FIA to hear Red Bull appeal on April 14th

2014 F1 season

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014The FIA has confirmed it will hear Red Bull’s appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix on April 14th in Paris.

The International Court of Appeal will be convened to judge whether Ricciardo’s exclusion from second place should be overturned.

Ricciardo was excluded from the results of the Australian Grand Prix after the stewards ruled his car had repeatedly exceeded the maximum fuel flow rate of 100kg per hour during the race.

Red Bull said the FIA-supplied fuel flow meter had given inconsistent results and stated “the team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations”.

The appeal was lodged yesterday by Austria’s motor club, the Österreichischer Automobil-Motorrad und Touring Club, on behalf of Red Bull against decision number 56 of the FIA stewards at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

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78 comments on FIA to hear Red Bull appeal on April 14th

  1. That’s too late. If the original results are indeed re-instated, then that will result in a change to the world championship points standings out with a race weekend, on the basis of an event which happened (by the time of the appeal) almost a month ago. Which isn’t going to help F1’s image.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st March 2014, 18:15

      @vettel1, apparently the general public are only interested in the points for the last race of the year.

    • iAltair (@ialtair) said on 21st March 2014, 18:27

      It happened in 1976 too, when James Hunt won the Championship that year.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_Formula_One_season#Race_Four:_Spain

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st March 2014, 19:11

      I don’t know… I was expecting it be in June or something, knowing the FIA.

    • Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 22nd March 2014, 15:54

      The sport made itself look stupid in the first place and now I think it’s just given itself both barrels! I just feel like the results should always stand and punitive action should be taken for following events.

      I honestly feel it would be better for the sport if Ricciardo kept his 2nd place but that his car was moved to the back of the grid for Malaysia.

      • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 22nd March 2014, 19:12

        That would then allow a team which needed one good performance to win a championship to cheat, win, then be penalised next race when it didn’t matter.

        Rules exist in the sport. If a team breaks then, they must be punished, as specified by the rules.

        • Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 23rd March 2014, 11:46

          Nope, because the cars are scrutineered before the start of the race, if the car didn’t meet the regs in any meaningful way they’d be thrown out before the flag even dropped.

          I don’t have all the answers but the result on the day has got to stand. it’s a farce that people pay hundreds of pounds to witness a spectacle that can change its result 5 hours after the finish and then again (potentially) a full month afterwards!

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 24th March 2014, 12:37

            I don’t have all the answers but the result on the day has got to stand.

            In that case, Ricciardo should have been black flagged during the race. The stewards could see the fuel flow data, had told RB to adjust it, and could see it was still happening.

            However, if the car is found, after the race, to be (for example) under the weight limit, they should be DNQ’ed as soon as it is found out.

            In such a technical sport, there are going to be changes to the result after the race is over. Nothing can be done about that.

  2. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 21st March 2014, 17:56

    There is no way they can escape the penalty. I have the feeling that it was more a way to relieve the sponsors and the fans than actually having the points for it, this is just procedure, they don’t intend to win.

    • maarten.f1 (@maarten-f1) said on 21st March 2014, 18:10

      Personally I believe Red Bull wants the fuel sensor challenged by a third party. The goal might not immediately be to reinstate those points, but it might be to get a statement that the fuel sensor is indeed dodgy.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st March 2014, 20:10

        I tend to see it that way too @maarten-f1, in that respect it will be interesting to see what RBR do when they are facing the same kind of issue again next weekend in Malaysia. I also wonder whether they would decide to be more cautious would it be Vettels car affected.

      • DaveD (@daved) said on 23rd March 2014, 17:05

        I agree and think we are overlooking a huge issue here: TRUST. No, I have ZERO trust in the FIA’s ability to resist the urge to “make the race more exciting”.
        I can see it now: “McLaren, you need to adjust your fuel flow down”…right when they’re starting to open up too much of a gap on Ferrari.
        It is a TERRIBLE idea for the people in charge of giving us “good entertainment” to have control of something that nobody else can “prove is wrong” and nobody else is allowed to even question less they be punished.

        The fuel flow meters really, REALLY need to go. Give them an easily verifiable fuel load before the race and get out of the way. I don’t want to live with an F1 where we have to constantly wonder if someone in the FIA is biased or bought.

        Think I’m crazy? Where is Flavio these days? How about McLaren with the Ferrari tech? Would ANY of us trust Bernie not to skew results if he thought it improved the show?

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 24th March 2014, 9:48

          While I have zero trust that the FIA and FOM won’t collude in making rules which “make the race more exciting”, I think you are completely paranoid to think they would actually manipulate a race. If it was ever revealed, there would be uproar, and you’d better believe that it would be revealed. It is likely that a team would investigate for itself, and sue if misconduct was found.

          The fuel flow meters need to stay, as they are needed to enforce the rules. Improvements do need to be made to ensure their reliability and accuracy, but to suggest the FIA would use them to purposely alter the outcome of a race is a conspiracy theory along the lines of “the US government blew up the twin towers”.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 24th March 2014, 15:26

            @drmouse Nobody ever thinks they’ll get caught or else we wouldn’t have criminals in the first place. But you’re *probably* right, they wouldn’t do it on purpose. But do you really not think that perceptions color people’s interpretations of data they see? What if the Mercs are running faster and the FIA are getting “indeterminate” readings from the Merc sensors? Do they tell them to cut back?
            Why go through all this?
            As you say, those are the rules. Agreed, those are currently the rules. I say change the rules on this one. Give them a set amount of fuel to start the race that is easily measurable and let them all race. Suddenly all these issues go away.

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 24th March 2014, 15:37

            I say change the rules on this one. Give them a set amount of fuel to start the race that is easily measurable and let them all race. Suddenly all these issues go away.

            This is my response, as I said in another reply. This is why such major rules should never be changed mid-season.

            Just as a digression, think what happens if they do change it. Lets say Merc have an optimum engine for this flow limit, but cannot stand extra boost to take advantage of greater fuel flow. Renault’s engine, however, can stand higher boost. The entire pecking order gets stood on it’s head, in spite of Merc having done a better job at designing to the rules.

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 24th March 2014, 17:38

            @drmouse Hmmm, I can see your point about changing it mid season. Still not sure that outweighs the downsides but it’s a valid argument against changing right away. But I certainly would change it for next year.
            I like the idea of seeing what they can do with the engine anyway. Let them race and if they can get an extra 100 hp out for qualifying….good for them. Let the others try it as well.

    • greg c said on 21st March 2014, 23:46

      The rule is max flow 100kg/hr . The FIA at the race then say its 96kg/hr. ?????
      Of course RBR plan to win . Its 18 points in WDC and WCC ,

    • Tyler (@tdog) said on 22nd March 2014, 2:49

      There is no way they can escape the penalty

      Actually @spoutnik Red Bull have an excellent chance of success in their appeal. Forgive me for the long explanation, but some detail is required.

      Why were Ricciardo and Red Bull excluded from the race? The steward’s decision says:-

      Breach of article 3.2 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula 1 technical regulations

      It’s important to read that carefully. If those articles weren’t breached, the decision will be overturned.

      Article 3.2 of the sporting regulations provides that:-

      Competitors must ensure that their cars comply with the conditions of eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race

      In truth, this adds little to the alleged breach of Article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations, which says:-

      Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h.

      This is the critical issue. Note that this article of the technical regulation says nothing about how fuel mass flow is measured.

      The sensors are referred to in articles 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 of the technical regulations:-

      5.10.3 Homologated sensors must be fitted which directly measure the pressure, the temperature and the flow of the fuel supplied to the injectors, these signals must be supplied to the FIA data logger.

      5.10.4 Only one homologated FIA fuel flow sensor may be fitted to the car which must be placed wholly within the fuel tank.

      Red Bull complied with these articles. The FIA fuel flow sensor was fitted to the car. Now, what articles 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 do not say is that the homologated FIA fuel flow sensor is to be the sole determinant of compliance with article 5.1.4. That might sound like a fine distinction, but it is an important one. The approved sensor was fitted to Ricciardo’s car, but Red Bull ignored the readings it was giving to determine their compliance with article 5.1.4. That is why the steward’s decision is not founded on a breach of article 5.10.3 or 5.10.4.

      On 1 March 2014, a technical directive [01614] was issued in relation to the fuel flow sensors, which relevantly provided that “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”.

      Now, my understanding is that technical directives do not have the force of technical regulations. They simply set out what the technical representative [Charlie Whiting] considers to be his interpretation of the technical regulations. Comply with the technical directive, and the stewards and technical representative will be satisfied that you are compliant with the technical regulation/s to which the directive relates. However, you can’t be excluded for a breach of a technical directive, which is why the basis for exclusion of Ricciardo’s car does not refer to a breach of the technical directive (although the steward’s underlying reasons do refer to it) but rather a breach of the technical regulations.

      The fact that Red Bull ignored advice from Whiting during the race to reduce the fuel flow to a rate which brought it within the 100kg/hr measure, as determined by the FIA fuel flow sensor, is ultimately irrelevant (even though many say this “proves” Red Bull broke the rules). There is nothing in the technical or sporting regulations which requires Red Bull to comply with such a direction made during the course of a race.

      Put simply, Red Bull have to comply with article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations, no more no less (the alleged breach of article 3.2 of the sporting regulations flows from any breach of article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations, and will rise or fall on the fuel flow issue).

      If Red Bull can establish by convincing evidence that, irrespective of what the sensor showed, at no stage during the race did fuel flow mass exceed 100 kg/hr, then they should win the appeal.

      And I can only assume that Red Bull have a very good chance of proving that. As Gary Anderson said in a recent article:-

      Red Bull, and I believe a few other teams in the pitlane, were struggling to get the FIA-supplied fuel-flow meter to match the very sophisticated onboard electronics that control the amount of fuel that’s fed through the injectors.

      Years and years of research has gone into injector control for all forms of engines, and this has made a significant impact on improving the fuel economy for both racing and road-car engines.

      I would have to say that using this as the fuel-flow and fuel-limit control would make more sense as huge resources have been put into its development over many years.

      If Red Bull can show from their injector data, to the satisfaction of the International Court of Appeal, that they complied with article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations, the FIA is at real risk of ending up with egg on their faces.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:07

        @tdog, an impressive and lawyerly summation.

      • uan (@uan) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:36

        @tdog

        great post.

      • Abe said on 22nd March 2014, 6:25

        @tdog
        How’s retirement Ross? 😜
        Great explanation by the way.

      • iFelix (@ifelix) said on 22nd March 2014, 6:36

        Many thanks for the detailed yet very useful explanation! Highly appreciated!

        I think the raison d’être of the sensors is creating a universal measurement to avoid teams accusing each other of cheating if the measurements are based on the teams’ sensors. In this sense if the sensors are consistently off in the same direction AND quantity (i.e. for all teams showing 96 kg/h as 100 kg/h) they could have a chance of being the sole determinant. However, if Red Bull can show that for instance the sensor was off in different quantities, or worse even, in different direction for their two cars for instance (i.e. for the same amount of fuel flow the FIA sensor was showing 96 kg/h for Vettel and 104 for Ricciardo). I guess it does help that Red Bull has a sister team as I don’t reckon other teams would be so keen to help them with data that would prove RB’s case, even if they have them :)

      • OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 22nd March 2014, 7:26

        @tdog You’re the man

      • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd March 2014, 8:54

        Thank you for the insight. I share your point of view. Despite Red Bulls actions, The FIA are showing their incompetence again in their own regulations. As someone pointed out previously, why are they even regulating fuel flow? (please don’t answer this with reasons) The cars are limited to a regulation fuel limit, why are we restricting how teams run their cars? It would be bad for the sport, but it’s time the FIA took a direction for stabilizing the sport instead of playing games.

      • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 22nd March 2014, 17:53

        @tdog
        Thanks for that insight, I am not a lawyer but when you say:

        If Red Bull can establish by convincing evidence that, irrespective of what the sensor showed, at no stage during the race did fuel flow mass exceed 100 kg/hr, then they should win the appeal.

        One cannot be judge and defendant, that’s precisely the point with the third party sensors. The data coming from their sensors is not certified. They probably have to obey to the orders to comply with the rules but can they really prove the order was breaching the rules?
        That put aside, there must be also a lot of pressure from other teams which actually followed the same orders they were given, and one knows how pressure can affect decisions in F1.
        You have a solid explanation, but at some point I find it playing a bit with the spirit of the rules – a thing which is the essence of the sport, you’ll say, so we’ll see what judgement they will make.

        • uan (@uan) said on 22nd March 2014, 20:43

          @spoutnik

          You have a solid explanation, but at some point I find it playing a bit with the spirit of the rules

          It sounds romantic and all, but there is NO spirit of the rules. Look at the exclusion of Sauber in AUS 2011 when their rear wing was just barely out of spec due to a manufacturing error. No one claimed Sauber gained an advantage, hence they were within the “spirit” of the rules. Yet they were still excluded.

          The only spirit there is in competition is to win within the rules. If the rules are ambiguous, then they need to be rewritten. It’s not in the spirit of competition that when there is ambiguity in the rules, that you should not take advantage of it just because your competition either didn’t think to do the same thing or decided not to.

          It’s like the McLaren F-Duct in 2010. It was within the rules, as was the Double Diffuser Brawn used in 2009. It could be argued that both of these violated the “spirit” of the rules.

        • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 22nd March 2014, 21:17

          @spoutnik – “One cannot be judge and defendant, that’s precisely the point with the third party sensors. The data coming from their sensors is not certified. They probably have to obey to the orders to comply with the rules but can they really prove the order was breaching the rules?”

          Exactly, Red Bull would have the burden of proof that their sensors/data are more accurate than the ones independently certified and approved by the FIA. How can that be proven, especially independently? And how can they prove that they were within the regulations while violating a direct order from the FIA? Even with better lawyers and better sensors/data, I don’t think Red Bull have a chance of winning this appeal.

          If this case was decided on the merit of part of the compliance of the new fuel regulations was based on a directive by the FIA, and because of that the approved and independently certified sensors were declared invalid, then of what validity is any further, or for that matter previous, FIA directives?

          Were the issues of camber degree and side swapping of 2013 tires decided by FIA directive or changes in regulations? Granted, this was an in season safety issue, but if the FIA gives a directive would the court not uphold that it should be followed?

          @tdog – Your argument is extremely well thought out and you are likely more well versed in the FIA and related legalities than I am. My gut instinct tells me that Red Bull will lose this appeal and that for now the FIA approved sensors will stand. However, Red Bull have raised a legitimate question and the FIA may decide to revisit this issue after the ruling.

  3. OneBHK (@onebhk) said on 21st March 2014, 18:14

    So what is RBR going to do in the meanwhile, will they keep using FIA mandated FFM or their own..???

  4. jimbob (@vuntoosree) said on 21st March 2014, 18:22

    Interesting how aggressively managed Ricciardo’s first race was with respect to Vettel. Pushing the boundaries to win or RBR-new regulation-probe?

    • Interesting how aggressively managed Ricciardo’s first race was with respect to Vettel.

      What do you base that on, considering Vettels engine problems?

      • vuntoosree said on 22nd March 2014, 7:24

        exactly…had it been Vettel in Q2 would RBR have opted to throw the gauntlet or be less silly, settle for a solid 3rd for his title defence? vettel’s team mates have a history of not being able to capitulate on vettel’s DNF’s. Its uncanny

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st March 2014, 18:24

    I do hope the evidence of both sides, in detail, is made public. There is no doubt that RBR breached the rule of March 1st. but they have to present their evidence and the FIA have to present theirs so that we can see the picture clearly. Opinions run the whole gamut from “RBR are always cheating, about time they were caught” to ” RBR had no choice because they would have been severely handicapped relying on the faulty sensor” the truth is in there somewhere and we need to know it.

  6. Leroy (@g-funk) said on 21st March 2014, 18:48

    My questions are: Do RBR continue to ignore the rule and continue to use their own sensor data for the next two races until the appeal is heard? Would they do that for both Vettel and Ricciardo, or just Ricciardo? Do they risk both their drivers and constructor’s championship aspirations or do they play it safe and/or hedge their bets by only having one car ignore the rule?

  7. What do RBR do sensor wise for the intervening two races?

    • D (@f190) said on 21st March 2014, 19:37

      That’s exactly what I was thinking and it’s a very tricky situation for RedBull! If they are confident they will win the appeal, then surely they have to back their case and continue using the sensor they used in Melbourne. It would show a great weakness in their case if they now choose to follow the FIA.

      • @f190 very true! Not following the FIA could result in 3 races where they will be DSQ with a small chance of being reinstated after the hearing. Following the FIA now is like saying “we are wrong, you are right”! I am loving ‘fuelgate’ at this point, adds to the drama!

      • Rally Man (@rally-man) said on 21st March 2014, 19:49

        If the outcome of the case isn’t finished by the time the next race comes around they’ll need to run the FIA sensor or risk being penalized again.

      • Or they could get different FIA approved sensors in their car, one which works to both their and the FIA’s satisfaction. There’s no such thing as “the FIA sensor”, no two are the same.

        The underlying problem here is that the sensors are bad/unreliable. The point of the appeal is to force the FIA to do something about that.

        Mercedes backed off the power (fuel flow) in Australia at the FIA’s request. But they could do that because they had so much of a margin over everyone else. If they lose the next race because they are ordered to slow down they’ll be joining the RB appeal.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st March 2014, 20:03

      Hopefully that sensor and/or the spare can be properly calibrated before the next race.

  8. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st March 2014, 19:25

    The typical RBR arrogance, and now they will use their PR machine in order to get this rule suited to them, i suspect that in the appeal Horner will be speaking about how bad this rule is for the sport and that it isn’t “road relevant” (good excuse in this era), i suspect also that if this problem will happen in the next races they will be running after every session in front of every camera in the circuit moaning about it.
    The problem this time the FIA has been clear from the beginning, i just don’t understand their decision, is it arrogance ? Maybe but i do believe that it was a political decision that has nothing to do with the racing because even if the majority of the RBR team are arrogant there are also some very clever people that can understand the rules and the consequences of the breaching them, maybe they want to start a war with the FIA in order to obtain something more important ……

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st March 2014, 20:05

      Maybe they just don’t want to be stuck with an overeading sensor for the rest of the year.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 21st March 2014, 21:07

      @tifoso1989
      It’s all good blaming everything on Red Bull. I don’t understand them my self.
      Ignoring FIA’s instructions is never a good idea…
      But there is simply NO way that it can be even remotely acceptable that the FIA can supply the teams with performance defining sensors with the accuracy of a sextant. Compared to how the rest of the car is build and monitored of cause.
      If you look at it on the bright side, Red Bull might end up having, unwillingly, sacrificed themselves in order to force FIA to get these sensor issues resolved before another team becomes the victim of yet another dodgy sensor.

      • Boomerang said on 21st March 2014, 23:54

        I understand them. They think the sensor is malfunctioning and they’ve got the case against FIA. Discrapancy between the engine data of fuel consumption and Gill’s sensor mounted at the bottom of the tank – as appears to be the case ( In my opinion that’s the best place to mount the flow sensor ).
        I think there is nothing wrong with the sensor or the engine fuel flow reading. Discrapancy must be the result of difference in fuel temperature in the tank and the temperature of the fuel in the pipes where the flow is meausured within the fuel injection system.
        We have a flow sensor. It measures the volume of liquid flow, however to measure the mass you need the temperature as well. What happens here? In my opinion batteries – after charging cyclus – generate extra amount of heat. If I’m correct batteries are mounted under the fuel thank or at its bottom. That’s the perfect place to heat up the fuel entering the flow sensor and hence get the reading of greater fuel mass passing – although it isn’t happening. For me as an outsider, it’s difficult to believe that fuel actualy loses temperature at the point of injection system. But, I’m pretty sure that the whole issue stems from the fuel temp. difference.
        If the guys at RBR didn’t study this matter thoroughly and think that bare sensor reading discrapancy is their case they will be grilled by FIA.
        It would be much wiser to spend that energy in finding ways to insulate the fuel tank from excesive heat comming from batteries hence getting more consistent readings from Gill’s sensor which is working according to spec. However, complicated as it may seem, this is just a tip of the iceberg.

        • Randy (@randy) said on 22nd March 2014, 0:41

          The volume changes with the temperature, not the mass.

          The measuring device isn’t perfect yet – it is just a new tool to monitor another new important parameter. I’m willing to cut the FIA some slack and let them fine tune it, just as the teams are fine tuning their cars. Nobody did say or even suggest that this state of affairs is to stay for the whole season.

          In fact as far as i know they (the FIA) did tweak the software by lowering the monitoring rate from 10 to 5 hz during the race weekend. No one is saying that the current state of affairs is to stay for the whole season.

          They also instructed the teams to alter the fuel flow rate due to the discrepancy, and all the teams bar Red Bull unanimously obliged to it. I may not like their policy in some areas, but the FIA are still the rule makers and they reserve the right to issue such instructions (like an instruction to maintain certain tyre pressures last year), and the teams should bloody well listen to it.

          If not and they would get away with it, it would set a very dangerous precedent. Also given that the manufacturers themselves are able to alter seemingly homologated designs (i.e. reliability and safety fixes in engines), i’m not sure who would be in a darker position if we were to start expecting absolute perfection right from the very beginning of the season.

          • Randy (@randy) said on 22nd March 2014, 0:45

            Damn, repeated my thought. Sorry about that.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:23

            @randy, I have seen nothing to indicate that other cars, let alone all cars, were given the same flow reading limit adjustment as RBR, In fact it was made quite clear that the sensor used in the race was one that initially worked satisfactorally but subsequently gave bad readings causing the FIA and RBR to replace it for qualifying with another that also failed leading the FIA to instruct RBR to re-install the faulty one they started with. I have heard of no other team having this problem in Melbourne, have you?

          • Boomerang said on 22nd March 2014, 12:22

            One litre of hot air is lighter then cold one. One litre of fuel at 50°C weighs less than one litre of the same fuel at 10°C. I passed all exams in thermodynamics with merrit. Gill’s sensor has constant length and diameter, the mass of fuel flowing depends on its temperature. We have MAF sensors in the cars just because of the same principle – Air changes its density as it expands and contracts with temperature and pressure – the same happens to the limited extend with fluids. Fluids are uncompressable but susceptable to change in temperature – contraction and spreading. To cut the long story, we will see who is right on 14th April after all.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd March 2014, 3:26

        Then Red Bull should raise that question in any other way, not a PR stunt using Ricciardo. They should keep complaining about it like last year, get their drivers, principal, engineer e Marko to come to the public about the issue.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:12

        At mads, my sextant demands an apology.

    • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 21st March 2014, 21:49

      I don’t know, but in my car there are parts that I want..that’s just me….

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st March 2014, 22:19

      @tifoso1989 Remember that also, without FOTA, it’s easier for a single powerful team to bend this kind of regulations in a taylormade mode (maybe a settlement “out of court” if you know what I mean). Poor Riccardo, he’s been used “for a bigger good”… on the other hand, it’s maybe just a way to create a bad mood against the FIA (and nowadays that’s not so hard) because if they were tryin to gain an advantage woth this, the only fair outcome would be a more precise fuel regulation, not more “grey zones” they could exploit. And about RBR being arrogant, well, they are a big company, so that point you mention against them is the same or any megabusiness.

    • Dwight_js said on 21st March 2014, 22:28

      “…the FIA has been clear from the beginning, i just don’t understand their decision, is it arrogance?”
      I don’t know… you’re not coming across as too arrogant. Maybe more willfully ignorant? ;)

      But seriously, RBR have clearly stated that they can prove that the sensor was handicapping them, and that they never exceeded the fuel flow limit. It seems to me that this is a far more important point than the fact that they broke the FIA’s rule about how to follow the rules.
      These are the most technologically advanced engines ever used in F1, with a strict fuel flow rule. A flow which can be measured with a very high degree of precision. Are you really going to be satisfied with the FIA going to teams mid-race and saying “hey, pssst! Turn down your fuel flow a bit. How much? You know, just a smidge.”

  9. Ricciardo was excluded from the results of the Australian Grand Prix after the stewards ruled his car had repeatedly exceeded the maximum fuel flow rate of 100kg per hour during the race.

    After some thought, I do wonder if part of the problem here is the lack of definition. Just saying “must not exceed 100kg/hr” doesn’t say how that should or should not be measured. Is a measurement taken over a 1 microsecond interval as valid as a figure taken over 10 seconds?
    As I understand fuel injectors, and I’m sure this will show my almost complete lack of race engines, they “fire” periodically, meaning that for a short instant of time they use fuel, then for a longer period of time they don’t use any fuel. This is different from the old carburettor we used to use, where the fuel is more or less constantly spraying fuel into the air, injectors only feed fuel into air for a brief moment of time. The question then is can the fuel sensor deal with this “burst” nature of fuel consumption? Or does the constructor need to provide some sort of “smoothing” to the fuel to get an accurate figure? Even if the sensor can measure the peaks, is there some sort of averaging over a period of time, e.g over 5 seconds, used or is the instantaneous “peak” the only figure considered? If the averaging over a period of time is used, who defines that? The constructor?

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 21st March 2014, 22:37

      @drycrust There was talk of measurement intervals of 5 and 10 per second (it was changed from one to the other but I can’t remember which way round). It’s not commonly discussed in that level of detail in most articles but the FIA and teams know exactly how it works well enough that lack of definition isn’t a problem here.

      • Oh, that is what they were talking about! There was a comment somewhere along the lines that they had changed the frequency of the ultra sound from 5 Hz to 10 Hz, which is completely illogical, an ultra sound would be some sound above 20 kHz, so what they meant was that the sampling intervals had reduced from 200 milliseconds to 100 milliseconds. By comparison, an engine turning over at 6000 RMP means 100 revolutions of the engine in 1 second, so the injectors would have operated 300 times in that space of time, which I must admit, should be sufficient time to give a fairly reliable indication of fuel consumption.

  10. Baron (@baron) said on 21st March 2014, 20:40

    I cannot see how this appeal can succeed if (big if) the FIA followed the correct procedures. RBR will have some very fancy (read expensive) lawyers to try and confuse the issue. I further do not see how RBR could NOT have appealed, any other action on their part would be seen as an admission of impropriety.

    Throwing insults at a third party technology (“Horner: The Sensor is Immature Technology”) when they themselves have participated in it’s design and refinement over the past 2 years AND is already being used in a multitude of other motor sport disciplines and varied high tech commercial situations the world over, is rather arrogant of them.

    I think this is a battle that needs to be fought and I am pleasantly surprised they got it through so early.

    • Baron (@baron) said on 21st March 2014, 20:43

      PS As I understand it, the sensor measures many times a second and as there are no moving parts (differential frequency measurement) it’s hard to see how they could malfunction, unless the fuel was a different spec perhaps? (Oooops. Don’t go there – can of worms)

      Could be all in the calibration of course, and of course even Mercedes complied with the request to apply a modified offset to bring the sensor into line. But not Red Bull.

  11. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 21st March 2014, 20:49

    Re: Debating the merit of Red Bull’s appeal

    When was the last time a team was handed a DSQ and did NOT appeal it? The 2008 Canadian Grand Prix? Barrichello at Melbourne in 2011? Midland in 2006 at Hockenheim?

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:32

      Sauber in Melbourne 2011. Kobayashi and Perez were disqualified due to a small dimensional error in the upper rear wing element. They initially planned to appeal on the basis that they gained no performance benefit, but they dropped the appeal.

  12. Bill Niehoff (@justafan) said on 21st March 2014, 20:59

    In hypothetical terms, if we assume Ricciardo’s engine was indeed running too rich, how much of an advantage did that give him?

    • Mads (@mads) said on 21st March 2014, 21:22

      @justafan
      It might have been absolutely nothing. It might have been what kept him ahead of Magnussen on the straights. Over the whole race it won’t have been much in terms of time as they are still limited to 100kg for the entire race, so he has to save the fuel somewhere.
      No one can say exactly how much time he gained from it. That calculation is incredibly complicated even with all the correct numbers. As anyone outside the team stands, I.E without any numbers what so ever, it is completely impossible to even give a rough estimate.

    • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 21st March 2014, 21:50

      Not much and it means that Mercedes are more far away than expected…

    • grat said on 22nd March 2014, 0:09

      Well, first, his engine wasn’t running “rich” or “lean”– There’s this really big spinny thing called the turbo, and it means that there’s always enough air to mix with the amount of fuel you inject. Since there’s a motor/generator attached to the turbo, you can even (in theory), throttle how much the turbo is spinning at any point, to always ensure that no matter what your fuel flow is, your engine gets the right amount of air.

      More fuel plus more air equals more boost, which means more horsepower….

      Which is the reason for the fuel flow limit in the first place.

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:38

      It should be pointed out the “No performance advantage” can not be used as the basis for an appeal.
      If a team wrapped their tyres in orange peel, a team would still be disqualified as their car would not meet the required specifications regardless of how useless the orange peel works as a tyre. It would be treated the same as a team who was using a nitro boost system hidden behind the drivers seat.

  13. maxthecat said on 22nd March 2014, 1:25

    Look, most teams had problems with the sensor and all slowed during the race when told to by the FIA. Red Bull however think they didn’t have to. Regardless of their data, they were in the wrong and taking an unfair advantage, i hope they’re banned for a race at least.

    Now, the thing you should be worrying about is the FIA controlling the speed of the cars throughout the race due to their frankly ridiculous attempts at controlling something that really doesn’t need controlling. If the teams want to use 75% of their fuel in the first 20 laps and then crawl for the rest, that’s up to them. Stay out of the Racing FIA and stick to what you’re good at, helping Ferrari.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd March 2014, 16:52

      most teams had problems with the sensor and all slowed during the race”</em

      Please cite the source for this information.

    • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 24th March 2014, 12:54

      If the teams want to use 75% of their fuel in the first 20 laps and then crawl for the rest, that’s up to them.

      It’s not that simple. If it were, why limit the size of the engine, or the revs? Just give them 100kg fuel, if they want to have a 6l engine, fine.

      The problem is that peak power is one of the important aspects of the car to control. If one team has more power than another, even though he can only use it for a short period of time (or risk running out of fuel), he has a huge advantage when overtaking (or defending).

      The fuel flow limit is no different to the capacity and rev limits. Even so, it is part of the rules and cannot (and should not) be changed.

      Just as a digression, think what happens if they do change it. Lets say Merc have an optimum engine for this flow limit, but cannot stand extra boost to take advantage of greater fuel flow. Renault’s engine, however, can stand higher boost. The entire pecking order gets stood on it’s head, in spite of Merc having done a better job at designing to the rules.

      The regulations are there, and such a fundamental part cannot be changed mid season.

  14. Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 22nd March 2014, 4:52

    On the whole the only advantage Red Bull will achieve here is their Melbourne result should they succeed.

    You would think that given the purpose of having a Fuel Flow limit is to provide a means of limiting maximum power, while encouraging the engine developers to get the maximum power out of that flow limit thus getting higher efficiency, that the FIA will simply mandate a stricter more robust means of regulation and or strengthen their means to be able to disqualify.

    The end result will be a technical clarification that will result in less tolerance for all teams. If Red Bull think the FIA are going to drop the use of their Flow Meters as the governing basis for measuring max fuel flow. They are surely kidding themselves.

    An interesting point is that by proceeding with the appeal, its likely that Red Bull and Renault will have to provide some pretty sensitive details about their engine and how it uses fuel to prove they were being compliant.
    I would expect many of the other teams to err be present at the hearing…..

  15. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 22nd March 2014, 8:58

    At the end of the day, the FIA has just brought attention to the fact that system they have implemented doesn’t work. Epic fail

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