to be challenged and investigated.

  9. skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:24

    It all still depends on whether or not the sensor is faulty, for if it is, the FIA would be at fault for not switching to the backup fuel flow model.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:32

      @skipgamer My thoughts exactly.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:45

      They did switch to the backup model. The team ignored the FIA demand and carried on doing things their own way.

      • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:49

        Point 9 clearly states the FIA was still using the sensor during the race, and not the backup model.

        The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance

        • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 14:38

          “b. The Technical Directive goes on to state: “If at any time WE consider that the sensor has an issue which has not been detected by the system WE will communicate this to the team concerned and switch to a backup system” (emphasis added.)”

          “c. The backup system is the calculated fuel flow model with a correction factor decided by the FIA.”

          [b]A) The team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA. This is a violation of the procedure within TD/ 016­14.[/b]

          Maybe I’m misunderstanding it, but the model I believe they refer to is the backup measurement model, not the actual physical model.

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:29

            Yes, it is the backup measurement model. Probably based on injector timings, relative pressures and injector performance characteristics, possibly also involving correlation with mass air flow data and exhaust gas measurements. Whereas the FIA method is by measuring the actual fuel flow with a sensor.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:50

        @joshua-mesh Where does it say that they switched to the backup model? The FIA asked the team to adjust mid-race based on what they were getting from the sensors, not based on any computation from the backup model. What it just says is such a backup model exists, but it doesn’t say that they actually used it.

    • lee1 said on 16th March 2014, 15:40

      The fia judged that the sensor was simply calibrated incorrectly so applying an offset would fix the issue. Rb decided to ignore this and we’re punished. It is a stupid rule but Rb broke it.

  10. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 16th March 2014, 13:28

    They are testing FIA with its fuel flow measurments. Sadly for Ricciardo they do it with his car. So far RBR with Renault have been successful using engine trickery to get a gain – blown diffusers, different engine maps, aledged “traction control” etc. I alreasy see Horner talking about how they didn’t do anything wrong and the fuel flow meter can’t be trusted. Maybe this was the “trickery” Luca Montezemolo was warning about?

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:45

      Probably.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:49

      @f1lauri – Even if that was their original idea, to see Vettel retire and Ricciardo running in 2nd, they’d have taken the FIA’s suggestion and turned the engine down a little. They may have lost 2nd but would have finished at worst, in 4th.

      I think Red Bull have made a mistake but having done so, are now definitely testing the FIA on these fuel meters.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:19

        @petebaldwin, cars running too lean are likely to hole pistons and burn valves, both Lewis and Seb mentioned that a couple of cylinders weren’t working, that could be a direct result of using a faulty (FIA mandated) fuel flow calculation. It’s not as simple as RBR got more power.

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:33

          cars running too lean are likely to hole pistons and burn valves

          But they would not run lean. They will* be using exhaust gas sensors, so would be able to detect lean running conditions, and back off the boost to match the air to the fuel.

          *Actually, I am assuming this, but I see no reason they wouldn’t. Every modern petrol engine uses them to make adjustments to the mixture, so the only reason I could see them not doing so in F1 would be if they were banned in the technical regulations.

  11. crr917 (@crr917) said on 16th March 2014, 13:34

    This should have been a simple straight forward explanation. Either FIA’s sensor is working correctly or it is not. I have hard time finding it in this wall of text.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 13:41

      It’s actually pretty clear – FIA makes the decision whether the sensor is running ok. The particular sensor which was installed for the race was working properly according to FIA. Only Red Bull claim other wise and have changed their fuel flow model ignoring completely FIA’s recommendations and mid-race refused to make any changes to fuel flow despite being warned by FIA.

      When you say somethings working wrong it doesn’t make it true.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 13:48

        @cyclops_pl But they’re not automatically incorrect, either. The thing is, if Red Bull can prove that the sensor was indeed faulty, where does that leave the FIA? Sure, there’s a backup system, but based on what I’m reading from the stewards, that was never even used here. They just acknowledged that it’s in the rules, but nothing more.

        • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 13:56

          The thing is if Red Bull sincerely thought the sensor was faulty, they should have ran it through FIA and prove it BEFORE the race, since the sensor wasn’t used for the first time. FIA declared the sensor working properly, provided instructions for the fuel flow model and as you can see in point 10 of their explanation, proved that if Red Bull had follow FIA’s recommendations, everything would be ok. So exceeding the fuel flow limits is a direct result of Red Bulls unauthorized actions. Clear penalty for me.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:14

            @cyclops_pl If I am reading this correctly, the sensor was installed on Saturday night. Thus, they wouldn’t have known if there were any issues with the newly-installed sensors until the reconnaissance lap (or even the formation lap), by which time they wouldn’t have been able to show it to the FIA anymore.

          • Gdon (@gdon) said on 16th March 2014, 15:28

            @journeyer You are not reading at all… this sensor was first used in FP1 and FP2 it was then changed for FP3 but that did not work proparly either and so they were told by the tech. delegate to revert to the first sensor for the race and to keep the fuel flow under a certain limit. They changed the sensor but ignored everything else and used the back up model that they had WITHOUT asking the FIA for permission which is against the rules. During the race they were told to change the flow rate by the FIA delegate to comply with the rules which they IGNORNED. Therefore DQ

          • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 16th March 2014, 15:59

            @journeyer exactly what @gdon says.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 17th March 2014, 12:09

            @cyclops_pl @gdon Precisely why they ignored the first sensor they reverted to: because the first sensor was faulty! Offset or not, it is no longer a trustworthy measurement. They were told to reduce the fuel rate to keep the sensor happy, but not doing so doesn’t automatically make an illegal car. RBR just need to prove that they were still legal in terms of fuel flow, and that the first FIA sensor can no longer be trusted.

    • aka_robyn said on 16th March 2014, 13:43

      It seems to me that the ruling has more to do with RBR choosing not to follow procedure than anything else, regardless of how the sensor was operating.

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 9:35

        RBR choosing not to follow procedure

        This.

      • Evans said on 17th March 2014, 16:20

        Ya, and in RBR’s eyes the procedure they were asked to follow is against the agreed restrictions. This is really no different to being asked to lower your wing because the FIA ruler (or whatever they use for that) is calibrated incorrectly and showing 96cm as 1 meter. If they prepared their car with the correct measurements in mind then I understand why they would refuse to be asked to run it more restricted (even if everyone else was being asked to do the same).

    • Mads (@mads) said on 16th March 2014, 13:49

      @crr917
      I honestly don’t think they know at this point.

  12. TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th March 2014, 13:34

    The explanation proofs my suspicion that the sensor is part of a wacky implementation. such a system and how such a rule is policed needs to be bullet proof and obviously it isn’t.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 13:46

      Regardless of that, you still need to follow the rule-makers instructions.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th March 2014, 13:51

        @joshua-mesh not arguing about this part. I find it just extremely annoying that they have such a rule which is obviously too complicated for the FIA to police resp. the technology they chose isn’t up to the task.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 16th March 2014, 13:52

        That’s the issue. If the sensor was faulty, there are clear rules on what you have to do about it but they did what they wanted instead.

        • TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th March 2014, 14:14

          @petebaldwin @fluxsource I’m not arguing about RBRs tactics – but that the sensor shouldn’t be failing in the first place and the procedure to rectify problems is a joke – it leaves too much wiggle room.

          First, I disagreed with LDM, but now his comments make complete sense and the rule itself should be questioned or a better system/process to police it needs to be put in place.

          • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 16th March 2014, 14:19

            What wiggle room? The FIA told Red Bull what to do. They didn’t. Where is the wriggle room?

            Complain about it after the race if you want. Argue with them if you want. But in the mean time you follow the rules.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 16th March 2014, 14:33

            @fluxsource The wiggle room is in the sensor’s (un?)reliability. The FIA’s logic behind their requests to RBR was based on said sensor. If said sensor is found to be unreliable, it defeats the FIA’s logic.

          • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 14:42

            You cant just make up your own rules when a sensor fails, otherwise the teams will simply find ways to make sure the sensors fail. There are clear instructions on how to proceed should a sensor fail.

            In RBR’s press release, they said the sensor issue was experienced throughout the paddock. However RBR were the only team to be penalized, basically because everyone else followed FIA’s instructions.

          • Piwi said on 16th March 2014, 15:47

            Compared to football: If the referee shows you the red card you have to leave the field. You can appeal afterwards so no further action will be undertaken, but during the match you have to comply, because the referee is always right, even if he isn’t.

          • TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th March 2014, 18:06

            @joshua-mesh @fluxsource again, I’m not complaining about the penalty RB received but the underlying problem of how the 100kg/h rule is policed and the ridiculous margin of error these sensors seem to work with – in that sense it’s better that RB got the penalty because it will draw more attention to the issue.

  13. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th March 2014, 13:45

    As much as I really feel for Dan, it really does seem like a disqualification was warranted here.

    Big, big disappointment.

  14. Thomas (@tthwaite) said on 16th March 2014, 13:47

    I don’t see how Red Bull can possibly argue their way out of this. It’s pretty clear cut from the explanation given by the FIA that they were given specific directions and they chose to ignore them despite multiple warnings.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 16th March 2014, 13:51

      @tthwaite
      If the sensor was indeed faulty as Red Bull told FIA, then it is FIA and their decision to ignore that, that is the problem. That just might get them out.

      • Thomas (@tthwaite) said on 16th March 2014, 14:00

        It would be had Red Bull not taken it upon themselves to measure the flow rate using their own methods rather than the FIA approved back up model in case of a sensor failure.

        It is also up to the FIA to decide whether or not the sensor is faulty and it is up to the FIA to decide if they should switch to their back up model. Red Bull chose to do things their own way and you cannot allow teams to do this. If Red Bull were allowed to use their own models then other teams would do the same and then it would become impossible to police the 100kg/h limit.

        The FIA must enforce their zero tolerance policy from the start to send out a message to the other teams that the have to tow the line.

        Such a shame for Dan, but it’s entirely Red Bulls own doing.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 16th March 2014, 14:11

          @tthwaite

          It is also up to the FIA to decide whether or not the sensor is faulty

          No it’s not. If the sensor can be proven to be faulty, then it’s faulty no matter who says otherwise.
          It will then be up to the tribunal (don’t they handle these things?) whether they believe that the sensor was indeed faulty, and whether Red Bull’s fuel flow calculations can be trusted.
          If they are, then the problem does not lie with Red Bull any more. They didn’t follow procedures, but they would be right not to do so.
          That might convince the tribunal to let them off, it might not. Let’s see.

          • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 14:56

            Nothing can be proven without an authority making the decision that the evidence is enough consider it proven. Pretty much why courts of law have juries and judges.

            The FIA is the jurie and the judge in this case. However that is besides the point as the FIA (from my understanding) felt the item was indeed faulty and so they instructed all teams on how to proceed. Only RBR failed to follow their instructions.

            RBR released a statement that said “Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane.”

            From this we can deduct that the other teams who had the same issue, did indeed follow the FIA’s instructions, where as RBR did not.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th March 2014, 19:28

        Further to that, if as I think likely it turns out that Vettel, Hamilton and others cars broke down because of faulty fuel flow calculations following FIA instructions then RBR will have a good and expensive argument for ignoring those FIA instructions but staying within the actual fuel use rule.

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 17th March 2014, 13:15

          if as I think likely it turns out that Vettel, Hamilton and others cars broke down because of faulty fuel flow calculations

          Highly unlikely.

          The only way this could cause issues is if it caused the mixture to be incorrect (by a considerable amount). There are 2 variable in the mixture: fuel and air. In a turbo car, teams have control over both, and (I believe) they have a sensor in the exhaust telling them what the mixture is like. Therefore, if they are showing a lean mixture at the fuel flow limit, they need to reduce the amount of air (i.e. boost), and I’m pretty sure their electronics will do this.

  15. David said on 16th March 2014, 13:49

    We need to find a new f1 style series without so many rules
    And free fuel and decent tyres
    Perhaps 80s rules with 1 litre engines but modern crash standards
    We don’t have to capitulate to the greens

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 16th March 2014, 14:57

      The rules did nothing wrong. No need to point fingers at them. Blame the team who broke the rules.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 16th March 2014, 20:41

      Mode sarcasm ON
      Yeah, let’s all bury our heads in sand, and pretend that pollution doesn’t exist. (Have you seen Beijing or Paris recently ?)
      Let’s burn as much petrol as possible, so that we run out of it ASAP as well.

      • David said on 17th March 2014, 2:28

        We’re talking about 22 cars here
        Racing cars going as fast as possible not slow as possible
        Have fun in your Prius
        There’s a great solar car race coming up why don’t you go and watch it?

        • Will Jones said on 18th March 2014, 12:12

          Yes, lets go back to the bad old days where racing series were shut down forever because too many drivers, mechanics, marshals and spectators got killed.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th March 2014, 22:45

      Yeah, 80s rules, with fuel limits, which they did in fact have then.

      And what was wrong with the tyres today? They didn’t seem too restrictive, but I might have just missed that what with all the new stuff.

      • Crazydave said on 17th March 2014, 11:30

        Hey people…all this conjecture about who’s right or wrong. Gee i’m glad i live in Australia, where we are still innocent proven guilty. At least we didn’t have to watch that finger wagging.

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