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Red Bull’s Horner “confident” that team will get Melbourne points back at appeal
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2014   |  7:33 pm GMT  |  502 comments

Christian Horner, boss of the Red Bull Racing team has today explained what their case will be based on at the April 14 appeal hearing into Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix. And he says that the team is very confident it will be able to prove that it didn’t break the rules on fuel flow.

“We are appealing on the grounds that we are extremely confident that we have not broken the rules, that we haven’t exceeded the 100kg/hour of fuel that is permitted to be utilised by the car and the engine,” he said.

“Our whole case is on the fact of which reading is correct. We have a [FIA] sensor that is drifting and isn’t reading correctly versus a fuel rail that we know is calibrated and we know that hasn’t varied throughout the weekend. We haven’t broken the Technical Regulations. That we haven’t exceeded the fuel flow limit and that the sensor, which hopefully we will be able to demonstrate in the appeal, is erroneous.”

Although Technical Directives – the secretive documents issued by the FIA to teams to clarify and update interpretations of rules on complex technical areas – are considered by many F1 teams to supersede the technical regulations, Horner said that his team doesn’t see them that way, that they are more of an “opinion”.

The role of Technical Directives in governing F1 will be tested at the appeal hearing.

However the key point here is that even if Red Bull can demonstrate that its own readings were more accurate than the FIA approved sensor, the FIA will argue that the rules do not allow a competitor to take matters into its own hands when measuring something fundamental to the running of the car. He must follow FIA guidelines, as all the other competitors did in Melbourne.

As the stewards’ statement spelled out in Melbourne, “Although the sensor showed a difference in readings… 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….it is not within their discretion to run a different fuel flow measurement method without the permission of the FIA.”

Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz has made some vague threats this week to quit F1 over this issue and over his general frustration about the new hybrid power train rules. The company has pumped billions into F1 over the last 15 or so years and the team is committed to the sport until the end of 2020 in a bilateral agreement with FOM.

Mateschitz is using a tactic employed to great effect over the years by Enzo Ferrari, who frequently threatened to leave the sport, even building an Indycar once to add some spice to his threat. The tradition has been continued by current Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who faced down Max Mosley at the end of his FIA presidency over Budget Caps – and won.

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  1. Anil Parmar says:

    This is all becoming a bit ridiculous and the statements made by DM seemed totally unnecessary.

    At the end of the day, the teams were told to follow the Technical Directive and Red Bull chose to ignore it. It’s pretty clear cut imo, regardless of whether their sensors showed that they didn’t break the limit.

    This weekend will be fascinating…What will Red Bull do during the race if the stewards tell them they are over the fuel limit once again?

    1. AuraF1 says:

      If red bull DON’T disobey again this weekend then surely they would be admitting they weren’t justified previously? They best stick to their guns and keep getting disqualified ;)

    2. dzolve says:

      It’s all just a big show and has always been thus!

      The fuel rate sensors are just another cunning way to manipulate the results.

      Bernie will get what he wants – everything to play for, with double points on offer, come the final race. Just wait and see!

      1. TimW says:

        Why would you waste your time watching a fixed event?

    3. RobertS says:

      Watching the f1 show. Marussia said they had to follow similar instructions during the race to turn down the fuel flow rate. I guess many teams got this instruction and whether they agreed with it or not they followed it. Red bull don’t have much of a case on that front. Even though they may well of been under limit throughout the race.

      1. jean-luc says:

        Red Bull’s stance is driven by one thing: Arrogance. I cannot believe they are still arguing with the owner serving a threat of quitting the sport if things don’t go their way. No team is bigger than F1.

      2. Tomo says:

        you want arrogance you best look at Ross Brawn and Niki Lauda..

      3. TimW says:

        Whats your point Tomo?

      4. Tomo says:

        No Team can can be DQed for Arrogance..sry that rule dont exist. And its seems that a certain section of people are screaming repetitively that “oh they where arrogant DQ” them what tripe.

        hence the you want arrogance example:

      5. TimW says:

        Tomo, It was the teams arrogance that caused the disqualification. If they had reacted to the FIA directive in the same way as the other teams there would have been no problem. I didn’t understand the reference to Lauda and Brawn, I’m not sure what they have to do with it.

      6. Grant H says:

        Agree why should other teams comply with fia request and red bull ignore, either way they had an advantage the others did not

    4. JohnBt says:

      [This weekend will be fascinating…What will Red Bull do during the race if the stewards tell them they are over the fuel limit once again?]

      If it happens again after warnings – BLACK FLAG!!! or Red Bull leaves F1 after this weekend? I’d love to see DM act on his words.

      1. Folkdisco says:

        “Dietrich Mateschitz… has pumped billions into F1″ No, Dietrich Mateschitz has pumped billions into his own teams and his own race track. If he leaves the sport tomorrow, wages and costs will, on balance, reduce. In F1 the biggest spending team tends to win. Minus money wasted on the owner’s ego of course. And egos can be very expensive.

    5. Kramgp says:

      I do have some sympathy with rb if they knew the sensor was faulty but they must have known the consequences of their actions. It shows an arrogance that will not win them any new fans. DMs threat to leave the sport sounds a bit half arsed. What ever the outcome if rb could be getting more boos from the crowd should they make it to the podium which would bea shame for such a talented team

    6. Gudien says:

      Right. Turn down your fuel flow (power) and let Merc win. It’s their turn.

      1. jake says:

        Keep up!
        Merc were asked to turn down their fuel flow and complied.

    7. SteveS says:

      The legal status of “Technical Directives” is very unclear. There’s nothing in the rules of F1 which allows Whiting to unilaterally rewrite the rules via top-secret TD’s whenever he feels like it.

      1. C63 says:

        The legal status of “Technical Directives” is very unclear..
        Graeme Lowdon, on the Sky F1 Show, explained that, whilst, TD’s are not part of the regulations it has always been accepted practice for ALL the teams to accept them as such. Without them the sport would not be manageable. I don’t know if you saw the show, but GL was not all supportive of Red Bull taking this to appeal and challenging a TD in this manner. He was very careful with his words, but clearly implied they had crossed a line this time.

    8. littleredkelpie says:

      Or … the FIA demonstrate staggering incompetence in failing to deliver a box of fuel sensors capable of delivering a consistent result then basically declare that, surprise surprise, what they say is more important than the actual sport by demanding that the teams comply with their half-baked quick-fixes regardless of the demonstrated inconsistencies.

      Either it is a car race, or it is a play-pen for a bunch of OCD rule-makers who couldn’t care less about the old-fashioned notion fast cars being driven as fast as they can go. Give me strength.

      I sincerely hope RBR can demonstrate compliance with the stupid 100kg/hr rule by their own means, then we’ll see if this is about racing, or about following inept directions from a bunch a rule book coppers.

      Personally, I think it is a real shame that what made this sport so great, so long ago – build a fast car and drive its doors off, has been well and truly lost under literally volumes of contrived restrictions and limitations presumably aimed at delivering pre-determined ends.

    9. Racing Fan says:

      People are ignoring, for some kind of reason, that the cars have other sensors (officials) and physical procedures (also officials) before and after the race that can be used to prove that the fuel flow sensors could really be faulty. Charlie said recently that in case of problem with the fuel flow sensor during the race, there would be other ways to prove that the rate was correct or not. I think that those ways can also be used to prove or not that Red Bull was right. There are a lot of people sensitive about the idea that the last 4 years of Red Bull´s domination is bad to F1, and they are praying for someone to find a way to hurt Red Bull Racing. We have to wait and see what will happen.

  2. Michael says:

    If Red Bull are successful in overthrowing their disqualification, can McLaren lodge an protest/appeal that Magnussen followed the “wrong” technical recommendations from FIA and could have been second if they had done the same as Red Bull by ignoring FIA?

    1. RobertS says:

      Exactly. I think a lot of teams could counter protest

      1. Racing Fan says:

        I think that all the teams are praying to Red Bull to win this case, because is a key point to have their cars in an evolution path. I don´t believe Mclaren would appeal, I think.

      2. grat says:

        No– this isn’t a technical appeal.

        This is an attempt by Red Bull to undermine the authority of Charlie Whiting and the other FIA officials.

        Charlie Whiting’s technical directives, and interpretation of the technical regulations has cost Red Bull more points than any other individual.

        If Red Bull succeeds in their appeal, it means the technical directives, and therefore Charlie Whiting and the FIA stewards, are irrelevant to the rules of F1.

      3. luqa says:

        Well they didn’t within the specified time period because they were chicken. Or did they?
        RB should be commended regardless of their achievements for bringing up this arbitrary, potentially manipulative issue.

      4. RobertS says:

        I’m pretty sure all the teams are talking to the fia about the issue. It’s just red bull have made it more public. Nothing to commend them about as it is an issue which was already being looked at behind the scenes.

    2. Aaron says:

      You can’t protest “what-ifs”. McLaren could have chosen to not turn down the engine and take their chances with the stewards.

    3. Rod says:

      This is an excellent point and the crux of the matter; just because of it Red Bull will surely not get the points back.
      Still, it does sound silly that teams should be forced to use a faulty device – it could translate into the FIA not being able to make a decision to disqualify transgressors or decide to penalize innocent teams.

    4. BW says:

      They cannot.

  3. Timmay says:

    Good luck Red Bull I am with them on this one. Stupid guideline (its not even a rule) needs to be scrapped immediately after the trial.

    1. What is the point of having rules even then? The 1.6L engine rule is ridiculous according to me. Maybe Ferrari should just bolt a 2.4L engine to their car because this rule is just silly.

      The FIA has guidelines that every other team has followed and Red Bull thinks they can get away with just about anything only because they have won 4 world titles. Dietrich is starting to think that he is the new Enzo Ferrari by issuing threats that they will leave F1 if pushed too far. No true F1 fan will be sad if Red Bull leaves. We only want Adrian, Christian and their two drivers.

      1. tony crowther says:

        I’m not even sure most fans want Christian to be honest, he’s just Dietrich and Helmuts puppet!

      2. Ed H says:

        Not to mention all the employees, mechanics and staff at Milton Keynes! The temperamental benefactor can up sticks and leave, but fundamentally the team are all good people. (Okay, Vettel can be self-absorbed and arrogant sometimes, but mostly he’s alright) It’s just a shame they are backed by a soulless energy drinks company.

      3. Paul Kirk says:

        Funnilly enough I don’t mind the team, (RB) or Matisitch! I like it when wealthy people put/spend money in/on our sport, I mean they could be putting it into horses or ball GAMES etc., but no, they’re helping our sport, so I’m happy with that! I particularly respect/hold in high regard teams/people that/who do a good job at our car racing. When I analize it, it seems I have problems with personalities, eg Marko (grumpy bastard} and Vetal, but then when I think about it , Vettal’s ok it’s just that bloody finger that pisses me off! OK, he wins frequently, but I don’t hold that against him, he obviously has a good car and he gets the best out of it, (for which I commend him). I guess the biggest thing I have against RB is the treatment of Mark Webber!

      4. iamvik says:


        As if Mark was contracted as a bonded labor! If he was that good but just undermined by his team, he would have left RBR long back. He did not. Very obviously the perception of wrong being done to him was not shared by he himself. He was beaten by a better driver, fair and square. Simple as that. And he was smart enough to realize that!

      5. Tealeaf says:

        Well you’re wrong, a true F1 fan would be sad if Redbull left and if you’re a true fan then you should know what your comment about Ferrari bolting on a 2.4 engine sound like. Redbull has done a lot for F1 in sponsorship for decades and then driver development, fronting wages to the best peole in the business and keeping afloat 2 teams whilst manufacturers have been pulling out due to cost and their own agenda, in the modern day Redbull are filling the shoes Ferrari use to back in the 70′s and 80′s. F1 would struggle without Redbull.

      6. C63 says:

        I am pretty clear, in my own mind, what the definition of a fan is. But how do you define a ‘true F1 fan’?

      7. Kramgp says:

        The name red bull just carry the same weight as Ferrari mclaren or even the resurgent Williams. It may well do in 50 years but just not now

      8. Spinodontosaurus says:

        If I am understanding it right, the rules only state that they must be within 100kg per hour fuel flow rate. The part about it having to be the fuel flow sensor that is used to measure this is a technical directive issued in Bahrain, but it _isn’t_ a regulation/rule. It isn’t enforceable.

      9. grat says:

        No, the regs state that all cars must carry the FIA homologated sensor, and that the sensors must report back to the FIA.

        The technical directives explain the procedures for dealing with the (known) discrepancies in the meters.

        Short Version: Red Bull has declared war on Charlie Whiting.

      10. Timmay says:

        Am I not a true C1 fan brooo? Only been watching it for 21 years

      11. Quercus says:

        What’s the point of putting in a 2.4? You can have as many cylinders and as much capacity as you like but with turbo-charging allowed you won’t get any more power out of it while fuel-flow is regulated to a max of 100Lph. In fact with bigger cylinders they probably wouldn’t be as efficient with all the extra internal friction.

        We all have to get used to the fact that cubic capacity no longer has the meaning it once had, with ERS-linked turbocharging and new high-performance metals being developed for the engine internals.

    2. DMyers says:

      I think you’ll find that the fuel flow rate is a rule.

    3. TimW says:

      It would take about 5 minutes of research for you to find out why the max fuel flow rate is so important.

    4. Grant H says:

      I agree the rule is daft, but red bull broke the rules so should be punished

      Better to let them all manage 100kg how they like who cares about fuel rate

      1. TimW says:

        Because you would have some cars running 1000 horsepower and others running 500, speed differences like that cause accidents.

      2. Grant H says:

        Pls reconsider that statement teams will always push performance to the max and all race simulations will come out with roughly the same fuel flow rate to achieve fastest lap and finish the race, so your comment 500 horse power diff or anywhere near does not add up

      3. TimW says:

        Nothing to reconsider Grant, it is exactley what would happen, there will always be times when the predicted fuel consumption will be wrong and you will get one driver with an excess and another with a deficit. Another problem with un regulated fuel flow would be in qualifying, all the teams would be running as much fuel (and therefore power)as possible. This would cause the cars to be running at too high a speed for the gravel traps at the end of the straights and would also cause the teams to spend a fortune on engine development to make their units robust enough to cope with the power.
        You might not like the fuel flow being regulated but it is a crucial safety and cost cutting measure that the teams all voted for.

      4. Grant H says:

        I dont think there would be much difference, a car being chased down is hardly going to run 500 hp less and let someone walk past…dont forget fuel rate has always been regulated by this part called the throttle

      5. TimW says:

        Were going to have to agree to disagree on this one Grant, but it’s worth finding out what the real experts think.

    5. Gaz Boy says:

      Hmm, so it’s alright to blatantly break the rules? At the end of the day, the key word in Formula 1 is “Formula”, ie a set of rules and regulations that defines the design of the cars that the teams must adhere to.
      Without rules, F1 would end with some V16 rocket car with space thrusters. While that might be appealing to some, it would be totally out of step with the automotive world, which it is supposed to represent.
      By the way, I feel sorry for Daniel, I thought he was superb all weekend, but at the end of the day he is a salaried employee of Bull (albeit a very significant one), and must face the consequences like the rest of his salaried colleagues.

    6. Wes says:

      Well, The reality is… they did break the rules, lets say they didnt exceed the fuel flow rate, ok, give them that, however, they still broke 2 rules,

      One, they did not use the FIA mandated fuel flow meter, thats a slam-dunk.

      Two, they did not follow the technical directive issued to them during the race, yet another slam-dunk.

      It no longer matters if they didnt exceed the fuel flow, they will lose the appeal. and yes, i agree the fuel flow rule is stupid, give them the 100kg and let em burn it how they want to.

    7. KRB says:

      As someone on another F1 site said, imagine if RBR’s fuel flow metre (FFM) was reading “low”? That is, imagine if the FFM was showing 100kg/hr even though RBR’s equipment was showing it as 103kg/hr. Does anyone think that RBR would be going by their equipment over the FIA’s?!?

      The best way to make the equipment more accurate is for all the teams to be on board with the FIA in helping them get to that point asap. What doesn’t help is if every team disregards the directives of the governing body, and appeal every result post-race. That would make a mockery of the entire sport.

      I think RBR’s appeal is near guaranteed to fail, b/c the result if the appeal is upheld is utter chaos.

      1. superdad27 says:

        come back bernie all is forgiven

  4. Tony Crowther says:

    It shows just how pathetic and petty Red Bull and especially Dietrich Mateschitz is if he will threaten the livlihoods of many hundreds of dedicated workers at the RB factory just to prove a point with the FIA, I smell the machinations of good old Bernie behind this latest outburst urging him on!

    1. Michael says:

      Well, well, well I guess Red bull are a drinks team after all. They’ve won the last 4 world championships and when things don’t go their way they throw a hissy fit and threaten to pull out of F1. I say good riddance and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      1. falonso says:

        I agree but for that Red Bull is a brand and marketing – not drinks – is their business. It has build up the brand image over the years by investing mainly in fun & risks sport to an extend that theses sports are completely identified with Red Bull by the public. While these sports are minority interest, it is only through global impact of success in F1 that Red Bull is capitalizing all that investment (it’s only since Vettel’s success that even my mom – not a F1 fan at all – knows about Red Bull (but not about the drinks!)Sure they will exit F1 if it harms the brand image and value, but they still have a long way to go before that…
        Personally I hate Red Bull Racing for over the past years the difference between pretended image – sportmanship among others – and truth has become too evident too often.

    2. Ahmad says:

      Don’t worry about the Milton Keynes factory, if RBR decide to leave F1 (which they won’t), there will be plenty of potential buyers for the team. Remember that DM bought this team in the first place.

      1. Michael says:

        This whole house of cards will tumble when Adrian Newey packs his bags and starts designing boats.

    3. gollino says:

      He can still employ those people giving away cans of RB at holiday resorts.
      I’m sure the brand will still get a good exposure.

    4. Phil H says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      DM can go. Utterly fed up with the arrogance being displayed here. The fact that DM comes out with a bone statement like this, coincidentally just before the hearing, shows his utter contempt for the FIA process.

      Every other team complied, whether they were happy with the figures, or not.

      Traditionally teams have always pushed the boundaries, looking for every fraction of an advantage, but this was a dumb move, that was never going to pan out and the only person it hurt was the delightful Ricciardo.

  5. Rob Newman says:

    I still can’t understand why they need to stick to 100kg/hour. If the driver has 100kg for the race, it should be up to him and the team to use it as they wish.

    What will Red Bull do in the interim? Stick to what their own sensor says or ignore further warnings by race stewards during race weekends and what the FIA approved Gill Sensor says?

    Also, why was Ricciardo not black flagged in Australia by the stewards if they thought the team has breached any rules?

    1. AuraF1 says:

      You’re only black flagged of you cause a hazard by remaining on track aren’t you? Exceeding the fuel flow rate (which all the manufacturers demanded by the way to prevent exotic mapping and force efficiency and more development of the electrical systems) wouldn’t actually threaten any others that I can see.

      1. neilmurg says:


    2. J Hancock says:

      Perhaps they are trying to avoid a situation similar to what has become of Moto GP, where strict fuel limits brought on clever fuel management that delivered enormous power from the engines, but has made the bikes increasingly vicious and expensive, with a corresponding increase in serious injuries and teams/manufacturers abandoning the sport.
      Unlimited fuel flow could be taken to it’s logical extreme, with the car getting enormous power on throttle and then running purely electrically the rest of the time. It’s interesting technically but would be even more expensive than the engines already are to make them drivable and reliable.

    3. Frans says:

      Because they probably want to check out the sensor first to see if it was broken. Because if it was broken, then RB would be ok to use their own sensor. But it wasn’t broken. It just wasn’t as accurate as RB wanted. The problem is that if RB does win this case, then it wouldn’t be fair for other teams that followed the directive.

    4. Trent says:

      Apparently to stop the massive boost in performance that would be temporarily gained by ‘turning up the wick’.

      But to me, that sounds like a great strategic element that would surely increase ‘real’ overtaking. A lost opportunity with a needless rule, I think.

      1. Rob Newman says:

        If they turn up the wick, wouldn’t they run out of gas before the chequered flag?

      2. Jim says:

        Would it increase “real” overtaking or, used defensively, decrease DRS overtakes? I can’t see “Them” being happy to allow something which would negate DRS.

        Note that I’m no fan of DRS, just looking at the practicalities here.

      3. Vincent says:

        Actually, this is to stop teams running entirely different setups for qualifying and the race.

        During qualifying there is nothing to stop teams having everything turned up to the max in an effort to get first place and artificially inflate their true standing.

      4. TJ says:

        How would that be any different to last year or the year before that ect ect ect???

        No fuel flow meter last year. All teams turn up the wick for quali and then run a different engine map during the race. I don’t think you would see any teams artificially inflate their standing as all teams would be doing the same thing and so the normal pecking order would remain.

      5. TimW says:

        it would be different because the normally aspirated engines used last year could only generate slightly more power in quali trim than in race trim. The turbo charged engines if left un regulated could produce over 1000 horsepower.

      6. Mark Houston says:

        Yeah, it’s just the decided way to limit engine power. In the last turbo era they used max boost pressure to limit it but left it pretty huge. Now it’s supposed to be about maximising fuel efficiency (not to be confused this with fuel economy) so it wouldn’t do to have great big shooting flames splitting out the back when teams “turn up the wick”.

      7. Phil says:

        It could lead to dangerous speeds, something the FIA want to avoid.

      8. roadie says:

        Agreed. 100kg of fuel should be the only limitation.

      9. GWD says:

        It’s sounds like a strategic thing to use, until you realise the engine limitations each team has and the propensity to detonate an engine using ‘turning up the wick’ options. I would say the merc would probably fail the least, but teams using other engines would see the need to compete, and would turn up the wick and risk engine failures, then taking numerous engine penalties havin gone through their 5 allocateds earlier than anticipated in the season. Not a cost reducing measure really.
        @Rob Newman: I think there was no black flag because no alteration to the specific wording of the rules were issued to all teams prior to beginning the weekend. Had that happened, and RB followed their ‘defiant’ stance and committed those actions, they would have been blackflagged. I have heard that RB were issued an email as well as some form of verbal communication, but this doesn’t appear to qualify as a field-wide directive very clearly overriding the absolute wording of the rules on this specific occasion and circumstances. Hopefully it’s ‘Mistakes were made by everyone, we’ll all do better next time because we all learned something, and we all need to move on…’. As to the court/tribual ruling, I’ll guess that the decision will be in the best interest of the sport going forward, and less on the issue of fact or proveable compliance to the rules

    5. JohnBt says:

      [Also, why was Ricciardo not black flagged in Australia by the stewards if they thought the team has breached any rules?]

      That’s the part that makes FIA incompetent, I thought RB were warned 3 times?

    6. Yago says:

      Those questions have already been adressed…

    7. Step says:

      Exactly. Why wasn’t he black flagged? FIA are on shaky legal footing IMHO

      Other teams don’t have an appeal for inheriting points they never won in the first place on the track if RBR are successful on appeal. There’s no legal or valid argument for such a suggestion or action by another team. Silly comments above.

    8. KRB says:

      The whole point of the 100kg/hr fuel flow rate was so that the engine manufacturers would concentrate the bulk of their performance development in the area of the ERS, and not the ICE.

      It was agreed to by all the manufacturers and teams in the TWG. This isn’t a surprise to any of them.

    9. All revved-up says:

      I agree this rule doesn’t make sense.

      It seems odd why there was never the need for such a rule before. Teams were free to “turn up the wick”.

      The technical committee that signed-off on the fuel sensor surely signed-off on the basis that the fuel sensors were reliable and consistent. If they now know that a fuel sensor discrepancy could arbitrarily dictate the performance of their million dollar hybrid engines, I think they would reconsider the use of fuel sensors.

      As has been pointed out before, every motorist has an opportunity to argue that the speed gun was wrongly calibrated. The law is whether you were speeding. Not whether you were exceeding the speed limit according to a wrongly calibrated speed gun.

      Last year – tyres that delaminated. This year – fuel sensors that are inconsistent. For the last 20 years – software that keeps crashing. Technology that doesn’t work is nothing new.

  6. jules0711 says:

    Red Bull may have pumped billions into the sport, but if it wasn’t getting a good return on its investment, then they would have stopped a long time ago.

    I do wonder, though just how you would measure ROI on an F1 team.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Not sure, but for many of the teams I think you’d be using red ink.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Is that the Ferrari special ink?

      2. Random 79 says:

        No, interestingly these days it’s more of a Ferrari black ;)

    2. Brent says:

      It’s all a tax deduction.

    3. franed says:

      You have either to measure an increase in sales or pay for market surveys that say the awareness of your brand is increased.

    4. Omniprescient says:

      By delta of the number of cans sold. Trust me, I know.

    5. Tealeaf says:

      Really so how comes they didn’t give up whilst sponsoring a mid field team like Sauber for the best part of a decade???

    6. topo dipericolo says:

      “I do wonder, though just how you would measure ROI on an F1 team”

      A very apposite comment. Each time the words Red Bull appear in the media it may be considered as return on investment.

      It should be noted that there is a finer point about good and bad publicity.

  7. aveli says:

    i think the rest of the teams could appeal against the decision if it was found in redbull’s favour because they all used the fia sensor while red bull enjoyed a fuel flow rate advantage.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ aveli, you don’t know that. if red bull never exceeded the fuel flow then they have not enjoyed any advantages.

    2. Mazdafarian says:

      The sensors are alleged to be inconsistent, which is different from ‘reading too high’.

      For all we know, the FIA sensors on some other cars may have been reading LOWER than the fuel injectors. In which case I don’t think the teams affected would be making too much fuss.

      1. aveli says:

        a very good idea but I can assure you that the only reason redbull refused to follow whiting’s advice is because of performance. if they didn’t think they would’ve lost performance then they would’ve followed advice from the race director. so if the operated at an advantage, the other teams could appeal. Horner said the sensor was drifting and I suspect if the drift was in their favour, they would’ve gone with whiting.

      2. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        So then it is FIA to blame and not RB?
        I do agree that FIA should be blamed for screwing this one SO BADLY (the sensors they have chosen, not the rules). But how can the teams oppose FIA now, after they are not united with FOTA no longer. Oh wait, wasn’t FOTA disbanded greatly to the fact RB pulled out, as they wanted to spend their big moneys and win championships? It is always going to hit you from behind one day.

      3. aveli says:

        the fia sensors measure mass flow rate and the fuel rail measures volume flow rate, which is affected by temperature and pressure variations. this may be the reason why redbull noticed the drift in the sensor readings. if this is the case, redbull has no leg to stand on unless they have an official standard of measurement they measured their flow rate against.

      4. Poyta says:

        Which is why all teams were given +/- figures to apply to their fuel settings to level the playing field and make it fair for everyone – by Red Bull choosing to ignore the instructions – regardless if they were indeed running over 100kg/L it means they could have gained a performance advantage relative to everyone else.

    3. Ben B says:

      There seems to be some misunderstanding in facts that have ended up confusing me.

      Some say that Red Bull replaced the FIA sensor with their own. However, I understand that there are two sensors fitted to the Red Bull (their own and an official one). If that is the case they haven’t broken any rules in that part. The issue is they trusted their reading over the FIAs. Again though, if they think it faulty and are confident in their own measurement I probably would have done the same as I would have believed that I was following the rules (I.e sticking to 100kg/h flow).

      I don’t think you’re obliged to follow FIA advice during the race – only official orders like drive throughs, black flags etc. Obviously you ignore at your peril – I’m thinking of warnings about cutting curbs etc.

      One final thought – if the limit is 100kg/h. Why were teams allowed to do this for a bit and then stop when warned? If the FIA was confident in their measurement this wouldn’t have happened as even doing it once would result in penalty.. It’s a bit like speeding for a bit in the pit lane then getting let off. The rule should be clear cut but based on exact measurement (or at least consistent).

      I could have misunderstood myself of course.

  8. Chris says:

    The problem is, Dietrich Mateschitz, for all his billions poured into his two F1 teams, is no Enzo Ferrari, and Red Bull is not Ferrari. Their weight in historical significant and contribution pale, even compared to McLaren or Williams. Such threats therefore carry hardly any weight. The team will just get sold to the next billionaire empire, and likely exist under a different name but remain in F1.

    Boo hoo Red B*llocks.

    1. John in San Diego says:

      RB already have history in F1 starting as Stewart F1 in 1997 progressing through JagRac to RB today, but, as you say, that will continue to the next owner if DM pulls his company out of F1. There are other teams with history besides Ferrari too including McLaren since 1963 and Frank Williams in various forms since he was a privateer in 1969 with a Brabham for Piers Courage. Even Mercedes can trace its roots back to Tyrrell. Lotus goes back to Toleman. Not only that, DM also controls STR, the RB farm team, which started as Minardi.

      The point is that any of these teams can exert pressure if necessary to achieve what they want, not just Red Bull or Ferrari. If they would only work together, they could accomplish a lot more.

      So at the end of the day, DM’s threats carry a lot of weight, no matter whether we like it or not. You only have to look at the tyre change that RB lobbied for last year, resulting in Vettel’s unbroken run of wins in the second half of the season.

      1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        Sadly you are right.
        It is the way the sport was governed that made it like this.

        Max Moseley is out, next is Bernie, hopefully 20 years from now, if the sport survives, it will have much less politics involved and a lot more racing…

      2. Mhilgtx says:

        I agree with everything you say up to the last paragraph. There were many teams fans reporters opinion makers and blogs lobbying for those tires to be changed. The FIA thumbed its nose to all of them. Even Pirelli tried to make a change after the embarrassment in China and after Spain held a private test to figure out the issues.

        Only after the debacle of exploding tires at Silverstone were the tires actually changed due to safety reasons. Well that and Pirelli actually reading its contract and enforcing its rights to protect its brand.

        The tires changed for everyone not just RBR.

      3. pcoops says:

        The tyre change happened because the tyres kept failing, i think it was clear that it had to be done. And i am no Red Bull fan…

      4. J Hancock says:

        When it comes to that tyre change, people seem very eager to ignore Silverstone and a great big chunk of steel tyre belt flying inches past Alonso’s head at great speed. Before that the desire for a tyre change was ignored, after that several teams were openly threatening not to race without new tyres, which they got.
        As for Mateschitz’s threats, F1 has survived without BMW, Toyota, Honda, Renault, Mercedes, Porsche, Ford, Brabham, Matra, Alpha Romeo and many more as they decide they do or don’t want to be in F1 as the years progress. Some come back, some don’t, if Red Bull abandon Formula 1 it will be met with a shrug and racing will continue.

    2. MISTER says:

      And they wonder why people don’t like RedBull and sometimes boo Vettel.

  9. FerrariFan says:

    I like Daniel Riccardo and it was a delightful podium with two young drivers, but, I hope the case is dismissed for its absurdity. How can one team take matters into its own hands and break the rules while all others followed, however flawed those rules are. FIA should display it has a backbone and show that no team (Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull) is bigger than the sport. If Red Bull quits over this, then so be it, I think F1 gives them more exposure than rallying or other sports. But, from what happened last year with the Mercedes tire testing case, I think RBR will threaten their way to some points and keep breaking rules.

    1. Dave P says:

      I will predict it first:

      Red Bull Team – Loose their points
      Daniel R – Keeps his points

      Classic F1 compromise that gives both (even all sides Ferrari et al) sides the opportunity to claim they won.

      Pathetic really, Its all about power and people wanting to save face… not about justice..

      Now tell me James, would you bet any other way than my verdict…

      1. James Allen says:

        Could be. But the fact that they kept asking the team to turn it down and there was a performance gain if the rate exceeded the rules means that to would be hard to arrive at that result

      2. Rohind says:

        If Redbull successfully proves that their reading was right, then there is no case against them.Sure, FIA asked them to apply offset to the faulty sensors and other teams opted to comply.But the variance in the readings of other teams’ sensors could be different and FIA would be inadvertently favouring some teams that had actual readings closer to FIA sensors. So the need to follow the FIA guidelines is out of question here. So the court shouldnt rule against someone just because they were arrogant ( or proactive)

      3. neilmurg says:

        why use the word “pathetic” about an outcome that isn’t real but is just your own prediction? It’s pointless, and a bit depressing, to condemn the FIA for something they haven’t done.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Well said sir.
      I too like Daniel, he is potential WDC, but Red Bull perpetrated an illegal act, and should be punished accordingly.
      They are actually very lucky the FIA has suspended them for a couple of races, a la BAR 2005.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        I hope Red Bull keep breaking the rules this week in Malaysia and FIA take away all their ill gotten points in the hearing.

      2. C63 says:

        They are actually very lucky the FIA has suspended them for a couple of races, a la BAR 2005, (sic)

        I assume you mean ‘hasn’t’ suspended them. Give it time. Graeme Lowdon on Sky F1 show was not at all supportive of Red Bulls appeal. The general consensus was the FIA would take a dump on Red Bull. If teams ignore technical directives it would be open season and the sport would be unmanageable – this was the message he gave.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Yes I did mean hasn’t been suspended – type error.
        You’re right – let’s wait for the Court Case, and see how impressed/unimpressed the FIA are with Red Bull’s presentation and evidence.

  10. So like I wrote.
    RedBull feels wrongly disqualified, due to the inability from FIA to make working homologated measurement products….
    I hope justice will be served and I hope that RedBull gets there points and also that Mateschitz won’t pull the plug.

    1. Jazzda says:

      As you said, “homologated”…and as in any other sport, if you don’t use “homologated” equipment you are desquilified.
      It’s the only way, specially with Red Bull, and maybe from now on they’ll start obeying and following the rules like everybody else. Maybe…

      1. Veteran says:

        Homologated does not ensure that the part works properly…

        RBR has followed the rules, but not the technical derictives.

      2. Jazzda says:

        No, RBR did not follow the rules. By the rules they can only use the official flow sensor, provided by the FIA. If their own sensor is better or not is irrelevant.

        They disobeyed to get some disallowed advantage over the others (aka cheating), not because of some kind of better reading.

    2. Breton says:

      Other teams had the good sense to obey the FIA.

      RB are guilty as charged.

      Mateschitz seems to be as petulant and spoilt as the wunderkid Vettel.

  11. Steve Zodiac says:

    Simple answer, chuck the fuel flow sensors away and lets have a fuelling free for all. That should liven up this new whispering F2..er1

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      or, simple answer, make them run three of these sensors, one after another in series and take the average reading as the fuel consumption.

      They’re not that big so go on Newey, fit that in your tight packaging…

  12. neilmurg says:

    More disinformation from RB, answering the wrong question, loudly and confidently. Should I be worried about the governance of F1?

    It’s not as bad as when Max was making up rules on the fly, but worrying times if you care about fair play.

  13. Craig says:

    First person to find Dieters dummy wins a worn ball joint…..

    1. Random 79 says:

      I always wanted a worn ball joint :)

      I will start looking immediately…

      1. C63 says:

        I have worn ball point that you can have. No searching or expenditure of effort required, you can just have it! It’s got a company logo on the side but hey, its free.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Is it FIA approved?

    2. Elie says:

      Whos ball joint.. jean todt??

  14. AlexD says:

    To me, this is strange. You have a clear rule stating the fuel flow limits and then you have sensors that do not allow teams to comply with the regulation. It is clear….I hate Red Bull….and hate their greed, but if they did not exceed the 100 kg per hour and can prove it, how can you say they are guilty. Guilty of what? Not breaking the rule, but using a different technology to help them comply with the rule.

    1. Timmay says:

      Exactly, in any external court the FIA would have no chance here,,, unfortunately it is an FIA court judge jury & jailor

      1. Ben says:

        You can’t really compare this to a legal court because it is ‘sport’ but you can compare it to other sports, if the referee tells you to do something, even if the referee is wrong, and you don’t do it you get sent off.

        This is a grey area and red bull exploited it and are now getting punished because they put themselves above the rules

      2. Rohan says:

        Incorrect. You, too, are an idiot.

      3. Cliff says:

        Taken from a previous article on this site. “The International Court of Appeal will hear the case, this is an independent court, which will draw four or five judges from the panel of judges which is on the panel approved by both the FIA and the F1 teams”

        Precisely how do you conclude that this is a “FIA court judge jury and jailer”? With Red Bull (via the teams) having a say on who would be on the judging panel your assertions make no sense.

    2. NJ says:

      Guilty of not following an FIA Technical Directive that is understood to supercede the Sporting Regulations if issued by FIA during Race Weekend.

      That is what the DSQ is for.

      1. AlexD says:

        Why then Mercedes was not disqualified for a secrete test with Pirelli last year?

    3. Matt says:


      Guilty of not breaking the 100 kg/h rule but guilty of ignoring the rule that the fuel flow sensor is the *only* reference for measuring fuel flow and guilty of ignoring FIA warnings and directives.

      If the rules say that you cannot exceed X kg/h of fuel and they also stipulate there’s only one reference, the sensor. The sensor’s readings take precedence over any other measurement made. Whether the sensor is wrong is irrelevant to the case at hand.

    4. Breton says:

      They did not obey the FIA when told to turn down the fuel.

      Imagine the chaos if everyone just said our information does not agree with yours.

      There has to be an arbitor.

      It may not be a good rule but until it is changed it is still a rule.

      1. AlexD says:

        but why they need to turn down the fuel flow if it is within the rules? It can very well be that FIA sensors are not allowing teams to comply with the rule. Let’s see.

    5. aezy_doc says:

      ‘using a different technology to help them comply with the rule’ is breaking a rule.

    6. Matt Larkin says:

      But how can RBR “prove” their sensor works flawlessly at all times and under all circumstances?? If there are two sensors measuring fuel input, one on the fuel line and one at the injectors, how do you know which one is right? RBR will of course assert that their fuel injector measurements are correct, but without an independent reference point for their sensor and calculations, how can they say that their sensor is definitely better than the FIA sensor?? Its simple to me – the rules say you must abide by what the FIA-mandated sensor says, and that’s that. How about next time RBR put their own type of tyres on which “their measurements” say are the same as the officially supplied ones (they just happen to make the car go faster)?

    7. Richard M says:

      But how will Red Bull prove their compliance??? from what I’ve read they have only an algorithm and not even their own physical sensor to ‘prove’ 100kg/hr! Their mathematical model will rely on inputs from multiple other readings within their engine which could all individually be inaccurate…

      AND anyway, this is besides the point, why did Red Bull not just play ball like everyone else did in Oz… do they make the rules?

      They made the call because they know that if these sensors stay, their season is effectively over. They have a cooling problem linked to their chosen design package that will cost significant time and money to fix. (IMO)

      Sad, but take it like a man and come back next year.

    8. AlexD says:

      There are some news from Red Bull on how they plan to appeal:

      It is a very good idea to use the Merdeces’ Pirelli test last year as an example. Charlie’s word is not a regulation and that is why Merc was not disqualified last year.

      1. Tyemz says:

        And you don’t see any flaws with that line of reasoning? The ruling was that only the World Motorsport Council not Charlie can give such a permission but in this case the buck stops at Charlie’s door. The article even says technical directives when issued are considered to supersede technical regulations. Well, Horner considers technical directives to be an opinion so who’s to say the entire F1 is not one big opinion?

    9. Mark Houston says:

      They are not being charged with breaking the 100kg/hr rule are they? They are being charged with ignoring FIA warnings and directives. Essentially bringing the sport into disrepute. It shouldn’t matter a jot if the can prove they didn’t break 100kg/hr.

    10. MISTER says:

      AlexD, if RBR did not use the homologated fuel measurement device to measure the fuel flow, then they broke the rules. The rules/directives state the teams have to use the homologated sensor to measure their fuel flow, unless given permission by the FIA to use something else.

      They’ve used something else, which means they broke the rules.

    11. Pat M says:

      They were breaking a rule – the rule that defines how the limit is measured. It seems to me that RB were fine with the static front wing flex tests (the ‘sensor’ if you will) because they passed the test with a wing that visibly flexed in race conditions violating the intent of the rule (and more power to them for finding a loophole). But now that they believe the FIA measuring device isn’t accurate they want to substitute their own methodology to show they complied with the fuel flow limit. They want it both ways “If your test doesn’t detect us cheating we like your test – if your test doesn’t ‘prove’ we met the rules we are using our own test”

    12. Step says:

      +100 FIA are in a weak legal position IMHO also.

    13. audifan says:

      how can red bull prove that they didn’t exceed the fuel flow limit
      stating that their equipment is accurate doesn’t exactly do it , does it !

  15. dzolve says:

    Could be the beginning of the end for Red Bull!

    They’re clearly not interested in just making up the numbers in F1, and understandably so. Unlike the new Power Unit manufacturers there’s not much in it for an energy drink company unless they’re right up at the front.

    They seem to be picking a fight they know they can’t win, perhaps it to pave the way for their exit.

    1. Timmay says:

      Very sad day when a “drinks company” is the fastest AND most concerned about the motorsport heritage (i.e. engine noise & power) out of all the teams here… Very sad.

      In my onion you can’t use that argument against them.

      1. Ben says:

        Since when has the noise been part of the heritage of the sport?? They had turbo charged V6′s in the 80′s. Also these engine’s are more powerful than last year with the potential to be even more powerful as they develop the ERS.

        I would say the heritage of the sport is more to do with being at the cutting edge than the sound or look…

      2. Timmay says:

        ‘noise’ being symbolic for all that is wrong with current & recent formulae (endurance style, artificial etc)

      3. George Debenham says:

        Your ‘onion’ has just given me a L.O.L. moment, thanks for that.

      4. 4 German Fingers says:


    2. Step says:

      I think the comments about the importance of RBR are just petty. I’m not their biggest fan, but they are a significant contributor to the sport both results wise & from the perspective of the corporate image of the sport. They are only second to Ferrari (on par with Merc) in a global brand & importance factor. To lose RBR is a BIG deal. At the end of the day F1 is a ‘business’ first and the best business is generated by the most successful teams period. Think about it people – why did BMW, Honda & Toyota leave the sport? They couldn’t find a way to win, so it was no loss to the sport. The loss of RBR at the top of their game is a massive shot across the bow of the sport equivalent of the Enzo days. No question.

    3. Mhilgtx says:

      And Renault is just a car maker that can’t hack it in the largest car market on the planet Merc is a new team that might be gone tomorrow and Ferrari is a Fiat that is driven by a spoiled brat and run by a guy that comes across as a bully not to mention what they did to the us dealers here in the states after being gifted Chrysler. The list goes on of the teams you can disparage.

      Or the other way you can look at is RBR is just a drinks company that has pretty well destroyed the much vaunted Ferrari McLaren Mercedes etc etc etc

      A little less name calling a little more understanding the difference between a guideline and a rule are much needed I think.

  16. Rich B says:

    I agree with Dietrich on the sound, the volume is way too low and they rarely rev to 15,000rpm so it’s dull.
    problem for me is if they make them louder it would be done in an artificial way and I’d rather hear it’s natural sound. it’s a bit like some cars today that play a different noise through the speakers, a stupid gimmick in my view.

    1. Robb says:

      Unfortunately, these engines will never sound like the V10s.

      Fortunately for me, I don’t tune in to the races to listen to the noise, but to follow the racing, so the less exciting sound doesn’t hugely impact my enjoyment of the race. (the old V10 sound would be nice though)

  17. Thanks, James – well said and it’ll be interesting to see the other team reactions, should the Steward and FIA instructions be overturned.

    If memory serves, the political efforts of Ferrari (and others) along the same lines have never been “tested in court” as it seems this will be. Last year the “tire testing” by Mercedes (with their view that it was approved by FIA) was tested and appealed and penalties assessed.

    Anyone have a handle on the odds on this one?

    1. Andrew M says:

      I don’t know about the odds of this specifically but in general getting the FIA to overturn the ruling of the stewards is extremely rare. The only recent high profile case was Malaysia 1999, when the Ferrari’s were reinstated after being disqualified.

      1. quattro says:

        In 2006 (at German Grand Prix) the stewards agreed that the Renault mass damper was legal, after teams questioned the legality of the dampers.
        Then, the FIA itself (!) appealed against the stewards’ verdict. The FIA International Court of Appeal later ruled the mass dampers illegal…
        In that case, Renault were wise enough not to run the mass dampers until further notice…what will Greedy Bull do?

  18. ian says:

    “Mateschitz is using a tactic employed to great effect over the years by Enzo Ferrari, who frequently threatened to leave the sport, even building an Indycar once to add some spice to his threat. The tradition has been continued by current Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who faced down Max Mosley at the end of his FIA presidency over Budget Caps – and won.’

    The difference is that F1 doesn’t need Red Bull.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      are you absolutely sure about that?

    2. Michael says:

      …and Red Bull is no Ferrari.

    3. Jenks says:

      You could make an argument that no team is vital for F1. In this economic climate, I doubt there’d be ready buyers to purchase both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, so that might be 2 teams and a few jobs gone.

      1. TimW says:

        Mateschitz only owns half of Torro Rosso and there is already a buy out clause in favour of his partners, so theres one team that wouldn’t go anywhere. The main Red Bull team of course would be a very attractive proposition for anyone wanting to enter the sport, I doubt very much it would stay on the shelf for long.

    4. KRB says:

      F1 shouldn’t need any team. If Ferrari left, it would be a big initial hit. But F1 would get through it, and after perhaps a half-decade or a full one, be in a better place. It’s quite ridiculous for one competitor to get an exclusive side-payment from the governing body of a sport.

      Perhaps it’s a European thing. Certainly there are less sports franchises in North America that would stand for such an arrangement, or would be happy being part of a sport where they have zero chance of winning, b/c the playing field is so uneven.

      Of the four major pro sports in North America, the NFL, NBA, and NHL have a salary cap, and draft systems that aim to increase parity. MLB has a luxury tax, so rich teams (Yankees, Red Sox) that go over the stated payroll limit pay a luxury tax on the amount they go over.

      Contrast this to European football leagues, where at least 75% of teams know from day 1 of a season that they will not – cannot – win. The smaller teams are basically reduced to trying to find decent players BEFORE they become really good, develop them, and sell them on. The basic analogy is a startup hoping to get bought out by the big conglomerates.

      For supporters of these teams, it’s even bleaker. Cheering a 4th or 5th round run in the FA Cup every now and then, a relegation fight, maybe a lower-league promotion campaign after that. I guess at least there’d be the excitement of the latter two if you were a fringe EPL/Championship team, rather than a habitual lower mid-table team.

      Still, at the end of the day, in the cold light of day, it’s more an exercise in sports-masochism than anything else.

      F1 is worse than most. The likes of Caterham and Marussia have thrown in crazy amounts of money (in absolute terms), and for what?!? One 11th, a couple of 12th’s, some 13th’s, and that’s it?!? They have little chance in F1, and even less hope. I hope they both gain points this year, but I won’t hold my breath.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I know I may get derided for saying this, but what about teams being allowed to buy an “off the shelf” chassis being re-instated like F1 used to be?
        The rule that all constructors have to build their own chassis is what limits competitiveness in my opinion. When that rule was brought in, most cars were made from aluminium, which is relatively cheap and easy to make, as well as easy to repair. The introduction of carbon fibre has saved many lives, but it is very costly and time consuming to make, and it is literally a black art to create a brand new F1 chassis.
        That rule of teams building their own cars has not changed with the technology.

  19. Rob says:

    He is hardly going to say that he is not confident…

    My heart would bleed if Redbull left.


    1. Sasidharan says:

      Only the name Red Bull Leaves. The team would be there in another guise. So why should the heart bleed?

      1. TimW says:

        I think he was being sarcastic, “my heart bleeds for you” being a commonly used phrase in the UK when pretending to feel sorry for someone.

  20. shortsighted says:

    If the FIA sensors are not accurate and the FIA does not care about it, it means that some teams will have sensors allowing more fuel flow than others. Would Charlie Whiting again be able to dish out some favors at his discretions or would FIA be interested in all the teams competing on a level field? There is something quite fundamental if these sensors do not have identical readings and it should not be the FIA to say that a team must use whatever inaccurate or detrimental a sensor given to them.

    1. Rob says:

      If I were an engineer on the team, I would source 1000 of these sensors, test them all against a more accurate fuel flow meter, and pick the 20 that have the most advantageous non linearities or biases, and run those. You would need the. FIA to supply the calibration parameters that you’d be expected to run against each unit in order to guarantee compliance.
      Does Gill run the calibration and homologation procedure for all sensors, or is FIA personnel directly involved, I wonder ?

      1. daveyop says:

        At eight grand a pop?

      2. Rob says:

        Holy markup batman! I am guessing these particular sensors are a very low volume business… 8 grand for a dodgy sensor, to boot… (I spend my days in mobile device electronics, a completely different scale…)

        I’m starting to think that RB probably sources better sensors at a tenth of that price… Assuming the teams really pay 8k per Gill sensor!

    2. NJ says:

      The Technical Directive I believe stated that the off-sets are applied individually per sensor. You get a different off-set to make sure each of you are within spec.

      Note that the stated margin of error is 0.25% here per sensor.

      1. Veteran says:

        1. The 0.25% accurary is in standard testing conditions and only for 92% of the sensors. What about the other 8% of the sensors?

        2. We don’t know what the accuracy of the sensor is in an F1 car. What about vibrations? External forces? Electric and magnetic waves? The sensor is not EMC tested…

    3. Mazdafarian says:


      The very fact that the FIA feel the need to play around with ‘offsets’ proves that the technology is inadequate for its stated purpose.

      1. Jonathan says:

        no! any electronic item that is calibrated gives off a particular reading at the set point. The reason for calibrating is so that computers can be given the signal reading that is correct for each individual sensor at the point of calibration.

        Nothing more or less than standard engineering practice for a great many years.

        My guess is that the sensors are calibrated at the correct flow rate within a straight pipe. If RB are using a tight bend near the sensor then the readings could easily be completely wrong. However that is their problem – the rule says this is the sensor we all use and calibrate in the standard set up rig.

      2. peruvian says:

        IMO what is behind all of this, is the fact that FIA can control which car can run more fuel thus more power…. James Allen, says, FIA told other teams to back of the fuel pressure, or in other words, told teams not to exceed the flow meter, so what if FIA forgets to tell, say Ferrari to back of, or perhaps the next race to spice things up, FIA decides to “allow” Williams to exceed the fuel flow…. or something like this… We know Red Bull won 4 in a row, now we FIA will make then loose the tittle, hahhaha… all in the name of a “good show”.. more hahhhaha

        James, help here, I remember in the Indy cars series, Honda got caught cheating, Indy uses a “pop up” valve, if a car exceed the turbo, or manifold pressure (ie. More power) then the “pop up” valve would pop…. and the engine will produce one third of the power, or just less power… the point here is that, it was fair to everyone, and in the case of the FIA measuring device, it is not clear who is exceeding the limits and who is playing by the rules.

      3. This is simply “calibration” by another name. There is a difference between absolute accuracy and repeatability and by calibrating, you can correct for absolute accuracy errors. This is not at all uncommon with sensors of all types.

      4. Please help folks understand why the ‘offset’ approach wouldn’t work for RB when it appears to have been workable for the other teams?

    4. Old Dry Joint says:

      Sounds to me that it’s not the outright accuracy in question but the drift.. zero drift or temperature induced drift.

      In a F1 car with extreme temps not to mention any EM radiation from the massive currents that must be flowing to the MGUs must cause havoc.

      1. Mazdafarian says:


        Offset is a weasel word meaning ‘fudge factor’. The only way one could be properly applied in this case is if the following two conditions were true:

        1. The system (car) has been tested, in a race-simulation environment, against another, more precise calibration device (i.e. not FIA’s flow sensor, and to avoid cheating, not the team’s data either).
        2. This test has revealed that a particular sensor consistently and repeatable reads less/more than it should, in a predictable way, under all race conditions.

        The fact that Red Bull responded differently on the day to the other teams does nothing to change this.

        @ Jonathon,
        The pics I have seen show that a length of straight pipe is built into the actual sensor. If the sensor is fit for its intended purpose, this piece will be long enough to ensure accuracy. If not, it should not be used for this application.

        @ All,

        Ultrasonic flow meters are great tool for non-invasive testing of fluid systems with a respectable degree of accuracy. Serving as an enforcement device in a sport where winners and losers are routinely separated by 0.01% of overall performance is a whole other thing.

  21. Brian Hinder says:

    Reinstate Dan’s points.
    Remove Red Bull’s Constructor’s Championship points.

    Issue resolved.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      It sounds logical but then you open the way to drivers cheating knowing that only the constructors points are in jeapordy – or getting months of appeals from other drivers saying they were disadvantaged by a rival driver even if the driver was unaware… Can of worms either way I guess…

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      but only for the australian GP. what about the rest of the season?

    3. Random 79 says:

      +1, if only it was that easy…

    4. graham says:

      Agreed + 1

    5. R says:

      Insane. Cheat and get rewarded for it because you personally happen to like the driver.
      I think all drivers Brian likes should be able to run to whatever rules they like but they only can win the drivers championship, not the constructors.

      1. Veteran says:

        Everybody says RBR has cheated, but how? By not exceeding the 100kg/h limit?

      2. cka_bob says:

        Lol, you may as well use your second car for taking out your nearest rival at each race while your at it.

    6. Barry says:

      I like that

    7. aezy_doc says:

      It’s not though. Ricciardo enjoyed an advantage over Magnusson that he should not have had. His car was illegal, therefore he should also be disqualified. What if they’d just run last year’s car? Ricciardo to keep his points then? After all, he’s just the driver.

    8. Anil Parmar says:

      How on Earth is that fair to the drivers that finished behind Dan?!

    9. MISTER says:

      Hillarious. Daniel, as much as I like him, had an advantage that allowed him to keep that 2nd place. Why should he be allowed to keep that position when it was achieved with extra power compared to the rest of the field.

      It would be like allowing a dopped cyclist to keep his Tour de France win, but fine the doctor for giving him the wrong pill.

  22. Andrew C says:

    This is going to be good! If they do win then let’s be prepared for Sunday evening F1 news to state that the entire grid has been disqualified.
    I also wonder what the other teams will think or say if it turns out they were all using inferior equipment in Melbourne and RBR had a proven technical advantage. Interesting times ahead.
    Oh and my prediction for the race is that IRS wide open but Maximilian Chilton will finish!

  23. Simon says:

    Why do they even need a fuel flow meter? Here’s your 100kg of fuel for the race, go and do what you want with it. Use more, or less during different stages of the race. This sort of sensor was always going to unreliable. They make things more complicated than necessary.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      The teams and manufacturers asked for and agreed to the fuel flow meters to block exotic turbo mapping and to force more development of the hybrid system. It’s not like the FIA just came up with it on a whim – they all wanted it.

    2. Alec Tronnick says:

      Because then you will get some no-where team like Marrusia pouring gallons of petrol into their donks so they can mix it with the Mercs for the first 10 laps then splutter to a stop (probably causing a safety car) and completely stuffing up the race!

      1. Helmchen says:

        Then make another rule ;)
        The car which runs out of fuel is banned for the next race.
        So nobody will “pouring gallons of petrol into their donks” but can push for a few laps if he wants to.

      2. cka_bob says:

        Not to mention making the extra cost of developing the engines to produce more power for these crazy bursts instead of spending all that money on trying to increase efficiency. That is part of the new business model of f1, offset r&d with road car manufacturers and if you chase power instead of economy there’s less of a crossover. I do agree that there are still far too many people asking this question, so perhaps the rules should be simpler?

  24. Ashish Sharma says:

    James, has Christian Horner been asked what will Red Bull do if the situation recurs in the two races before the appeal is heard.
    Also would like to hear your insights on whether Red Bull may be forced into running their sensors, because the FIA imposed limits make their cars uncompetitive.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes and he ducked it

      It’s my #1 priority on Thursday to answer that question and I’ll be discussing it in the BBC 5 Live Thursday show

      1. Adam says:

        Can you put the answer on the web page too for those of us in the USA please.

      2. Alec Tronnick says:

        I think you could bet that the FIA has spent the last week checking & recalibrating the accuracy of their homologated sensors before the next race so that there is no repeat of Melb.
        Don’t be surprised if the margin for error is increased too!

      3. Goggomobil says:

        Mr Allen, I look forward to your reply to the comet above,further if I may ask for your thoughts.In view the matter is on appeal, in theory Red Bull is not compel to use sensors provided by FIA until the matter is resolved by the Court,should RBR choose to use their own sensors will they be allowed to race in the coming Malaysia and Bahrain F1.
        Thank You.

      4. James Allen says:

        We will find out when everyone arrives here in KL, but my sense is that RBR will have to use FIA sensors and offsets.

      5. Yago says:

        “… he ducked it”. Doesn’t sound good, what this new formula needs is to concentrate on racing, politics will do harm it’s implementation. Fans are going to be disappointed. What they need is to see a final and complete picture of what this new F1 can produce on track, but politics will overshadow and slow down the building process.

        And all this is Red Bull fault. It is clear they only care to win, and not so much on the smooth running of F1 and all that surrounds it. I think they are not as committed as other teams in conduct their behavior for the sake of F1. After all, they are here just for selling a product, but they have other ways to do it. The constructor teams are in F1 not only to sell a product, but also for researching new technologies. And besides that, there are teams as McLaren, Ferrari and Williams, with a degree of commitment to F1 that goes beyond that of pure marketing or research.

        In short, I am disappointed in the way Red Bull racing behaves. And I think they are not doing any good to F1 one with some of it’s behaviors. This whole fuel flow rate thing is a pain in the ass, and talks poorly about Red Bull racing level of commitment for the sake of the sport.

      6. Mhilgtx says:

        What time is that show James?

      7. Cliff says:

        James, some of the comments I have heard from RBR suggest that a directive is not a rule, just an opinion. If that is the case, it would be good to know if Red Bull feel that all teams are free to ignore future FIA Directives. And for the FIA, is there no provision to ‘Black Flag’ teams for ignoring the FIA/Stewards during a race?

        Off topic – having to work away quite a bit now, any chance of a JA App for android?

      8. James Allen says:

        It’s in the works for this year, yes

  25. Shaboopi says:

    They were the only ones to blatantly ignore the FIA. I hope they are punished further for it… It’s indicative that they tend to make their own rules. Go ahead and leave Dieterich, I won’t miss you.

  26. Grant H says:

    Dear Mr Mateshitz, F1 was just fine without your money and throwing your toys out of the pram just to influence a appeal decision is not very honest or good for the sport is it.

  27. Derek Nickels says:

    It’s a bit of an argument over “who” is the boss,is it not? If the FIA want to resolve this”amicably” for ALL teams would be to give Ricciardo back his drivers points,but not Red Bull the constructors points.Had Red Bull explained to Dan the situation,he probably would’ve said to dial it back as requested and taken the loss in his stride. Red Bull messed up by ignoring the FIA,but even worse,the FIA has mandated use of a part,without making sure it is accurate & reliable. Had Red Bull done as requested & the PU detonated due to to little fuel,would the FIA have given them an extra motor for the season? I think not,so essentially the whole debacle is the FIA’s fault as they have instigated rules that cannot be complied with due to poor R&D on them. The FIA has virtually destroyed F1 with the look & sound of the new cars.They continue at their own peril

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      some very valid points there.

    2. Elie says:

      If a car operates illegally how can a driver claim position legally- there is no common sense in your argument

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, unworkable. So do Magnussen and Button go back to 15 & 12 pts, yet McLaren keeps the 33? Cascade this all the way down, and it’s a right mess. Will never happen.

    3. cka_bob says:

      No you can’t do that because red bull had an unfair advantage by measuring their own fuel flow rate. How can you give points to someone gaining an unfair advantage. It’s no different from taking a 1/2 lap shortcut. It seems foolish to even consider it to me….

  28. Tom Chiverton says:

    Surely Red Bull can’t be right. Or teams can throw out any TD they don’t like, and it’ll be loop-hole alley !

    1. Alec Tronnick says:

      The teams have always had the option of arguing against the TD’s by protesting them to get a definitive answer.

      Sometimes the opinions given are incorrect too … Such as Mercs tyre test last year.
      (Which RBR protested against)

  29. Briggykins says:

    A quit threat from Maetschitz doesn’t carry the same weight as one from Ferrari. They’re one of the top teams but they aren’t one of the grandee teams. F1 would still be F1 without them.

    Any withdrawl from them would be seen merely as a fit of pique, a reaction to not winning. It’s not an attitude that endears them to the fans.

  30. primi says:

    What are they going to do before we get the results in from the hearing is also very interesting. Is FIA going to allow them to race with their own fuel meters? Do they get disqualified again if they do? The rules are clear in this regard, they can only use FIA homologated sensors and if they have a problem with that the proper way to go about it is race in a way to NOT get disqualified and dispute those sensor at the same time if you think there’s a problem with them.

    In my opinion things have been clarified, the only allowed way of measuring fuel flow is FIA homologated sensors and they should not read more than 100 l/hour. That’s how you don’t get disqualified and if they break this on purpose again they should be black flagged (or any other team for that matter). That way they will not have a reason to run with “excess” full flow because there is nothing to gain from doing so by a later appeal. And we get our official and hopefully final results right at the end of the race.

    1. F1 Fan says:

      I think your right on this one. For FIA the rules are clear and RB broke them. I dont see any reason why they should change stance from 2 weeks ago. Im pretty sure RB will run with the homolgated sensors, if not they make quite an gamble if they loose the appeal in april:)
      (and if they do, are they then so certain in their case as they claim?)

  31. Wayne says:

    Redbull is no Ferrari, if they want to leave they know where the door is. Never been a fan and never will be. In my opinion they have gotten away with a great deal in the last 5 years.

    1. Brace says:

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. Ricky Grant says:

      I agree wayne formula 1 has been on the go a lot longer than redbull , if red bull quit they wont be missed

    3. Cliff says:

      Not sure i’d like to see them gone, but the arrogance that they are displaying together with their lack of respect for the sport and its governance needs to be addressed…and quickly.

  32. Mike says:

    Red Bull isn’t Ferrari. Bye bye!

  33. Andrew Carter says:

    With the way the rules are written I don’t see how Red Bull has a leg to stand on with this appeal. They took policing into their own hands with a two fingered salute to the FIA,I think they’ll be lucky to get out without an increased penalty.

    As for Mateschitz comments, with regards to the rules RB has been little more than Bernie’s mouthpiece for years and at the moment comes across as throwing their toys out of the pram.

    1. Stephen says:

      Have you read the rules? What the FIA thinks they say, and what the rules actually say are quite divergent. The International Court are judges, and they will interpret what the rules SAY, not what the FIA thinks..

      The rules say that you can’t exceed 100kg/hr.That’s it. RB says they didn’t and can prove it.That rule does not say it MUST ONLY be measured through the FIA meter. This will be the crux of the case

      The rules say the fuel flow meter is the PRIMARY method of measuring fuel flow … therefore suggests it’s not the only method.

      They say an FIA fuel flow meter must be fitted. It was.

      They say only that the FIA will inform teams if they think meters are faulty and go to a back up plan. That is a statement of fact… not a requirement on teams.

      The way the rules are written are very sloppy and this could be the FIA’s downfall.

    2. Multi 21 says:

      It’s like speeding in the pit lane.

      “But our telemetry says your measurement is wrong. We will ignore the drive through penalty.”

  34. Ahmed Ginnah says:

    Rules are rules – and if you play the game then you must OBEY the rules – like all the other teams did. Changing the FIA homologated ‘faulty’ fuel sensor for their own one is one way of making their car faster than the other cars. Purely illegal – then which fuel sensor will RBR use for the next 2 rounds +f grands Prix before their case for disqualification of Ricardo be heard. If they have the guts they will use their own non homologated fuel sensor similar to the one used in Ricardos car at Melbourne. Otherwise it is sour grapes…..let’s wait and see. Time will tell. AHMED GINNAH.

    1. Stephen says:

      RBR only fitted different sensors under FIA directives, when those sensors where found to be “troublesome”. RBR did not go and fit their own sensors, not did they fit sensors without FIA approval

  35. ferggsa says:

    I understood that the DSQ comes from using a non FIA supplied item, regardless of accuracy

    As I posted before: if RB wants to use Michelin tyres because they last longer and don’t degrade, they cant, they have to use Pirellis even if they blow up, same as everyone else

    I do think FIA should have enforced the penalty before the race ended, not after, and if they change the result again now, it will be even worst for their image and authority, which we need to at least try to have the racing not being fully controlled by the big bosses

    On the other hand, FIA also needs to make sure top quality, reliable items are used, otherwise they end up in this situations which do not help the sport

    If Mr Mateschitz wants to leave F1 because he’s proven his point and is now bored, he can go, F1 has managed for many years without them

    But using this as an excuse sounds pretty childish: I am not playing any more because I cant cheat, and I don’t like the new rules because I cant win

    After 4 years of dominating the field, F1, fans and even competitors deserve a better answer from RedBull, which I am sure they can deliver on track, instead of this BullShitz

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      correct me if i am wrong but the DSQ was for ‘for consistently using in excess of the 100kg/h as mandated by the FIA’.

    2. Alec Tronnick says:

      No, you are dead set wrong … RBR fitted the FIA sensor but I gave inaccurate readings. the FIA admitted so and gave the team some mathematical formula to give a more accurate reading.
      RBR’s own computer system calculated a fuel flow less than 100kg/hr.
      So faced with a sensor that the FIA knew was faulty, they chose to stay with-in the rules by using their own figures.
      At all times was an FIA supplied sensor fitted.
      From Saturday thru Sunday the FIA knew that the sensors were not accurate and not just on the Red Bulls

      1. MISTER says:

        Yes, the sensor was on the car, because that’s how the FIA saw they were using more fuel (according to that sensor), but it also means that RBR used a different measurement tool which was not homologated by the FIA. Point is, RBR broke the rules by measuring their fuel flow against a device which is not FIA homologated.

      2. Step says:

        Exactly. That’s why accurate understanding of facts is so important.

      3. Mhilgtx says:

        Alec thank you thank you thank you. This small fact that RBR obeyed the rules to the letter seems lost on many. What they did not obey was an opinion and mathematical formula that they knew could be proven to be wrong.

      4. TimW says:

        but they didn’t obey the rules to the letter when it came to the directive to lower their flow rate during the race. It comes down to wether it is acceptable to allow the teams to police themselves, or if you believe that is a job for the FIA.

  36. mark says:

    Red Bull are going to shoot themselves in the foot here.

    Even if they do get the points back they are going to lose massive support and confirm the “Cheaters” moniker.

    As per the article, ther fuel rail MIGHT be more accurate but it is not the FIA part that ALL the teams agreed (and did) use at the release of the rules AND for the race.

    You can gauruntee other teams could argue the same point, that thier fuel rail was more accurate BUT they ran with the FIA figures as it was deemed to be the rules for meeting.

    I think Red Bull, even by challlenging the concept have proven themselves to be not only cheaters but COMPLETELY unsportsmanlike (once again).

    As far as Dietrich Matisich threatening to leave, let them. No one team is bigger than the sport, even Ferrari (though that is borderline). For all the crap that comes out of the Red Bull team, flexi wings, driver squabbles, cosntant pushing/cheating of the rules (remember the hole in the floor panel saga!) we would be better off without them.

    AND If the FIA back down on this they prove themselves as a useless, toothless, inadequate organisation.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      why is DM not allowed to voice an opinion?

      1. mark says:

        Kenneth, who said he couldn’t?

        I simply said if he wants to “threaten” to leave let him….he can say what he wants, but as he only says things at critical times for the teams political benefit, I for one think he should be allowed to follow up on his threat and in fact if he feels a veiled threat is going to do him good I believe he is sorely mistaking…at least in the majority of the public’s eye. As per the majority of comments here.

    2. Multi 21 says:

      Unless the FIA could perform an accuracy check on the Red Bull fuel flow readings during the race, there is NO WAY their claims of accuracy can be verified.

      That’s the problem here: The FIA sensor may have been wrong, but it is the only means of measuring the fuel flow. Red Bull telemetry is inadmissible.

  37. Kevin says:

    I commend Red Bull for standing up to the FIA over these dodgy fuel sensors. The word inaccurate should not be used regarding anything to do with F1 and especially not a homologated part issued to them by the FIA that is designed to ensure a level playing field.

    1. Breton says:

      Funny how RB’s pace in pre season testing was shocking.

      Lo and behold a miracle at Melbourne, suddenly running up at the front.

      Are we to believe that this was nothing to do with their fuel sensor……very suspicious!

      1. Kevin says:

        They know what they’re doing, that’s why they are 4 times world champions and apparently they have proof the car never used over 100kg per hour during the race that’s why they have appealed the FIAs ridiculous decision

      2. Step says:

        That makes no sense & is wild speculation. All cars get the same amount of fuel…… If they increase the flow consistently above the per hour limit, they would have run out of fuel wouldn’t they??

    2. MISTER says:

      Guess what, homologated tyres which are built specifically for F1 cars, blew up last year. This thing should never happen, but it did.

      Not everything is perfect, the teams know this, the FIA knows this, I know this, most of fans know this, RedBull fans DON’T know this.

    3. Phil H says:

      @Kevin – you commend RBR for cheating?

      Okay then……

      It doesn’t matter if the sensors were inaccurate, they should have raced with them, the same as everyone else did. After the race, they can protest the inaccuracy same as anyone else can and get it changed after a proper protest.

      As someone else said – everyone has to use Pirellis, even if a Michelin would be preferable – it’s the rules.

      1. Kevin says:

        Cheating? More like prevented themselves being cheated, why should red bull or any team turn the fuel flow down below what is permitted?

      2. Phil H says:

        “why should red bull or any team turn the fuel flow down below what is permitted?”

        Because it’s the rules? Whether RBR are right or wrong, they are the governing body’s rules and the other teams complied when told to. A fifth place is better than being disqualified, no?

        A team cannot simply decide that they can pick and choose which rules they want to abide by.

        Seek clarification before or after the race, but RBR ignored warnings and carried on regardless.

        By all means, challenge authority – but to do it during the race and ignore the warnings is entirely the wrong time to do so.

        The question of the fuel sensors being too imprecise is a problem. If the margins are that fine, then it needs addressing.

  38. Ahmed Ginnah says:

    Rules are rules – and if you play the game then you must OBEY the rules – like all the other teams did. Changing the FIA homologated ‘faulty’ fuel sensor for their own one is one way of making their car faster than the other cars. Purely illegal – then which fuel sensor will RBR use for the next 2 rounds +f grands Prix before their case for disqualification of Ricardo be heard. If they have the guts they will use their own non homologated fuel sensor similar to the one used in Ricardos car at Melbourne. Otherwise it is sour grapes…..let’s wait and see. Time will tell. And that Mateschitz’s threat of leaving F1 – LOL – just shows that when you have the money – any rule is no rule and you call the shots. Shame on You, RBR. AHMED GINNAH.

    1. Kevin says:

      It is a good idea to know the actual facts of a matter before posting a comment…… But i see what your getting at, will red bull have the balls to disregard the FIA sensor if its inaccurate again or will they cave in? If the FIA have any sense they will have already ordered a huge batch of sensors that are all proven to be identical and have plenty spare so if one packs up it can simply be thrown away and replaced, not refitted back to the car when the replacment was also found to be faulty!

  39. Barry says:

    If I speed and get a ticket I cannot say my speedometer is better calibrated than the radar. The point is they broke the FIA rules and even got warned during the race. They will not win the case.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      if you can prove that the radar was innaccurate you will not be fined? happens all the time

    2. Random 79 says:

      “If I speed and get a ticket I cannot say my speedometer is better calibrated than the radar”

      Course you can. Then you get your fine, take it to court and win or lose…probably lose, but the point is still that you can ;)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Random, if I remember correctly on an episode of the Simpsons Mr Burns paid a “down-payment” to Chief Wiggum for letting him continue his journey despite breaking the law.
        Wonder if that sort of thing happens in the real world – South America or Africa for example eh?

      2. Random 79 says:

        I tried looking that up on Google, but it came back “Did you mean Mr. Bernie?”

      3. KRB says:

        Good luck with that. In such misdemeanour courts, it basically comes down to your word against the officer’s. Seeing as you have a vested interest in saying ‘I did not speed’, and the officer doesn’t, their word is elevated to gospel. Very uneven court proceedings, and totally ripe for abuse by even mildly shady law enforcement personnel.

      4. Random 79 says:

        Hence the “probably lose” bit ;)

    3. Stephen says:

      You can

    4. Ben says:

      Actually if you can prove it was more accurate in a court of law you will get off but that is irrelevant because this is ‘sport’ and as you said the rules are rules and the rules say you have to use the FIA sensor

    5. Neil says:

      Actually you can, but if you’re wrong the fine is much more severe.

    6. Emanuel says:

      That actually depends on where you got the ticket. In Germany for example, if you can prove the radar was incorrect; chances are your ticket gets dismissed.

      Fact 1 the FIA sensors were inaccurate and even worse inconsistent, therefore a simple offset did not solve the issue.
      Fact 2 the FIA supplies those sensors and forced RBR to reinstall a sensor from the previous day despite knowing it was faulty. And that was after qualifying in which RBR used a sensor that read, (what was the word?) “unsatisfactory” according to the FIA.(which can only mean it read too low in the FIA’s eyes)
      If I were RBR I would not like having to rely on a FIA lottery on a very important performance control item, especially knowing that Renault is down on power and they need to go as close to the limit of the rules as possible.
      Knowing that the FIA sensor didn’t accurately read in many other teams cars and even other series, I hope RBR win that appeal and as a result the FIA either changes the rules or come up with a better way of monitoring in the interest of fair play.

      1. Kevin says:

        Very well said

    7. Kevin says:

      If you were using a speedometer that was supplied to you by the same people who issued the punishment but you had rock solid GPS and time data proving that you didn’t speed you would most definatly win the case.

    8. Gaz Boy says:

      PS Good speeding and speedometer analogy!

      1. mark says:

        Holy Hell!!! They are not in trouble for using more or less fuel!

        They are in trouble for not using the legally required and supplied device to monitor the fuel. The very same device the rest of the field used and were limited by. Accurate or not.

        This isn’t a hard concept to understand people!!!

  40. Adam says:

    Big difference between Enzo Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo, they were/are in charge of a team with a long history in F1. RBR has a short history and no one would miss them if they left next week.

    Sure two teams would disappear and that would hurt the show a little. But other than that not much would change and likely someone would be tempted to pick up the remains of at least RBR.

    It is the clash of the titans here. RBR vs Ferrari, Mateschitz vs di Montezemolo. And di Montezemolo has said the rules must be enforced this year and I am pretty sure has Jean Todt on speed dial still these days. Why would Todt and the FIA bow to RBR over the rest of the teams including Ferrari. Nope RBR will get a slap down from the FIA, Horner will have to shake it off and if RBR want to leave, well then we will all know just how sporting they really are.

  41. yellowbelly says:

    Red Bull are bang to rights. If they are allowed to get away with ignoring a directive from the race officials during the race, then the sport is on a slippery slope indeed.

    1. Ross says:

      Absolutely. Rules are the legislation and the directives are the case law. Hopefully the court will recognise the importance of maintaining that split in functions or the implications could be massive. Red bulls attitude stinks. A complete lack of respect for the sport.

      1. Chuck 32 says:

        Good Analogy, clearly stated. Thank You.

      2. Kevin says:

        If Red Bull loses the case and all season were wondering after each race if the winning car was getting the full 100kg per hour flow or not that will be an even more slippery slope. I think instead of slagging Red Bull off they should be respected for challenging these sensors, a lot have been giving different readings not just the Ricciardos car! Its outrageous the other teams aren’t backing Red Bull up, but they wouldn’t would they after the last 4 seasons they are welcoming the head start on points they now have.

      3. Ross says:

        I think you’re missing the ‘point’. The implications would be far reaching beyond this isolated issue. Finding for Red Bull would effectively be saying to the teams ‘its not necessary to follow the directives’ – which have been central to interpreting the rules and the (relatively) smooth running of a complicated F1. Sure it’s a convention but then our laws are as well and that’s why Judges (a.k.a. Charlie Whiting) are there to interpret the rules/legislation. This prevents a free for all. Whilst Red Bull arent the first team to push the limits of the rules…they are very much first and foremost – over and above any other team right now – for themselves only and irrespective of the good of the sport. That’s why their attitutde stinks.

      4. Sanjog says:

        Techincal directives are recognized as opinions, not under the purview of regulations.

        The regulations clearly state the fuel flow shouldn’t exceed 100 kg/h but they don’t specify the measurement tool. If RBR can prove that they didn’t exceed the fuel flow limit during the race and the FIA fuel sensor readings to be inconsistent and thus erroneous, they definitely have a case.

        I agree, it would set a bad precedent if the FIA and stewards’ ruling was overturned and could turn this season into a joke with every big team contesting results / penalties citing some grey area in the regulations. It would kill what I think would otherwise be a very interesting season

  42. Stephen Charlesworth says:

    Red Bull aren’t Ferrari. Few tears would be shed if they left the sport.

    1. Matt says:

      As they provide almost 20% of the $ into the sport our Supremo and the bean counters will be shedding tears. Empty threat regardless.

      1. Stephen Charlesworth says:

        That reminder that a fifth of my favourite sport consists of a drinks manufacturer has got my morning off to a depressing start.

  43. R says:

    Just give RedBull the title now and then we can get on with races for 2nd place like in previous years but with no threat of a mid season rule change.

    1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:


  44. Chris Ralph says:

    This will be an interesting case. Accuracy of measurement vs right to rule on what’s accurate. If the FIA devices are inaccurate then it’s all up the spout, if everyone can set their own measurements then it’s potentially all up the spout during the race itself – as it was in Melbourne.

    1. darren w says:

      The problem is that there is a remedy within the rules to account for a faulty FIA sensor. The question is why Red Bull didn’t use this avenue to solve the issue and remain in compliance? That remedy, if I read correctly, would have involved their own readings of the fuel flow.

      If that is the case then they are just winding up controversy in an attempt to make the FIA look bad with some other agenda in mind. The fuel flow regulation was put in place at the same time as the 100kg fuel total allowed for the race.

      For all those crying about the absurdity of the fuel flow regulation, nobody would have ever noticed the regulation unless Red Bull took this action. It would have been invisible to fans.

    2. Kevin says:

      Finally i have read a comment that makes sense and isn’t just jumping on the “lets all hate Red Bull bandwagon”!! I’m thinking the FIA made a huge mistake dishing out such a harsh punishment to Ricciardo, this fuel sensor issue could have been sorted behind closed doors out of the public eye, the fact the FIA are using inaccurate fuel sensors in F1 (the most technically advanced sport in the world) is absolute madness

  45. Mike84 says:

    Go ahead Red Bull, quit F1, most fans will not miss you! McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India, and Williams will give us plenty of a show, plus your two teams will become two separate really competitive teams instead of effectively one team with 4 cars and 4 drivers, so we’ll have a better show with you GONE!

  46. mr sneff says:

    If they don’t…..
    Pretty pathetic but what do you expect from a fizzy drinks manufacturer?

  47. SteveS says:

    If Red Bull can demonstrate that the FIA fuel sensor in DR’s car was off, and it looks like they can, then the FIA are going to lose in the court of public opinion even if (or especially if) they insist that “We’re right even when we’re wrong”.

    The ideal resolution to this would be for the FIA to stop being so mulishly stubborn and get the sensor problems fixed.

    1. dzolve says:

      Ha! No one would ever guess you were a Red Bull fan would they?

    2. super seven says:

      I wonder how susceptible these fuel flow devices are to interference from other electronic systems on the car, or excessive heat?

      It seems very suspicious to me that a device which was providing a consistent signal across several runs would have a problem in one run in the middle of all those consistent runs.

      The cause of this problem can either be internal to the device (such as a faulty device or interconnect) or external (such as a faulty power source, electromagnetic interference from other systems, or excessive heat)

      If I was a Red Bull engineer and wanted to ruin the reputation of an FIA mandated component, I think I could devise a way to mess it up with EMI either conducted in through its cabling or radiated in through the enclosure. There are so many complex high power systems in these cars that it may not even be intentional.

      The point is that electronic components exist as part of a system. The component will have been designed to meet a certain physical and electromagnetic environment. The systems designers have a responsibility to ensure that the components are kept within these environmental parameters.

      I’ve not seen any comments on whether the sensor’s design limits are being adhered to, but If Red Bull are operating the sensor outside its design parameters, then it’s their fault, not the device’s. To then simply claim that it’s the FIA’s device which is the sole culprit fire the problem is very simplistic.

      Even if RBR prove that their readings were more accurate, I don’t see how they can win. The fuel flow must be measured with the FIA approved device. They broke that rule. The DQ should be upheld.

    3. Breton says:

      And for RB to obey the rules they agreed at the beginning of the season.

      ie obey the FIA like the other teams did.

      It will be interesting to see how faulty the FIA sensor turns out to be!

      The court of public opinion on this board has RB GUILTY!

      1. Kevin says:

        No team agreed to use sensors that differ in readings and we are talking about FORMULA 1 here don’t forget! Every single gram matters and so should every millilitre of fuel flow. Some of the comments i’m reading on here directed at Red Bull are unbelievable! I don’t like the fact they’ve won so many races in the last 4 years either but the fact they are the only team standing up to the FIA over this matter deserves some respect.

  48. shane says:

    So…..Which sensor will red bull be running to this weekend?

    1. Random 79 says:


      Granted it might be a little difficult to fit into the car, but then again everyone keeps saying what a genius Newey is ;)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Due to slight technical difficulties which have become apparent since the initial installation the previous FIA approved image link I have been forced to replace it with a newer model:


        Hopefully this one actually works correctly…

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Is that from Jeremy Clarkson’s back garden?

      3. Random 79 says:

        Nah, it’s not nearly powerful enough :)

  49. Lee says:

    I have been to every race in Melbourne and indeed have not missed a race at all on TV or otherwise since 1985.
    I enjoyed the new format in the knowledge the extra torque was making the drivers earn their money and the cars seemed to be moving around more than in the past and generally just happy to see the season start again.
    However since I have read that the top 5 places were determined by turning the cars down and saving fuel I worry about the future of my favourite sport – THIS IS NOT RACING.
    Add to that DRS, tyres etc etc where are we heading??
    James are you concerned about the future of F1?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, F1 was even more about managing things in the turbo days, Mansell etc. I wrote his autobiography and he was very proud of the tactics of when to push and not to push

      It’s a new technology and it will evolve. They are already almost as fast around a lap as the V8s with a lot less downforce and faster on straights

      The racing will be better on tracks like Sepang where you can pass, because the cars are a real handful in the corners.

      For me they just need to be louder but I think that is being dealt with and will be sorted soon

      1. Brace says:

        Thank you so much for pointing out this, James. I remember Prost talking proudly about how he would realize where his car’s strengths are and prepare it accordingly. Focusing on developing a race setup, instead of quali one, and then falling back in the race slightly, just to start picking them off one by one when the time is right. So much strategy and thinking-through, something I really missed. I wish drivers would still have to monitor their own fuel and decide when to push and when to save.

      2. dzolve says:

        Yup, a few holes in the exhaust should do the job!

      3. Lee says:

        Thanks James and nice job on Channel 10

      4. Adam says:

        So James how are they going to fix the volume? Simple physics says the energy harvested for electrical power is no longer available for volume from the exhaust! Change the tone of the sound maybe, but unless they change ththe engine formula no change in volume is coming ANYTIME soon! Get used to it. Saying any different is misleading your readers with voodoo engineering/science.

      5. Stephen says:

        Ever heard of a quad exhaust, rather than the current motorbike single exhaust pipe?

      6. Nick says:

        I agree James. What’s often overlooked is the reason that teams are having to instruct their drivers to save fuel rather than race is because they haven’t built a sufficiently fuel efficient car. It’s a bit like a driver having to slow down to conserve tires because his car is harder on tires than its competitors. Sucks for him, but in no way is it fake or unsporting. If the required fuel efficiency was an impossible goal that would be a problem but it appears not to be, and some teams appear very close to being able to drive flat out without worrying about the fuel limit.

      7. Bavman says:

        There was an Excellent article in the F1 magazine explaining during the engine development V8s freeze how all the engineers were making the engines more fuel efficient, when 5kg of fuel is worth 3/10ths of a lap (james correct me if im wrong)its simple maths to put the smallest amount of fuel in as possible.
        this means its always been about fuel management,

      8. Byron Lamarque says:

        Thanks James,

        Well stated. Now in regards to the noise. I sincerely hope they mean to adjust the microphones for viewers at home. I know a thing or two about sound mixing and the mix was downright terrible for race one. Let’s hope there’s a learning curve. It would however be unfortunate to see a live solution that sacrifices engineering perfection for audible “aesthetics” surely they will not do that.

      9. James Allen says:

        I think you will see moves very soon in F1 Strategy Group to engineer a louder noise from the exhausts

      10. erik says:

        James, i disagree with you about managing things more in the past. The tools to manage things were more in the hands of the driver compare to now when drivers were just seemingly afraid to push the car and they just seemed to protect it. You can see the difference. I think that was the point of mr. Lee. THIS IS NOT RACING.
        Everything is new and it will evolve of course, but am i right that this is the first time when car manufacturers are developing a product exclusively for road cars. If so, i understand restrictions to using fuel, because they want to save money in the long run.
        Like i said, this is not racing but development programm and i can not see how evolution that lead us here will guide us back.
        At the same time they need to push f1 as a racing series to keep it profitable. That`s why all this talk about the need louder engines to make the product eatable.

      11. Ben says:

        I really don’t understand your point ‘re the drivers protecting their car’s and how that is different to the past. The only difference I see now is that they have a lot more data available to them where as in the past they had to do it by feel… I expect now they can push more as they know a lot more about where the limits are.

        Managing your fuel, tyres, engine’s etc has ALWAYS been a part of racing and what we have had for the past few years with bullet proof reliability etc has reduced the driver skill

      12. erik says:

        Earlier drivers were pushing when needed and managing after accordingly. In Australia they were restricted to push at all and were forced to manage all the time. This is exactly taxi style.

        More data = more managing.

      13. Random 79 says:


        “In Australia they were restricted to push at all and were forced to manage all the time. This is exactly taxi style”

        I’d like to know where the land of these mythical conservative taxis is.

      14. Elie says:

        My sentiments exactly James. There are some things I dont like about F1- like the commercial/political aspects over running the Sporting aspects at times but fundamentally there is not much wrong with the current formula- it just needs some tweaking. The essential one I firmly believe will be dual exhausts to improve the sound- to be honest I never understood why they went down the single exhaust for a V6 configured engine in the first place- Fuel efficiency is no different either way (most likely more efficient with dual !) & given the total R&D costs on the power units its immaterial in that sense also.

  50. Sebee says:

    I read that FIA statement as…

    FIA can determine performance of any team. Does anyone not see that this fuel sensor can be calibrated by FIA to impact performance and basically ruin a team’s or driver’s race?

    Team may not have a discretion, but if FIA’s own sensor is wrong how can they be sure about the flow?

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      that is exactly what i posted some time back seebee. no one has been able to answer my question which was; were all sensors giving variable measurements to each other? if varying offsets were being applied to different then this could possible lead to manipulation of results.

      no one within the FIA should be able to have this authority.

    2. GWD says:

      Or it could mean: Keep complaining about and rejecting the sensor until the FIA supply you with one that is erroneous in your favour but still reports compliance to the FIA… Then there’s the proviso on the sensors being consistently out of calibration to be actually fixed by off-set and don’t ‘drift’ from this calibration. Isn’t this also a really big issue?

    3. Elie says:

      All the teams have had issues with the sensors… Horner even said that himself..

      … So no..what this really says.. Is that the FIA CAN ISSUE DIRECTIVES THAT 10 TEAMS CAN FOLLOW. BUT ONE TEAM NAMED RED BULL CAN DO WHAT THE HELL IT LIKES… Get rid of them once and for all ! They can follow out the same door Bernie is about to close behind him!

  51. Justathought says:

    They sell fizzy drinks and try to mock the FIA. Come on now behave. You’ve only been in it a few years. When you grow hair and have lost a few seasons you can have your say.
    Redbull are locked in until 2020 by contract but there is an old saying in F1. “If you don’t like it, F…off”. See ya then Mr M.
    No word from Renault Sport on their engine fuel rail in all of this James? Thought not.

    1. Matt says:

      They’ve been in it for 15 years and any contract can be broken/taken care of if either party no longer wants to play.

      As to your saying, it’s a common saying in Australia but not sure it’s made its way around the paddock yet..

  52. Jb says:

    I think if Red Bull gets punished for doing the right thing, it will be ridiculous.
    The FIA can not simply punish someone when the sensors are known to be faulty. This effectively meant they can dictate who wins and who doesn’t. How can that be fair?

    As a fan, I often wondered if the sport needs all these off-track drama. I turned off the TV after seeing those three drivers on podium. I like the result to stay that way. But FIA has really messed up this time… From the bad nose, to uncontrolled team spendings, to no sound engines and now this.

    1. Anil Parmar says:

      How do you know the sensors were faulty? They are accurste to 0.2% which is pretty impressive. Red Bull are claiming that the sensor is incorrect compared to their measuring device, which is irrelevent. Unless of course, you know something we don’t regarding Red Bull’s sensor and how accurate it is?

    2. super seven says:

      They didn’t do the right thing. They broke the rules, and tried to gain a competitive advantage by doing so. In short, they cheated, they got caught, they got disqualified, they deserved it.

      All the others teams competed with these sensors, and I haven’t heard a peep from any other team complaining that their sensors were ‘faulty’. Not even STR.

      All sensors are inaccurate. Its just a matter of degree. Was the error band of this sensor
      0.01%, 1%, 10%? Was the installation on the Red Bull car part of the reason for the problem? This is a highly engineered component of a highly engineered system. Red bull need to suck it up, figure out how to make the legal sensor work well, instead of trying illegal work around solutions.

    3. NJ says:

      Faulty sensors used by every team with individual off-sets given by the “Governing Body of the Sport” should be taken as the same for everyone.

      If a referee makes a bad call, the bad call still stands.

      1. JB says:

        In tennis, there is the lines man and there are sensors.
        Sensors can overwrite the lines man calls.

        Leaving all decision to poor old Charlie Whiting is like putting all eggs into one basket.

        As for faulty sensors, I doubt all the sensors were faulty but they are definitely in question when it comes to accuracy. FIA’s inability to police the regulation because of the sensors they provide is not accurate means they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      2. NJ says:

        The FIA will prove their Police Power expertly when they DSQ Red Bull again this weekend. :p

    4. Breton says:

      other teams had sensors that didn’t agree with the FIA and obeyed when asked to turn the flow down.

      How can it be fair that RB didn’t?

      1. JB says:

        RB did not break the rules (assuming they can prove the 100kg/hr fuel limit).
        It is up to other teams to push the limits of each regulation.

  53. Joe B says:

    I’d like to say I’d be very surprised if they get away with this given the way the rules are worded, but Horner’s never usually this combative about anything (certainly anything diver related), which makes me think the decision’s already been made in the upper echelons. We wait with baited breath…

    As an aside, since the hearing’s on the 14th, what fuel flow monitor will RBR run in the races between now and then?

    1. Red Rider says:

      Joe wrote: “As an aside, since the hearing’s on the 14th, what fuel flow monitor will RBR run in the races between now and then?”

      Good question. Even as of this coming weekend for the second race. A report should get on this.

  54. Ahmed Sydney says:

    The is pretty clear cut and the hearing is about 2 aspects:
    1) Did RBR break the Technical Regulations?
    RBR seem extremely confident that they never exceeded the 100kg p/hr limit for fuel. I.e. They did not “cheat”…
    2) Did RBR break the Technical Directives, I.e. Code of behaviour?
    They clearly took matters into their own hands & disobeyed orders from race stewards. This becomes an issue of undermining authority and damaging someone’s ego (FIA delegate) and not cheating as per se.

    If RBR can prove that there was no unfair advantage/benefit gained and they did not break the regulations, then I believe that losing 18 points is too harsh a punishment and a reprimand would suffice.

    1. Breton says:

      You are opening a can of worms.

      The other teams backed their fuel off when asked, and they may well have disagreed with with the FIA sensors.

      RB broke directive and should lose the points.

      1. Mhilgtx says:

        So the other teams made a bad decision and RBR has to be punished? What the other teams did or did not do is irrelevant.

      2. luqa says:

        It ALREADY is a can of worms- made by the incompetence of the FIA to not be in a position to supply consistently performing parts.

        So should the teams bring 100 fuel flow units to the race and select the one that works most favourably? To repeat myself: very Micky Mouse and unprofessional.

        Red Bull are doing the right thing under the circumstances. The FIA is being unprofessional giving itself the power to accuse, and then also being the judge and jury. It’s not like a marriage where the wife is always correct- even when wrong. I would’ve thought we have moved away from such chauvinistic attitudes as well.

        To put things into terms one might understand better, a Technical Directive is similar to a summons issued by a Copper. One can abide by it, or challenge it in front of an impartial Judge and Jury with both sides presenting evidence. Coppers have been know to be wrong as have Charlie and Joe.

  55. TRS says:

    And the reason Red Bull Racing isn’t popular is …

    1. JB says:

      Because they know how to win! LOL

  56. Richard C says:

    James, in instances like these, what is done with the trophie, in which the “rightful” owner has not yet been decided?

    1. Richard C says:

      “trophy”…my bad

  57. John Stevens says:

    So basically Mateschitz is saying that if they can’t get away with ignoring the stewards, cheating or doing whatever they like, then they will leave the sport. Sounds like the sport would be better off if that were the case.

    1. Brace says:

      Hahah, that sums it right! :)

  58. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    To me Mateschitz and Horner are using tactics which go completely against my interpretation of what the Red Bull branding should be all about.

    (We could quit! FIA warnings are just opinions to be ignored! We do our own rule measurements to make our car faster! Change these Pirellis so we can will all remaining races!)

    What next, weighing your fuel allowance using the moons gravity Christian? Surely your lawyers could pass that one through, who cares about the others, who cares about the governing body, who cares about being sporting?

    No doubt there are sensor issues and more thorough testing was required but that is not the issue here. You cannot say get lost ref, that’s not a red card, I’m staying on the pitch and I’ll do it again and again.

    I do feel sorry for Daniel here but the FIA should throw the black flags at Red Bull during the race if this happens again in the races before the appeal.

    I’ll repeat, winning with class matters more than winning at all cost. Here endeth the lesson, and the rant ;)

    1. Red Rider says:

      James wrote: “Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz has made some vague threats this week to quit F1 over this issue and over his general frustration about the new hybrid power train rules”

      All I want to say is bye.

    2. Random 79 says:

      “I do feel sorry for Daniel here but the FIA should throw the black flags at Red Bull during the race if this happens again in the races before the appeal”

      Understandable, but the problem there is that if the disqualification is overturned then although Dan should get his 18 points back from Aus he would have no chance to reclaim any other points he might have missed out on due to being black flagged.

      Let him race, be disqualified, and hopefully (for Dan’s sake, to hell with Red Bull) the decision is overturned.

      Whatever happens the FIA is going to be left with a big mess…and serves them right.

      The rule shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but in any case they should have sourced more accurate sensors.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        The problem is Random, if Daniel is – is – reinstated with drivers points, doesn’t that set a dangerous precedent?
        I do agree its a messy situation, but it is Red Bull – and Red Bull only – who are in the faecal stuff, all the other teams have been passed legal after the race.
        Why don’t Red Bull just say, we got it wrong, take a slap on the wrist, apologize and move on? Or are they too proud for that?

      2. Random 79 says:

        It wouldn’t be the first time a driver’s points were reinstated after a car was initially found to be illegal, but I think whatever happens now it’s still going to be a big mess.

    3. Joe B says:

      Best rant I’ve read on the subject. It’s not about the accounted for variance on the sensor, it’s about the rules, which Red Bull have been bending for years. I really hope they get hit hard for this.

    4. Breton says:

      Hear Hear!

    5. Gaz Boy says:

      Totally agree.
      I think the phrase “pulling rank” springs to mind as well!
      Cynical? Absolutely!

  59. Mhilgtx says:

    Obviously RBR doesn’t have the power of Ferrari but I am sure this is bothersome to the FIA to hear this.

    As a TV Viewer the noise is not as big a deal to me as it would be at the track. I think I mentioned that after first practice in Melbourne the NBCS feed was obviously turned up and actually the cars make some pretty cool sounds with all the popping etc.

    Yet I am reminded of all the drag races I have been to when sitting in my fathers trailer and hearing the Top Fuel cars fire up. I would immediately hop on my mini bike and all butt to the staring like because nothing was as exciting as feeling and hearing Kenny Bernstein or the Blue Max do a burnout. The ground would shake or at least it felt that way. The smell of nitro funny cars and dragsters is unique too. Then the silence after the run before the next car fired up just punctuated what unbridled power we just watched.

    F1 seems to be like this those high rev engines have a unique sound and it seems like many come for this experience. I fear that promotors will be forced to look long and hard at doing something different than F1 if ticket sales decline as it already has in some races.

    This is where Bernie is going to be a loss. Make no mistake about it everything I have read about the mans ability to sell his wares is most impressive. I know his ethics leave much to be desired and make no apologies for him.

    Lastly as far as the appeal the contract is the contract and the FIA have no business asking any of the teams to use a faulty device. I would think that Horner and RBR would have only taken their stance if they were sure they would win. It sounds like much depends on the legal status of the inclusion of these documents into the official rules and RBR contract. Since it seems at least 2 of the 3 are not readily available it is tough to be sure. I am
    Going to guess that if the FIA meter was not giving consistent readings they will get reinstated. It reminds me of a speeding ticket case I had the misfortune of being a juror on where it came out that the radar gun was being calibrated with a tuning fork that hadn’t been calibrated in over ten years and was off up to ten mph depending on temp.

    1. dzolve says:

      Great post, couldn’t agree more about the dragster racing!

  60. Craig in Manila says:

    Seems like RBR are pushing uphill on this one.

    Or perhaps they are just doing their usual trick of attempting to stay in the media spotlight at all times irrespective of performance of the cars/drivers.

    In regard to the “threat” of a pullout, I don’t see it happening and I’m quite sure that some readers of this blog will say “and good riddance to them” but it would be a severe blow if RedBull ever decided that they weren’t interested in motorsport anymore.

  61. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Does anyone know, if DM were to pull out, would Torro Rosso go also or are they majority owned by someone else now so could rebrand and continue without needing a buyer?

  62. ChrisL81 says:

    Has the FIA fixed there faulty fuel flow sensor yet?
    If not will red bull use there own one again if they think its legal to use there’s.

  63. Justabrit says:

    So does this mean that RB will now use their own fuel rail until the hearing? Was this part of their thinking to begin with because they appeared to gain performance extremely quickly. calculated gamble at best on their part i think.

    1. granddad says:

      All fuel flow measuring equipment is subject to a calibration check. which means that no two fuel flow units will give the same reading.
      If the resultant reading is so important then I am sure that the correction figures will be known to the FAI by serial number and the issue to each car.
      This correction factor will be known to the teams who will apply the appropiate correction to each cars fuel flow.
      Running with more fuel flow than is allowed has the effect of reducing the engine operating temperature.
      I believe that RB has this problem, so has a reason to over fuel the car.

  64. Quade says:

    Red Bull are pulling out the big guns and threatening to quit F1. A big deal since they provide 20% of the F1 spend:

  65. RichyS says:

    This all reminds me of the Red Bull bendy wing saga.

    Except in that instance, Red Bull ignored the rule (wings must be rigid) and got through by gaming the test (rigidity tested by placing masses on the wings).

    Now Red Bull ignore the test (mass flow rate sensors) and claim to abide by the rule.

    You can’t have it both ways Red Bull. I won’t miss them if they leave (not likely frankly). If they do, Adrian Newey would be welcome in a team with a bit more class.

  66. Andrew says:

    Hi James. I was thinking about the idea of Red Bull leaving the sport and Ferrari having made similar threats before. I was wondering how the other teams feel about it. Would they be happy to see the back of a prominent team and get a bigger slice of the money pie or do they feel it would diminish the sport to lose a big player? Would BMW pulling out of F1 be similar?

  67. F1.6T says:

    The rules don’t actually state what the mode of measurement is, merly that a competitor may not exceed 100kg of fuel mass per hour.

    No mention of which is official, the FIA FFM or the teams own telemetry, so if they can prove categorically that their measurments are accurate to either, equal or greater than the accuracy claimed of the FIA sensor, then they stand a fair chance of getting off with not breaking the word of the rules. I believe that ignoring the FIA directive and requests in the 1st place, is a spearate offence that the team should face, but, if they are found not guilty of breaching fuel regs, they and Ricciardo should be reinstated to the race results and the points that come with them, both drivers and constructors. Then for the offence of ignoring the FIA the team are deduct 18 constructor points, DR gets to keep his drivers points and second trophy

  68. Jack says:

    If Red Bull quit they could make a massive impact on motorsports around the world. Red Bull would go and so would Toro Rosso but if Red Bull really wanted to hurt the FIA they could withdraw all sponsorship from everything associated with the FIA.

  69. Steve B says:

    I think Joe Saward summed it up best… “Still, the ethos at Red Bull, as seen clearly last year, is that winning is all that matters, even if that means crapping on the sport”.

    They’ve been like that for years, (Multi 21, moaning at Pirelli and pleading safety until they get back the tyres that suit them best, giving Webbers front wing to Vettel) and i doubt they’ll ever change.

    They wonder why Vet gets booed – or cheered when he fails to make Q2. They should look in the mirror. Good riddance I say

  70. Messrine says:

    As many others have stated Red Bull pale into significance in comparison with Ferrari, and considering that the largest proportion of the sport’s fans are Ferrari supporters, they would not be missed in F1. So Mr Mateshitz pull out! We couldn’t care less because we were doing fine way before you and Mr Horner turned up.
    The heart of the issue is not that Red Bull overfueled their car. So even if their own sensors rove to be accurate their points should not be reistated. The issue is that they blatantly went ignored the FIA’s directive prior and during the race to use their sensors, unlike the other teams! This put Riccardio at an unfair advantage. If they win their appeal it will be a sad day for F1, fair play and sportsmanship!

  71. Peter says:

    Horner should take tips from Ross Brawn on how to fight a case convincingly. That man was as good a lawyer as he was a team principle/technical director!

  72. kenneth chapman says:

    i simply cannot appreciate some P’sOV. if one team is technically brilliant and ahead of the game, legitimately and without sanction, surely any criticism should be directed at the other teams for not being as successful.

    here in australia we have a name for this, it is called the ‘tall poppy syndrome’. it literally means tearing people down because they are uber successful. that gives the desperates some feeling of retribution when they cannot compete.

    personally i detest that attitude as all it does is dampen down the enthusiasm exhibited by those who are great thinkers and doers.

    you don’t have to love them but see and appreciate their achievements for what they are. i must also add that swimming against the tide at any time is most difficult.

  73. Folkdisco says:

    “I still can’t understand why they
    need to stick to 100kg/hour”?
    Those are the rules agreed by all the teams before the season. Renault in particular was keen on this, because they thought it would give them an advantage. Anyone able to follow basic logic could see why they needed fuel flow regulations to govern qualifying fuel usage. If DM has changed his mind, and now wants to follow different rules, they should look at other series and join one that suits their purposes. If they like old technology, I’d recommend stock car racing. ;-)
    Black flags are generally used for unsafe cars.

  74. Hiten says:

    RB can counter argue that how was FIA going to resolve the fuel sensor issue if RB would had approached FIA? If FIA fails to answer this satisfactorily then RB is going to win this appeal. Also, RB can defend by saying that at some point they did inform FIA about faulty sensor.

  75. jeremysmith says:

    Red Bull will get the position back, however they will loose the points..

    1. Random 79 says:

      The points come with the position: It’s all or nothing.

  76. KARTRACE says:

    Let Ditrich go !

  77. Kingszito says:

    “Although Technical Directives – the secretive documents issued by the FIA to teams to clarify and update interpretations of rules on complex technical areas – are considered by many F1 teams to supersede the technical regulations, Horner said that his team doesn’t see them that way, that they are more of an “opinion”.

    Red Bull Racing intentionally cheated believing they could get away with cheating because of the way they see the Technical Directives. This has always been their method, break the law intentionally then get a pat on the cheek keep the points they gained cheating and win the world championship.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ kingzito… charlie whiting has stated that TD’s are only opinions’?

  78. David in Sydney says:

    I actually think Red Bull are in the right here.

    Fuel sensor is required under the rules.

    The fuel sensor wasn’t just faulty, requiring an adjustment factor, but drifting which implies it was fluctuating.

    If the FIA have an official supplier who supplies poor quality items that cannot be relied upon to adhere to the rules then is that the team to put up with their drifting faulty unit mid-race?

    Red Bull are probably certain that their engine did not exceed 100kg/hr of fuel flow – any graph will show the drifting nature of the sensor and prove that it could not be relied upon, even with the FIA ‘adjustment factor’.

    1. MISTER says:

      Yeah, then maybe they should’ve used Michelin tyres last year when Pirelli were blowing up, right? Riddiculous!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Maybe they should have…

  79. Dave says:

    After having a 2nd look at this issue, I think Red Bull will get their points back.

    The Technical Regulations state that the maximum fuel flow is 100kg/hr…and that’s it. There is no mention of fuel flow sensors in the Technical Regulations, nor is there any reference to using Technical Directives as a means of enforcing the Technical Regulations.

    I think Red Bull will (successfully) argue that the Technical Directives do not form part of the Regulations…therefore there is no requirement to follow them. If they can prove their fuel flow is less than 100kg/hr, then they are within the Technical Regulations, IMHO.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the issue is of compliance with process rather than 100kg/hr flow rate

      1. VJ says:

        Yes… they failed to comply with the directive issued that they should use the fuel sensor data with an offest.

        But if you would get a directive to bolt on square wheels, nobody would follow that directive. IF RedBull can show that even with the offset, the fuel flow would be well below 100 kg/hr, they can argue that they would be disadvantaged unfairly. Still, a big IF of course.

        I wonder if it might not revert to a situation where Ricciardo gets points back, but the team does not.
        But it would open a whole can of worms, as others have mentioned: other teams also were issued directives that in restrospect may have been disadvantaging.

      2. AlexD says:

        James, but last year with Merc/Pirelli test saga…there was no punishment for exactly the same reason. Process is not a regulation. I do not support Red Bull, but they might have a point. In any case, if Bernie is innocent while bribing, then anything can happen.

    2. TJ says:

      According to the FIA their meter wasn’t ‘faulty’, though it required a minor adjustment to ensure greater accuracy….. RB steadfastly refuted the interim measure that kept them within the rules and utilised the cars inbuilt system instead, so setting themselves apart from every other team on the grid that did.

      The irony is that even their own (non-FIA) ‘calibrated’ system would probably have required an offset to ensure accuracy to a known datum but in its use RB could have quite easily manipulated that flow-rate to ‘say’ anything they wanted and the FIA knows that.

      In essence for good or ill there is no way to independently determine actual rates of flow without the Gill meter… But as other Renault runners weren’t reported as being affected to the degree the RB’s were then the conclusion has to be the one Mateschitz won’t want to accept, that is the team were ‘cheating’.

      What would be useful to know is actually who it was that made that decision….my money’s on guy that cleans the helmets.

  80. Nico says:

    Technical directives are essentially memos. They are not sanctioned as regulation by the WMSC.

    A good example is the off throttle overrun saga in 2011.

    FIA issued a set of technical directives that deemed overrun blowing illegal, and the teams fought it as it was not banned via regulation.

    In the end, the FIA capitulated and found a compromise prior to the race, allowing both Merc and Renault to keep their preferred overrun methods.

    In this case, there are multiple teams that raised issue with the readiness of the flow sensor as a primary system, and last hour directive mandating their use.

    In this case, the stewards’ findings were reliant on the technical directive rather than regulation (wrong!).

    The results of the appeal will be interesting.

    The FIA has screwed up badly with the lack of a parallel system to validate this untested primary system against. They only bring the secondary system into play in the event of their own acceptance of the primary failing – which they have a vested interest in it not doing!

    In my opinion, the core issue here is the ego of the long standing race director and technical delegate (why are there not staff rotations for these positions?), in not being willing to accept there are issues with their pet project.

  81. kenneth chapman says:

    james, a question. whilst in melb post race was there any discussion re the other teams protesting the result? every team competing would have been aware of what was going down.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not they I heard

      It was between RBR and FIA

      The other teams had a view, but no involvement as far as I know

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        thanks for that james. i am rather surprised though. maybe they are just sitting back to see what happens and then we will see some more action. either way it will be interesting as if the FIA win this argument the others will benefit by red bulls exclusion. if red bull win then it paves the way for all the others to seek retribution by way of providing failsafe fuel flow metering that ensures they are not penalised by being told to turn it down.

        enjoy the weekend….i will.

  82. Tony says:

    When we had the flexible wing issue Red Bull stated that their wing conformed to the regulations (i.e. it passed the load test) not that it did not flex so they build their car to pass the FIA test not the regulations but now suddenly the opposite it true, they expect they can ignore the FIA test if it suits them better.
    what do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      That they push the limits if the rules all the time but if you look in recent F1 history the winning teams have done that eg Ferrari in 2000s

    2. SteveS says:

      The “FIA test” for fuel flow is that fuel flow must not exceed 100kg/hr. If RB can demonstrate that their fuel flow did not exceed 100kg/hr then they have passed the FIA fuel flow test and conformed to regulations.

    3. JB says:

      Flex wing era was a brilliant idea. It comply with rules and yet provide an advantage to teams who didn’t have this tech. It was FIA who can’t find a testing method that ensure ‘flex wing’ is not present.

      F1 is always about pushing the rules in the winning directions when it comes to building the car.
      The drivers too do they best to push themselves to the limit such as reducing weight, building up physical atributes, and drive at full capability of the car.

  83. Paul says:

    Why can’t the FIA simply add into the ECU software that if a car is exceeding the 100kg limit via the official sensor it limits the max RPM’s of the engine for 60 seconds by say 3000 RPM’s – no team would risk going over the official sensor readings then!

    1. Ben says:

      One problem with that is that none of the engine’s are being run at anywhere near full rpm…

    2. PeterG says:

      That would be potentially highly dangerous.

      If a car suddenly loses power while he had another right behind him on a straght, The car behind is just going to plow into the back of him which would potentially cause a huge wreck.

  84. JS says:

    James, prior to the Aus GP there was some talk that teams may protest to the Aus GP stewards a certain teams interpretation of the rules regards the new suspension system on their car.

    Has this gone away or has it just been lost in the fuel flow saga?

  85. Johnrb says:

    Wow, [mod] Many seem to think that RB have substituted their own flow meter for the FIA’s as opposed to having both the FIA sensor and their own, which is probably the case with all the PU suppliers. DM’s comments are obviously an expression of frustration with the FIA approach as opposed to leaving F1; I wouldn’t read so much into that. Not sure why they’re called cheaters as they push the boundaries of the rules – that’s their job, that’s how you find out what the rules really mean. If the FIA was correct about the fuel flow they should have confidently black flagged every car that exceeded the limit without any discussion or warning to reduce flow. Best to drop this rule as redundant given the maximum fuel allowance per race. Funny that back in the day IndyCar used to have turbo pop-off valves provided by the sanctioning body and never managed to get into this kind of mess.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      a realistic viewpoint.

    2. peruvian says:

      “Funny that back in the day IndyCar used to have turbo pop-off valves provided by the sanctioning body and never managed to get into this kind of mess.”….
      I did mentioned that on an earlier post, also I asked if James Allen would sort of clarified that, because Indycar caught Honda Engines to cheat this ruling, if I remember correctly, they use different size pipes to allow them to use more boost than others without blowing the pop-of-valve…
      In other words, it depends where you measure the pressure to be legal or not… in the case of the Formula engines, I would think that it depends, also, where it is measure… could be that, you lower the temperature of fuel prior to the device thus getting less volume, or like Honda, a clever use of piping to cheat the FIA flow valve, etc. clearly not an easy process to explain or understand, in other words “a grey area”.

  86. Richard says:

    I actually believe there is a distinct undertone here.
    1. RBR are experts at reading the rules/regs differently to anyone else. Fairer shout that,s F1. But this is taking it to a different level. They actually believe they are the rules!
    2. Is DM finally seeing his grip on f1 unfold? To be fair they have done a great job of winning. However I don,t believe I am the only one who thinks this is the tip of the iceberg in what’s gone on in the past???
    3. They say any publicity is good publicity. But all RBR get is negative. SV gets booed regularly and Horner is constantly trying to explain the teams actions.
    Hope the FIA through the book at them.

  87. Richard says:

    I wish Red Bull all the best on this one, but of course the FIA are playing God as usual. I personally don’t like the fuel flow regulation because the FIA have demonstrated that it cannot police it in such a way as to be fair to all competitors. If one teams reading is up and another down clearly the second team will be allowed to use more fuel which is ridiculous and unfair.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      The fia are doing their job, they’re supposed to be playing God!

    2. JB says:

      That’s right. FIA is shooting themselves in the foot for not providing a sensor that is up to the job.

  88. neilmurg says:

    While I don’t think RB should win this case, the trash talking about them is over the top. RB have brought a lot to F1 over the ~10? years, and persisted with initially little return. They are 18% of the grid, so whether they stay matters. It isn’t long since F1 were struggling to attract teams.
    As to whether they are ‘not Ferrari’, they do talk like it, and they were the first 2 teams Bernie signed new deals with. How much extra / what advantage do they get for that James?

  89. Fireman says:

    Sounds like Red Bull will win this round.

  90. Steve Rogers says:

    The case should be simple and turns on a careful reading of the rules in effect on the day. If the rules say that the FIA meter must be used to judge fuel flow, then the appeal should fail. Whether the FIA decide to cave in to pressure from Red Bull and cut a deal is up to them, but surely they must realise how much doing so would undermine their own authority, not only in F1 but in every other formula.

    1. Nico says:

      “If the rules say that the FIA meter must be used to judge fuel flow”

      They don’t.

      1. Steve Rogers says:

        In that case I can see why Red Bull are confident. If they have reliable data they should be able to use it.

  91. Carsten says:

    A totally different thought: is this conjunct with the turbo housing solution of the Ferrari motor? Does Redbull have something up there sleeve with this similarity, with an appeal for equal treatment?

    As far fetched as this seems, both cases are supposable quite similar for an advocate.
    For both cases applies the following:
    The higher purpose of a treaty is met, but the means to get there are clearly not what the agreement states.

    In detail:
    The deeper purpose of the perspective agreement is never challenged.
    Case A: a turbo-fan may not cause harm, Ferrari concurs
    Case B: the fuelflow may not be exceded, Redbull concurs
    The way to get there is not compliant with written rules (or directives)
    Case A: a high-tech solution to avert a turbo-failure instead of a shield (Ferrari)
    Case B: own, accurate sensor for the fuel flow (Redbull)

    Who doesn’t love the sizzling suspense of an F1 lawsuit…

  92. Breton says:


    Do we know how faulty this sensor is supposed to be?

    Have RB issued any figures?

    I know the sensor manufacturer says it is accurate.

  93. Jolgas says:

    Get rid of RB. They should never have been allowed into FI. They are a drinks manufacturer.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      what a load of old garbanzos! red bull compete by being sponsored by the red bull drinks company.

      williams compete by being sponsored by an alcoholic beverage company!!

      1. Jolgas says:

        I buy my drinks from Pepsi or Coca-cola and my cars from Mercedes.
        Am not going to buy a drink made by Mercedes.
        RB are not good for the sport long term. We should be encouraging car manufacturers more. We are seeing the true colours of this drinks manufacturer who don’t think the rules apply to then cause they have so much money.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ jolgas, as expected, you have missed the point entirely. the source of sponsorship income is totally irrelevant.

    2. uan says:

      Red Bull Racing builds race cars. Pop up to Milton Keynes, you won’t find a bottling plant.

      I would be curious of the organizational structure of the team. Are they a wholly owned subsidiary of Red Bull, or are they a completely separate entity with a commercial tie-in?

      Regardless, one shouldn’t confuse Red Bull Racing with Red Bull Inc.

    3. Jock Ulah says:

      Bring more drinks manufacturers into F1 –

      They’ve got the resources and expertise to maintain the formula as the pinnacle of motorsport.

    4. luqa says:

      Agree, but also Force India, Sauber, Marussia, Williams and STR- since none of them are car manufacturers.

      Oh, and when the next car manufacturer decides they can’t get enough out of the series and they leave then you will be left with even less manufacturers. If Mercedes eventually decide they had enough (for not the first time), you’ll soon be left with fewer Manufacturers. I just can’t see Caterham, Williams, Marussia, Sauber, Force India, or even Mclaren for that matter investing in developing their own power unit.

      So, not really an option is it?

    5. PeterG says:

      So what if there a drinks manufacturer, Why is that a reason to have prevented them entering F1?

      They had/have the budget to pay all the necessary entry fee’s & have built a team that didn’t have much success into a team thats won 4 straght driver/constructors championships.

    6. Vegas 1 says:

      Yeah, was much better when F1 just sold cigarets to everyone. Really? Obviously the majority of you know nothing of what it takes to go racing. And to think you complain about “pay drivers”.

  94. CC says:

    Red Bull will bring fresh evidence to the Court of Appeal no doubt.
    However, since every other car was passed legal, it does look like a difficult task.
    Perhaps Ricciardo might be re-instated, but Red Bull have their constructors points disallowed – that has happened in the past.

  95. Huw says:

    next we will have Red Bull ignoring a drive through penalty on the grounds that its only the stewards opinion

    Red Bull must fail in there appeal or F1 will be chaos of differing opinions and appeals.

    1. John says:

      I fail to see that RB must fail in their appeal.
      Their situation is a little different from the other teams. FIA admitted that their original sensor was faulty. RB was given another that did not work and there were not any more available. RB were then told to use the original faulty sensor. The technical directive gives an alternative method to use in these cases, surely FIA where at fault for not allowing the alternative when they had tried and failed to supply another sensor. I think the RB legal team could bust this wide open

      1. Huw says:

        Article 5.10 of the technical regulations says that the fuel can only be measured by a homologated sensor and there is only one sensor, which is made by Gill Sensors

        The FIA maintain the RB sensor was functioning with the offset so no alternative method was approved.

  96. JohnBt says:

    Bernie and Todt must be skyeping like crazy or having huge quarrels behind closed doors.

    What an opening, but nevertheless the young drivers are standing out which I like, gives me some air of freshness. As Kevin said 2014 is a driver’s car, he’s not wrong and with all the wobbling going on which is great though. Then let’s see how soon will cars match the 2013 time sheets.

    Red Bull sounds arrogant and FIA better start to tweak the immediate lack of volume and fuel ruling else millions will switch off soon. The existing hardcore fans are showing signs of frustrations with the new direction, but I know there are the new fans who like the sedated sound and other aspects.

    James I’m really curious to see the percentages of the likes and don’t like of the new ruling. Hope you’ll be planning a voting session soon.

  97. Langer says:

    One slightly different topic will Red Bull be forced by the FIA to mount the cameras on the nose for the next race? They didn’t run them in Australia.

  98. Mike84 says:

    Did RB ask FIA for permission to use the alternate measurement and get denied? or did they just do it without asking permission?

  99. shane says:

    The race officials should have black flagged the red bull car, not disqualified the car after the race. It will be interesting too see how Vettel performs without a front running car.

  100. jmv says:

    1) Mateschitz is not Enzo Ferrari
    2) Red Bull is just a sports drink marketing excercise

    Hence they will not be missed as part of the F1 tradition. This is my personal opinion, and I am sure other F1 die hards feel the same.

    Next: FIA has practiced homogolation for several years now on different components. Everybody abides by these rules.. in good or bad times.

    Now that the sports drink marketing exercise hits a serious patch (i.e. for the first time in their existence they are in a challenging phase) they act like they are extraordinarily special.

    1. Jolgas says:


      Your points regarding “Now that the sports drink marketing exercise hits a serious patch (i.e. for the first time in their existence they are in a challenging phase) they act like they are extraordinarily special”

      Well said!

  101. shane says:

    By the way I like the lack of sound of the new cars, its good to hear the crowd!

  102. Martin says:

    Maybe Giancarlo Minardi was right?

    Maybe Red Bull / Renault were doing something trick with fuel, pulsing huge quantities of fuel through the engine during the drive out of corners to simulate traction control?

    Maybe with the new sensors continuously measuring fuel flow, they cannot get away with it any more and have taken a massive performance hit which they need to reverse in the Court of Appeal to save their season?

  103. Dmitry says:

    I hope RBR quits the sport. It will be good for everyone.

  104. kenneth chapman says:

    james, i am fully aware that you are terribly busy especially on a race weekend but there is one question that has been voiced here and other places a lot lately, especially given the ‘censor’ [sic] issue. that is, why are the technical directives secret and sacrosanct and never open to the public/fans/followers.

    like most ardent fans we tend to look closely at the R & R pre season and if there are any changes then they are usually debated. at least everyone is fully aware of the status quo, but keeping the ‘directives’ out of sight simply is questionable. what is being held back and why?

    1. James Allen says:

      They just are, like the minutes of the F1 Strategy Group.

      I dare say we could get our hands on the TDs, and I will ask about that. But they are not issued for general consumption. Perhaps they should be, then we would all know

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        thanks again james for the quick response. yes, a compliant friend could be the source of some fascinating data. the fact that they do not get published is a source of irritation and would open up some serious discussions between all the followers here.

        on another note, not completely OT but i have read some comments by horner where he states that the other teams have been rapidly buying up as many sensors as they can [$12000 per each] in order to find ones that will run above the ‘flow rate’ but still show a normal flow [100kg/h] when tested!!!

        if this is true, and i very much doubt horner would lie about this in public, then we are in for some very unique races vis-a-vis protests and DQ’s!!!

  105. TimW says:

    Hopefully the appeal will be thrown out and Dietrich carries out his threat to quit the sport. The arrogance this team has shown in the short time they have been involved in F1 is astonishing, i certainly wont miss them if they go.

  106. Nuno says:

    I didn’t see any argument from Horner or RBR about ignoring the turn down on fuel flow rate during the race, did you?

  107. Matt says:

    So much is being made about the fuel flow. For me it isn’t important if Red Bull can prove they never exceeded the fuel flow restriction limit over the course of the event. What really matters is that they disregarded direction from the FIA. By doing so they made a statement that they refused to follow directives from race officials. Not only should the disqualification stand but they should also be placed on some sort of race probation.

    I know the FIA can be difficult but they are the governing body. If every team with a bit of weight decided to play by their own rules it would become a nightmare.

  108. Dick Dixon says:

    I’m curious to know whether the fuel flow offered an advantage to Ricciardo in order to defend his position. Does the evidence show at what point the flow rate exceeded the FIA directive. If it was used at a point to defend a position then the disqualification should stand, if it was ‘wobbling’ at random points and didn’t offer an advantage I think RB will stand a chance of keeping driver’s points but losing constructors.

  109. gollino says:

    Red Bull cars should have been black flagged before the end of the race.
    That way they did not have anything to appeal.

  110. luqa says:


    Let Disney run the show, it would be more appropriate.

    1. luqa says:

      It’s not as if only F1 has issues with the inconsistencies of the fuel flow meters installed, but there has been mention of Porsche also questioning the consistency and accuracy of the FIA supplied Gill flow meters.

      The real problem is that the flow meters are inconsistent not only from each other, but also throughout any given session. Applying a varying fudge factor is just not good enough for this level of competition.

      It’s like using a sun dial to measure lap times. The FIA simply doesn’t have the right tool for the job at hand and is open to charges of favouritism.

    2. TimW says:

      The point is Disney would have to start their own chmpionship, F1 belongs to the FIA, it is their party and if teams decide to enter they have to abide by the rules.

  111. kal says:

    James what kind of punishment can RB expect if the FIA disagree with their explanation?

    1. James Allen says:

      They have already lost the points for Melbourne through the DSQ. They have appealed that, seeking to get them back

      If they lose, they won’t get the points and that will be it.

      1. TimW says:

        Do you see a softening of the FIA’s stance on appeals James? There was a time when a team or driver appealing a decision might expect to have the original punishment extended if the appeal failed. It always struck me as the FIA punishing teams for daring to question their decisions.

  112. warley says:

    It seems that the FIAs policing is wholely dependent on real time monitoring of 22 cars telemetry. In the past teams have lost the telemetry link but continued to the end of the race with no problem. Are we to assume that should telemetry fail a car would be disqualified for an assumed fuel flow violation especially if it happened to be a Red Bull which overtook others to win? If not disqualified other teams could appeal. Could be another can of FIA worms!

  113. David Goss says:

    Surely they must have known they would be disqualified for ignoring the FIA’s clear instructions. It would have been sensible to toe the line and then they might have been passed by both McLarens but even then it would have been P4, not a bad result. Or, did they bet that the stewards wouldn’t dare disqualify an Aussie from the podium in Australia?

    It’s going to come across as very arrogant, whether it’s meant that way or not. And DM threatening to quit won’t get him what he wants the way it does Ferrari (to an extent) – would anyone, except perhaps the team’s employees, really despair if Red Bull quit tomorrow?

  114. fox says:

    Mateschitz made it clear, he would stop F1 project if his car is not on podium.

  115. Sebee says:

    12 weeks have passed, and no new updates about Schumi.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Normally I’d say that no news is good news, but in this case I’m not so sure that’s true…

  116. Chris says:

    It seems pretty clear-cut. The rules say that
    (a) Fuel flow must be less than 100kg/hr.
    (b) The FIA sensor is the only approved method for determining flow rate.
    (c) No alternative method may be used without the permission of the FIA.

    Red Bull violated all 3 of the above, in addition to ignoring a specific directive from the FIA to reduce flow rate. They should be grateful the stewards actually gave them the chance to correct the problem in the race, rather than just black-flagging them.

    IMO, they have been getting away with rule-breaking for so long that they believe they are untouchable. If the FIA does not uphold the DQ, it will make a mockery of the entire championship, as one team will have been shown to be above the rules.

    As to their petulant and manipulative threat to leave the sport if they aren’t allowed to cheat – I’d like to see them get a one-race ban for “bringing the sport into disrepute”. Blackmail should NEVER be tolerated by the FIA.

    1. TJ says:

      “Blackmail should NEVER be tolerated by the FIA.”


  117. Chris says:

    Another point: After struggling for pace, Red Bull suddenly seemed to gain it out of the blue. Perhaps they have been deliberately exceeding the allowed fuel flow in order to gain that performance. In the past, when using illegal cars, they were permitted to keep their points and merely required to correct the issue for the future. Perhaps they were counting on the same leniency (or favoritism) with the fuel flow, and are now shocked to discover that they are being penalized for breaking the rules.

    This reminds me of Ferrari’s public fury in 2010, when they discovered that Mosley’s departure had resulted in an FIA which now enforced the rules without catering to Ferrari’s expectation of special treatment.

  118. sunny stivala says:

    All RBR got is arrogance of the highest order, other than that they don’t even have a wooden leg to stand on in this case.

  119. Carlos Marques says:

    I think this will be a quick hearing:

    “Red Bull, did you do what the FIA told you to do repeatedly throughout the race?”
    “Thank you. We’re done. No points.”

    1. Random 79 says:

      How about:

      “FIA, did you try to force RBR to use your inaccurate fuel flow sensor knowing that it was inaccurate?”


      “Thank you. We’re done. Give the points back.”

      1. grat says:

        No, “FIA, did you instruct Red Bull that the official flow meter was showing they were in violation of fuel limits?”

        “Yes, but they said they didn’t care, because their sensor’s better than ours”.

        “Red Bull, are you aware that the FIA homologated sensor is the only valid sensor to determine if you are within limits?”

        “Yes, but that’s a technical directive, not a regulation”

        So, if the hearing goes Red Bull’s way, technical directives aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

        If technical directives have any validity as to the procedures to be followed during race weekends, then Red Bull loses.

        Charlie Whiting and Jo Bauer have been a major thorn for Red Bull for several years now– ride height adjustment, holes in the floor, engine maps, etc., and if this hearing goes in Red Bull’s favor, then they’ve effectively neutralized Mr. Whiting and Mr. Bauer.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Yes it’s going to be interesting…

  120. Jonathan Cooper says:

    All of this could have been avoided if the stewards had got involved. The only problem being it was Ricciardo at his home GP and a lot was going on in the race.

    After RB ignored the warnings, Car #3 should have been issued with a drive through each time it exceeded the maximum permitted fuel flow. Potential performance benefit negated, problem solved. I doubt they would have ignored the next warning.

  121. uan says:

    Seems a lot of folks are bashing Red Bull because all the other teams followed the directive. But many of those teams followed the directive because they didn’t have the guts or the commitment not to. Many of the teams had problems with the sensors, including Mercedes. On Sky’s F1 program, Graeme Lowdon implied they turned their fuel flow down as well – and basically ducked answering Ted K’s question about it.

    I’m more critical of the other teams – their decisions were not made on any moral high ground. The whole reason d’être for F1 is to be the pinnacle of motor sports and on the cutting edge of technology, and the sensors clearly aren’t up to snuff and it’s ridiculous for teams to settle for trundling around at 96%-98% of the max flow rate allowed under the regulations.

    I don’t know why folks seem to think that wanting to take 100% advantage of what the rules allow is the same as cheating because other teams choose to settle for less. This would be similar to preferring drivers who keep all 4 wheels inside the limits of the track at all times. Or who settle just for finishing. But we don’t. We respect drivers who push the limits and we much prefer a driver err going over the limit than always playing it safe. We’d rather see a driver go for the pass even if he ends up going off the track (like Grojean on Massa in Hungary ’13), then never attempting to pass at all. For some odd reason, many seem to prefer just the opposite with the teams.

    Regarding Maetschitz, whatever you want to say about him, he’s not some motorsport dilettante. His commitment to sports, and motor sports, not just F1 (look at Rallying), is beyond that of most “fans” who’d prefer him to just go away. If you’re a fan of Mark Webber, Maetschitz was Webber’s biggest supporter and backer. That Maetschitz decided on Ricciardo over Kimi, and not so that his “golden boy” wouldn’t be challenged, says a lot – he wasn’t swayed by star power, but by a commitment to doing the right thing. He is funding a junior team (Toro Rosso) to cultivate young drivers and when the slot in RBR came open, he brought in their top candidate at the time. That shows that he’s committed to the long term, and this is true not just with the junior drivers program, but with his business as well.

    Red Bull, not just the F1 team, is an incredibly well run company. You may not like their products, but they are one of the best run businesses you are going to find. If just from a purely business standpoint, I’m sure Maetschitz shakes his head at the ‘pinnacle’ of motorsports (mis)management, and overall, has stayed remarkably silent.

    1. Vegas 1 says:

      + One Million!!!

      God forbid any other sponsors were as generous as Red Bull – they help keep motorsports alive and not just F1. It is incredibly hard to get sponsors, especially ones willing to finance racing and Red Bull pores money into everything. If it’s arrogant to try and be the best then count me in! Because we know how humble and quiet Ferrari is. Remember – “life is fair” – just not for you.

    2. Torchwood Five says:

      So you are critical of the other teams for following the FIA instructions in spite of their own concerns?

      So was I, for about a microsecond, till it occurred that whoever else made it to the chequered flag, did so on a merit that included coping with the FIA instructions, and it would be MASSIVELY unfair to them all if Red Bull decision to break the agreement they signed when they chose to participate in the 2014 campaign, was accepted and their lost points re-instated.

    3. kenneth chapman says:

      well said. my sentiments exactly.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        my sentiments lie with uan’s post.

    4. Chris says:

      Yes, heaven forfend that any team should obey the rules. Why that would create a situation where all teams were competing on an equal basis, and we would know at the podium ceremony who had what finishing positions and points. How boring!

      Your idea is much more exciting. Have every team use whatever settings and equipment they feel is right, thus showing their “guts and commitment”, then let the lawyers fight out the result over the next few months. Instead of a boring old race and podium ceremony (so overdone!), we could have a thrilling series of ongoing court cases, which would prolong the excitement and uncertainty for weeks or months after each race, before we knew the winners.

      And since the winners wouldn’t be known for months after the race, there would be no reason for a podium ceremony, saving the track owners money.

      And the season would be longer, since the championship wouldn’t be determined until all the court cases had concluded, months after the last race. There would be no off-season! How wonderful for the fans and media! In fact, there results of one season might not even be known until after the start of the next, producing an excitement overload!

      Simply brilliant idea – you should pursue a patent or copyright.

  122. michael grig says:

    decision to be in April;
    what about next race?!?!
    Does anybody know the sensor RB will be using?!?

    1. James Allen says:

      They are stuffed.

      If they do the same again it’s double or quits

      If they do what FIA asks, it undermines their argument from Melbourne.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Gentlemen, place your bets… :)

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        You’d get better odds on the Russians joining NATO!

      3. erik says:

        This is good James. If they do something they lose anyway.

        There will be a lot of compromises i assume. Not that we will hear about them anyway. They do need a win-win solution here.

        My proposal about fuel use. Give them exact same amount fuel, let them race and after the race give them penalty seconds according to used fuel quantity.

      4. Random 79 says:

        Reasonable, but from what I’ve been reading I don’t think many would like that solution.

        When a driver crosses the finish line that should be it; where they finished is where they finished. There shouldn’t be any messing around after each race waiting for the officials to decide who ended up where.

      5. erik says:

        Yes. You are right.

  123. Kimi The Worm says:

    No way Red Bull will pull out just on this… 2 race teams and one track is a lot on investment.

    They are just doing what Ferrari have done for years and posturing in an overly arrogant manner

  124. Marc says:

    James or anyone have you heard of anything further on the camera in the nose of RBR instead of them using the ones on the bodywork as all other teams are using??

  125. geoffjeff says:

    Are we (or is he?) still sure Horner doesn’t want Bernie’s job? Seems he could have upset DM big time if they lose….

  126. Trebor157 says:

    For new F1 fans:
    So far this season we have had:
    1 a disqualification
    2 an appeal against disqualification
    3 team threatening to withdraw from F1
    4 team accused of cheating
    5 promoter threatening break of contract as noise did not damage Australian eardrums.
    6 promoter saying other circuits will withdraw from F1
    So welcome to normal service of F1 it’s been the same for the last 57 years to my knowledge and I am still here.
    By-the-way, you might see occasionally every 2 to 3 weeks a few computerised go karts imitating F1 cars going around a circuit somewhere which breaks up the political saga for awhile.

  127. SteveS says:

    There’s a lot of emotional venting here based on the parties involved. Try to separate your feelings towards Red Bull from the facts of the matter. If it were Bottas and Williams who were disqualified and appealing the decision, would you feel the same way? In most cases, no.

    If RB can show that their car did not exceed the fuel flow limit then they should win the appeal. But even if they fail in that, every team and every fan will be a winner if the FIA are forced by the appeals process to clean up their act and implement a fair and transparent rule making process. Charlie Whiting being a one man secret court and handing down secret orders made up out of his own head is not any to run F1, or any sport.

    1. Torchwood Five says:

      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.

  128. Shri says:

    Money talks.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I know.

      Mine’s always telling me that it’s leaving me for someone named Bill :(

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Does Mr Bill have the initials of P.A.Y. in front of his surname Random?
        PS – Apparently Mr P.A.Y. Bill is always being posted to a certain team in Enstone, Oxfordshire, although by happy coincidence some very generous Venezuelans are posting big juicy pay cheques to the same address in Enstone to ease the pain!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Might be the same one, but it’s okay now – I just got a phone call today from some guy named Ijaz at Quantum.

        No, I’ve never heard of them either, but apparently now all my monetary problems are solved :D

  129. fausta says:

    If this scenario happens again regarding the sensor or any other area the stewards should black flag the car so we don’t have to go through all this politicking etc.. If you disregard a rule or a directive you are black flagged. Give them x amount of laps to comply or they can park it. NASCAR uses that method, it is cut and dry. If a team is having difficulties or issues then it can be sorted out, but no one can disregard the rules and get away with it. The FIA must turn RB’s appeal away.

  130. Elie says:

    Looking at this from a legal stand point I can see how Red Bull will proceed on this :-

    1. They will prove categorically that the fuel flow sensor was / is inaccurate
    2. They will prove scientifically that their fuel measurement is more accurate than the sensor.
    3. They will argue that rules stating 100kg/h do not stipulate 1.66kg/m or 276.66grams/ sec etc.and therefore if it varied from time to time does not matter as long as they were within the total capacity for the race
    4. They will argue that given the above- how can the FIA stipulate the tolerances if
    A) the fule flow sensor is inaccurate
    B) the method of measurement is immature and unclear

    This may lead to the rules being clarified in regards to the fuel flow sensor or even an additional measure be apllied such as one on the fuel rail.

    It will not change fact that Red Bull went against the spirit of the sport & Iand applied a methodology right or wrong where they may have gained an advantage over the field and this regard the appeal should be quashed.

    From a personal point of view I would welcome Red Bulls departure from F1- because there is always a question mark over what they do in F1. What should be clear to Dietrich Mateschitz is that despite their success fans are always questioning the legitmacy of that success and this could not be good for their overall image.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      you surprise me, as there is no such thing as the ‘spirit of the rules’ i would ask you to consider the facts and the facts alone. according to charlie whiting a technical directive is an ‘opinion’ not a rule or a regulation.

      faced with an option of reducing the fuel flow, when you are in the knowledge that it has not been exceeded, would be to accept an unfair penalty. forget what happened to the other teams it is irrelevant in this instance. what action would you take?

      1. Elie says:

        Go to website and look up technical regulations. Please read the very detailed notes on it. Once you have understood come back to me as they are quite detailed.

        “Offence: Breach of article 3.2 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula 1 technical regulations”

        Please note very carefully the following:-
        “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.”

        This is a very dangerous precedence if Red Bull succeed because it would effectively bring into question the governance of F1 in the sporting regulations and would mean every team could question every sporting decision made by the stewards including every team filing appeals under the sporting regulations for the loss of points as they FULLY complied with the agreed technical regulations AND directives- please understand all these three things are linked.

        I think the outcome will prove to be fruitful for all the teams in that clarification will be realised on the fuel flow sensor issue and that the teams will be able to run their cars more accurately if a more effective measure is adopted.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ elie… there are distinctions here. read my post again. i said that ‘directives’ are an opinion. from my understanding, and also that of red bull, the issuance of a ‘directive’ to reduce the fuel flow was in effect an opinion and invalid.

        like you i certainly hope that the issue can be resolved. the FIA have produced a dogs breakfast here and they deserve to be challenged. F! is no place for dodgy homologated components when so much is at stake.

        it will be most interesting to see the fallout in malaysia. enjoy the race.

      3. Elie says:

        Kimis a real chance if its dry – even from 6th. But I suspect my next fav -Lewis will do it after the Aust heartache!

  131. Torchwood Five says:

    My Fantasy FIA Ruling

    1. Red Bull, your appeal is rejected.

    2. Oh, and you know that double-points race you guys don’t like? You are banned from that one.

    3. You’re welcome.

    1. Stephen says:

      It IS a fantasy because the case is not before the FIA. It is an independent court and THEY will make the ruling

      1. Random 79 says:

        But just to be clear that is the Independent Court of Middle Earth, correct?

  132. kenneth chapman says:

    @ fausta, if they do that and on the 14th april the court uphold red bulls appeal, what then?

    i see it rather as a situation that red bull will not make any changes, i certainly hope not anyway, as their case lives or dies on the regulation of actual ‘fuel flow’.

    rock on red bull.

    1. fausta says:

      I was talking about the stewards Black Flagging the car in the first place when they refused to turn down the fuel flow during the Australian race. To me the debate about the sensor is separate from the fact RB completely disregarded an order from the stewards. We cannot have teams doing as they will in this matter if we wish to improve the integrity of the race. If they black flagged Riccardo then the focus would be more on finding a solution with the teams knowing full well they must follow the rules first, then debate them second. I am not a RB fan, but I really feel for Riccardo as that kid drove his heart out. I feel his team really let him down.

  133. Richard says:

    I am unable to understand why common sense does not dictate!? Surely RBR have not followed instructions for the governing body and therefore face the consequences. Why is there being such a debate about right and wrong? The only debate is the size of the fine, dq.
    RBR have dug a hole for themselves and wasting more money on lawyers when there is talk of cost sitting does not make sense. Newey is a big part in this and Horner is DM puppet. Wouldn’t,t be surprised if Newey quits the sport at end of season.

  134. seifenkistler says:

    What if it would have been the other way around:

    RB: Jean our own sensor says we are having 110kg/h fuel flow, but your sensor is saying 90. Are we allowed to ignore our own sensor?

    JT: Aehm, hmmm, you are not Ferrari!

    1. Torchwood Five says:

      JT: Not only are you allowed to ignore your own sensor, your own sensor shouldn’t even being used as a sensor. This year, your sensor is a paperweight.

      Now, OUR sensor, even though it reads 90. Go with it. Look, its all here in the manual. We even typed it this year, no joined up writing. Use. The. FIA. Sensor.
      Use. The. FIA. Flow model.
      Kay? Kay.

  135. Ian James says:

    Hi everyone,
    Firstly on the Ricciardo disqualification. I suspect that the F1 appeal court will simply re-confirm that Red Bull broke the rules and will therefore not get their 18 points back.

    While on the fuel flow limit, could someone please tell me why we need it? I assume the aim is to encourage efficiency? I have no problem at all with the 130 litre tank limit and teams can plan their race strategies knowing that they will run out if they go too hard. But why also limit fuel flow?

    Secondly, I was at Melbourne for the 1st race and I was absolutely appalled by the sound of the cars. Downright embarrassing. 10 years ago I witnessed the loudest sound known to mankind…the extraordinary V10s. It was simply not possible to not wear ear plugs within 40m of the track. Unbelievable passion and excitement. Then came the V8s which were not as loud and not as engaging as the V10s but were borderline ok. Now we have something that sounds more like my Toyota Prius!

    Crikey, are the fuel efficiently rule makers determined to kill F1 off by totally removing the passion and the excitement of this once great sport? Generated to a high degree by the intensity of the amazing sound?

    On what I ‘heard’ this year, I won’t be going back to next year’s race and I can assure all readers that there were countless others around me who felt exactly the same.


    1. grat says:

      Have you considered the possibility that the new F1 cars, which at 134 dB, are still loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage, aren’t “that loud” to you because you destroyed your hearing listening to the V10′s?

      Listening to 145 dB (the V8′s) even with ear protection, can cause hearing damage. Unprotected, you’re good for about 2-5 seconds before you have hearing damage.

      1. Random 79 says:


  136. VM says:

    If this is done properly (its a Court at the end of the day), then parties will be able to discover all info the FIA has from all teams.

    One could find that Red Bull’s gill sensor over-read flow rate by say 2% and Merc under-read by 2%. So in reality one team was disadvantaged and another advantaged.

    Therefore it may not be a given that another team could have done the same, without evidence that proved their gill sensor was over-reading.

    To answer earlier post where it was questioned whether you can challenge a traffic infringement if the radar gun was reading faulty – yes of course you can, you just have to prove it – as the traffic enforcement office has to prove it was correctly calibrated.

  137. Elie says:

    Go to website and look up technical regulations. Please read the very detailed notes on it. Once you have understood come back to me as they are quite detailed.

    “Offence: Breach of article 3.2 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula 1 technical regulations”

    Please note very carefully the following:-
    “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.”

    This is a very dangerous precedence if Red Bull succeed because it would effectively bring into question the governance of F1 in the sporting regulations and would mean every team could question every sporting decision made by the stewards including every team filing appeals under the sporting regulations for the loss of points as they FULLY complied with the agreed technical regulations AND directives- please understand all these three things are linked.

    I think the outcome will prove to be fruitful for all the teams in that clarification will be realised on the fuel flow sensor issue and that the teams will be able to run their cars more accurately if a more effective measure is adopted.

    1. Elie says:

      *Please delete- duplicate to 129 above

    2. Stephen says:

      And RBR is arguing
      1.They did not exceed 100kg/hr (5.1.4)
      2.And therefore THEY ensured they complied with the regulations by not trusting a dodgy drifting inconsistent sensor.It is the teams responsibility to comply,not rely on FIA, therefore should use all means possible to ensure compliance. The FIA sensor is (in the regulations) the PRIMARY means of measuring fuel flow, but therefore not the only one. If the fuel flow meter failed in a race, under 3.2, the team still has a responsibility to ensure they comply, and it would be correct and proper for them to use the data from the fuel rail to ensure they were complying.

      Directives are not regulations

      Too many amateur lawyers on here

      1. Elie says:

        Read the regulations on this in FULL. Understand it THEN comment!

        Under the sporting regs in the event of the fuel sensor failure the FIA is the body that determines the measurement NOT Red Bull.! Otherwise whats to stop 12 teams running 12 different measurements.

        I wish there were too many armchair lawyers on here and not just people with blinkers on.- look beyond your nose.
        Ive already explained that the issue with the sensor is debatable and probably will be clarified as a result of the appeal but the issue about who determines the measurement and the changing the rules is where Red Bull should fail!

  138. Dave says:

    From what I understand, the flow sensor was reading higher than expected (As measured by RB) during practise on friday. FIA changed the sensor (Admitted it was reading incorrectly) but then put the original (faulty one) back in for qualifying and the race.

    The FIA get a bunch of sensors. Some read higher than average, and some read lower, but remain within a predetermined % of accuracy. This is fairly normal for sensors (I regularly work with different sensors). It appears that RB got a sensor that read higher than average, and that is what they are appealing. Had they got a sensor that was on the lower end, they may have been OK. The fact that the FIA had them replace the sensor twice, shows that RB have ground to appeal based on their own data (Which would probably be more accurate).


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