Red Bull lose appeal against Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix disqualification

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Red Bull have lost their appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix following a hearing of the FIA Court of Appeal in Paris.

The FIA issued a statement saying: “The court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided to uphold the decision number 56 of the stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s car number three from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

“The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Harry Duijm (Netherlands), and included Mr Rui Botica Santos (Portugal), Mr Philippe Narmino (Monaco), Mr Antonio Rigozzi (Switzerland) and Mr Jan Stovicek (Czech Republic).”

An FIA Court of Appeal was convened yesterday in Paris to hear Red Bull’s appeal.

Red Bull issued a statement saying it accepts the verdict of the court:

“Infiniti Red Bull Racing accepts the ruling of the International Court of Appeal today.

“We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn’t think we had a very strong case. We always believed we adhered to the technical regulations throughout the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

“We are sorry for Daniel (Ricciardo) that he will not be awarded the 18 points from the event, which we think he deserved. We will continue to work very hard to amass as many points as possible for the team, Daniel and Sebastian (Vettel) throughout the season.

“We will now move on from this and concentrate on this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.”

Ricciardo said: “It’s disappointing not to get the 18 points from Australia, but if anything it gives me more motivation to get back on the podium as soon as possible.

“I’ve had a few setbacks in the first couple of races this year, but in Bahrain I demonstrated that, if anything, I’m stronger for it and hungrier than ever to get back on the podium. Not that I need any more motivation, I’m pumped!

“I’m still really happy with my performance in Australia and for having had the experience of being on the podium in front of the home crowd. I said that week, I’d rather have a great race, finish on the podium and then be excluded than to have had a rubbish race and then retire with a car problem halfway through.”

The FIA will publish a full reasoning for the verdict later this week.

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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212 comments on Red Bull lose appeal against Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix disqualification

  1. Chris Kiss (@bluechris) said on 15th April 2014, 13:14

    Decision was correct but now i have a serius question.. in the races after Melbourne what RBR was doing as matter their flue flow? i havent saw anything that has this info or i missed it.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 14:14

      I would assume, since we haven’t heard otherwise, that RBR have been complying, since the FIA would have continued to monitor all teams since Australia just as they were in Australia, and it would seem there have been no further issues of RBR ignoring them.

    • PeterG said on 15th April 2014, 14:59

      During the Malaysian & Bahrain weekends when/if a fuel flow sensor failed they did what they should have done in Melbourne & followed the FIA’s backup calculations.

      • Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 15th April 2014, 18:55

        on the uK coverage, they asked Horner if he would be using the fuel flow meter, and he replied “Yes, we have to…” (or words to that effect) which I thought was odd… he effectively shot his argument in the foot at that point.

        • Brian (@bealzbob) said on 16th April 2014, 16:48

          I heard that at the time. The context of the answer was that the contracted sensor is the only one that can be installed in the car, but the team(s) can do their own measuring via their own software/telemetry too. All he was saying was that they couldn’t go out and buy someone elses to do the job. It didn’t change or prejudice the argument they were going to put to the FIA afterwards. Although that clearly didn’t work anyhoo.

  2. Brian (@bealzbob) said on 15th April 2014, 13:56

    It’ll be interesting to read the no-doubt-very-carefully composed reasoning from the FIA on this decision. I wonder why it’s not available now.

    I still think this final judgement was reached so as not to open the floodgates, rather than to actually deliver the correct ruling. In other words, I think Red Bull didn’t really exceed the actual fuel flow limit, but that the dodgy sensor claimed that they did. The sensor which has completely failed on Ricciardo’s car in the subsequent 2 races and which has caused trouble up and down the paddock (how the hell do that company continue to have the contract???).

    But if the FIA (or the court of arbitration etc etc) had set a precedent of allowing the teams to monitor their own fuel based on the failings of the ‘immature’(sic) technology it could potentially take some of the ability to control the teams away from the FIA. Something they’re quite clearly loathe to do based on the evidence of the past 5 or 6 years (standard ECUs etc).

    So you’re faced with 2 scenarios.
    1) Do the right thing and re-instate Ricciardo but be faced with the fallout from what is a rubbish fuel sensor and all the teams measuring their own way. In the FIA’s eyes that is too close to chaos.
    Or …
    2) Keep the teams in tow with the rubbish sensor and, so as not to lose face, continue the injustice on Ricciardo.

    This would also explain why there was no follow-up punishment dished out to Red Bull. After all, it is the norm for a punishment to be either increased or decreased depending on the outcome of an appeal. Rarely does it remain completely unchanged.

    And no, I’m not a RBR fanboi at all before anyone asks :)

    Gotta say the over-riding feeling I have here is that this stinks a little bit. It is ultimately not good for Formula One when a fundamental part that determines the pace of the car (by determining the fuel delivery) is failing the teams so consistently and then gets backed by the FIA.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 17:23

      Except for a few things. It would seem it is not everyone up and down the paddock that has an issue with the sensors, but moreso the Renault powered teams who fiddled with them. Also, dodgy or not, at least the FIA was trying to keep everyone on the same level during Australia by having them all use the sensors for their measurements rather than their own measurements that the FIA would not be able to monitor.

      I reject your two scenarios. I don’t think it is the right thing to re-instate DR, nor am I convinced the sensor is rubbish unless altered.

      As to your last paragraph, I think what would be ultimately not good for F1 is if teams got to ignore the FIA during a race and expect and receive no consequence for doing so. I think if anything stinks it is that only RBR seems to have an issue, and they could have raised it before the season began, since the rules and the technical directives came then and should have come as no surprise during the Australian weekend. RBR tried to get away with something, and failed, and perhaps decided they didn’t have much to lose taking the whole season into account, since Horner was out there claiming Merc could lap everyone twice anyway…btw, doing so using the same flow sensor as them…albeit unaltered, and complying with the FIA.

      • Brian (@bealzbob) said on 16th April 2014, 14:40

        The rule was not to exceed the fuel flow. The guideline was on how to achieve that.

        This ruling seems to have subtly changed the definition of the word ‘guideline’ to be more similar to ‘rule’.

        As I’ve said in the following response to Cyclops_PL. Obviously if DR actually (as in really really) exceeded the flow limit then yes it would be wrong to re-instate him. We differ on whether the FIA are putting false faith on a wonky sensor and coming to a conclusion on DR’s real fuel rate. I’m somewhat sceptical and cynical as to the motives behind siding with the sensor (the technical fallout, subsequent protests, loss of face both technologically and from a beauracracy POV).

        Apropos of this. As for altering the sensor. It has failed on DR’s car since. Which I believe means they default to some FIA mandated something-or-other formula/setting. I’m not sure how exactly that works because if the FIA can be sure that the cars can operate legally with a broken sensor then it begs the question why they need the sensor in the first place?

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 15th April 2014, 17:23

      You might not be a Red Bull fan boy, but you clearly are against the fuel flow rule or any other restrictive rule. And this appeal wasn’t about the sensor being accurate or the rule being silly or not. It was about Red Bull ignoring the rule. Which was pretty much undeniable.

      • Brian (@bealzbob) said on 16th April 2014, 14:31

        I’m not against the fuel flow rule. I’m against a component that seems flaky at measuring the rule and one that seems to have discrepancies in it, that’s all. I think it’s quite important that the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’ be seen to have accurate technology.

        If Red Bull exceeded the limit then fine. I just find it a bit hard to believe that an outfit like them would go to appeal if they couldn’t prove that the actual real-life fuel flow rate that they were providing their engine wasn’t within or on the limits allowed and that the alleged breach was solely down to a reading from a faulty component.

        My attitude towards things like DRS are completely separate to this. I re-iterate, I am not against the fuel flow limit.

  3. chris (@9chris9) said on 15th April 2014, 14:02

    Do the FIA publish fuel mass flow readings for all teams?
    I’d love to see the data for each race and compare which car/team is most efficient

  4. Kelsier (@kelsier) said on 15th April 2014, 14:16

    “I’d rather have a great race, finish on the podium and then be excluded than to have had a rubbish race and then retire with a car problem halfway through.”

    Interesting, seems to me that he’s saying that he prefers to cheat to get a good result and then be disqualified rather then complete fairly if it means the crowd won’t cheer.

    Maybe Daniel can drive a car, but he’s not the brightest.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 14:44

      Lol, well pointed out. I guess that feeling for DR was undoubtedly a highlight of his life, so it’s hard for him now to admit he was only there falsely. I perhaps would have understood his sentiment more if he had said that he might have still been on the podium except in third rather than in second, but for him to take the extreme alternative of having a rubbish car and dnf’ing is telling that he is trying to convince himself still that he did a righteous thing in Australia. Perhaps his strong performance since then has helped convince himself, and even the team is convinced, when Newey says they still would have gotten third in Australia. Maybe next time they consider ignoring the FIA, they’ll cut their losses, and choose to heed their warnings. That way, whatever happens DR could still reasonably hold his head high without having to sell himself on it.

    • Pink Peril said on 16th April 2014, 1:29

      The problem with your comment is that it assumes Daniel knew about the fuel issue. Nowhere have I seen a suggestion that he knew anything about it until afterward. So as far as he was concerned, yes, he was on the podium fair & square. And fuel flow aside, to gain an advantage from the increased fuel flow (if there was one) he still had to outrace 19 other cars to get that result so I think it’s a tad unfair to suggest his result was only down to that one aspect.

      It’s similar to Singapore 2008. Yes Alonso gained an advantage from the timing of the safety car but he still had to keep it on the black stuff for another 50-odd laps and keep it in front of anyone else while doing so. The whole excercise would have been a complete waste of time had he binned the car the next lap. That is why I have always maintained he should be allowed to keep the result because although it was tainted it was still mostly down to his hard work – as was the case here with Daniel.

      • lee1 said on 16th April 2014, 9:12

        So because alonso still needed to keep driving then that should absolve him of cheating in the first place? There is no way alonso did not know about the plan as he would have needed to be in on it for it to have worked so well. Ricciardo however probably had no idea about rbs fuel issue. But still should be punished as f1 is a team sport and he benefitted albeit unknowingly from rbs decision.

  5. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 15th April 2014, 14:20

    Before the Australian GP, C.Horner said that Mercedes GP will lap other teams TWICE during the race.
    This I think is because the Renault engine is less fuel efficent. Red Bull also has more downforce than other teams and that will increase the fuel consumption. To reduce the performance gap to Mercedes, the Red Bull has to use more fuel to get more power out of the engine and that will exceed the fuel limit for the race. The fuel sensor is not faulty. They are using more fuel and trying to find a gap in the regulations to have an excuse for the fuel flow so that they can be more competitive in the races.

  6. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 15th April 2014, 15:00

    They mentioned during one of the practice session on SSF1 that Red Bull, STR & Lotus were the only 3 team that had been modifying there fuel flow sensors for packaging reasons & that they & Caterham were the 4 teams which were having 95% of the problems with the sensors.

    Charlie Whiting has said that there will be no alterations to the fuel flow sensors allowed from the Spanish Gp.

    Ted Kravitz also said that there had been some discussion that the fuel been used by Total which all Renault teams are using was causing some problems with the sensors.

  7. CovertGiblets said on 15th April 2014, 15:12

    A great deal of time is dedicated to the subject of reducing costs in Formula 1. I couldn’t begin to guess at the total cost to RBR, the FIA and who knows who else in getting this appeal through the courts, but needless to say the only people getting rich from such actions are the lawyers. Surely it was a little foolish to spend money on something RBR knew they could not realistically win.

    Common sense costs nothing don’t you know.

  8. mdianuk said on 15th April 2014, 15:17

    I’m half expecting Red Bull to throw their toys out of the pram again and question their entry within Formula 1. A classic Ferrari approach!!!

  9. vishy (@vishy) said on 15th April 2014, 15:34

    This was a forgone conclusion. However my take on why RBR went ahead with their measurement was they wanted a podium in the first race. They might have felt that a poor finish was a going to be bad for Red Bull image, so it is better to get to a podium and get disqualified than to finish poorly.

    Everything else after that was theatrical, they can’t say they knew what they were doing was wrong, that would be foolish! I don’t think there is a conspiracy to undermine technical directives (Hopefully they were not that foolish that this would succeed) nor do i think they were trying to be arrogant.

  10. GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 15th April 2014, 16:22

    i’m kinda dissapointed. i wanted red bull and ric to have the points so the standings are more interesting. but in the end they used an illegal car so it is fair!!! hopefully the FIA keeps everybody on track, not just red bull!

  11. Where is the surprise in RBR’s demeanor!? They have “overlooked” TD’s in the past in order to gain advantage. Specially when it comes to Design/Aero directives.

    This it went all the way to the CoA. It happens, it’s sports.

    However 1 must remind ourselves of this, the CoA never overrules and FIA steward decision when it come to TD’s. Cause like other’s have pointed before, TD’s set the boundaries for the rules. If it was a penalty on driving behavior, or team errors in pit stops or “team orders”, then the CoA might have overruled the stewards decision!

    Also RBR went to court not cause “they might have a chance” but because they wanted the rulling to be changed in order to allow any kind of sensors to be used in fuel flow management and not only the one’s the FIA mandated! That was the original issue, the FIA sensor wasn’t working, and RBR switched to 1 of their own sensors.

  12. Red Bull lost, but who won? Last year Mercedes were secret buddies with RBR, this season, they’ve gone against them, which is not surprising what is surprising is the statements they’ve produced in the coming days of the appeal. Red Bull had a very strong case but it appears as though someone else had a stronger heavier case. I feel sorry for Ricciardo but in the end I am convinced that is was the right decision.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 17:29

      Not sure I understand. How were Merc secret buddies with RBR last year? Also, RBR must not have had a strong case since they lost their appeal. Also, the only entity in this that could have had a stronger case, and obviously did, was the FIA.

      I think who won in the was the FIA and F1. Teams should not be able to decide during a race weekend that they can operate with their own rule book to suit themselves.

  13. Redbull’s disrespect for the officials is akin to a baseball player walking to first after the ump struck him out, because he didn’t agree with the umps ball and strikes calls. Guess what it doesn’t matter how bad the call are. You got to follow what the officials say or you’re going to get ejected. Happens in every sport. F1 is no different.

    FIA made the right call 100%.

  14. Brian C (@bcracing) said on 15th April 2014, 18:14

    I would like to see teams that are found of “misinterpreting” the rules slapped with probation. It would be a great way to curb spending as well as improve the racing product. NASCAR uses probation as a very useful tool to harness teams that get too arrogant or sneaky.

  15. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 15th April 2014, 22:30

    They will get more points. :)

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