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Monza 2015
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Ricciardo disqualified from Australia podium, Red Bull to appeal
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Mar 2014   |  2:36 pm GMT  |  882 comments

Daniel Ricciardo’s breakthrough result of second place in the Australian Grand Prix has been taken away by FIA stewards as the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow irregularity. Red Bull immediately responded that it would appeal the decision which robs the 24 year old Australian of his first F1 trophy after 51 races.

The outcome is also set to be badly received in Australia, with one local newspaper preparing a front page headline “Grand Farce”. Race organisers are working hard to secure an extension to the contract to host the race, which expires after next year’s event. THe new rules for 2014 have made the sport far more complex and although technical exclusions have happened throughout the sport’s history, it is highly regrettable that it should happen to at the opening round of the new formula and to a popular Australian on home soil on a breakthrough day.

The stewards issued a statement after four hours of investigation and deliberation, advising that Red Bull had been notified during the race that the flow rate was exceeding 100kg/hour, which is the maximum in the regulations. The statement added that the team was asked to turn the rate down but declined to do so.

It is a very complex matter, but it revolves around the new flow rate sensors which are supplied to all teams by the FIA, they are an approved part.

Sources within other teams indicated that all weekend there has been a lot of to-and-fro between teams, engine makers and the FIA over the sensors and Red Bull had twice changed the sensor on Ricciardo’s car after being unhappy with readings during practice. The unit fitted to his car during the race is the original one he used in Friday practice which was subsequently swapped out. The replacement unit did not give satisfactory readings to the team or the FIA and the team was instructed to remove this sensor on Saturday night in parc ferme.

The nub of it is that Red Bull decided that the sensors were unreliable and applied its own offset rather than the one that the FIA included in its calibration. The FIA observed that it is up to them – not the team – to give instructions on what measures to follow in the event that wrong readings are suspected.

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  1. DB4Tim says:

    What about this.

    F1 – Mercedes breached fuel flow rules in Melbourne – report at http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com

    1. mtm says:

      I can’t see one. Do you have a direct link to the article?

    2. Bryce says:

      I don’t know why they have flow meters in the first place.

      They are limited to 100kg of fuel already, it should be up to the teams when and how they choose to use it, just like they have the option to go light on fuel and hope for safety cars.

      1. Mark says:

        What the heck is FIA doing installing fuel flow sensors in the cars? The teams get 100kg of fuel and if they run out before the end of the race, then they obviously didn’t get the flow right did they? I’m getting sick and tired of these rule makers contriving the finishes of the races with dumb rules. I finally understand what FIA really stands for. Fools In Action. Coming soon to an F1 track near you.

      2. 4 German Fingers says:

        +1 Thank you!

      3. ManOnWheels says:

        So you want to have cars that can go like a rocket on a simple button press? Because that’s what will happen, if you ditch the fuel flow limit.
        One could argue that may be a limit on the boost pressure would be better than a fuel flow limit, but that would arguably limit the creativity of the engineers.

      4. All revved-up says:

        I don’t understand your comment. Was there a fuel flow limit last year under the old rules? If not why couldn’t the cars have a go like a rocket push to pass fuel button?

        I ask because I’m genuinely puzzled by the need for the fuel flow sensor. Happy to learn.

      5. Bryce says:

        Limit whatever you like, feel free to see my reply to Charlie on the same post.

      6. ManOnWheels says:

        Last year you had normally aspirated engines, today you’ve got turbos, so in contrast to last year, where the athmosperic pressure and some RAM air effect from the air intake was limiting the gas pressure, now you could in theory press an insane amount of gas into the cylinders to get more performance. The amount (and therefore the maximum performance) could be limited by a pop off valve that limits the pressure of the turbo charger, but instead the engine manufacturers agreed on a limiting the fuel flow, so higher boost pressures won’t bring more fuel in, just more air. I guess one reason is that pop off valves could be more inefficient than controlling the fuel flow and the turbo speed.

      7. Charlie says:

        Using an FIA fuel flow sensor is unavoidable. The FIA need to see what the flow rates are and it is the same homologated sensor on every car. The teams can use UP TO 100kg of fuel during the race but that is from lights out to the flag. They have to use additional fuel prior to lights out so THEY DON’T JUST PUT 100KG IN THE CAR AND FORGET IT. Red Bull were told to use the FIA sensor and they chose not to. Red Bull were also told by the FIA to reduce their fuel flow during the race and again chose not to listen.

        As a result Redbull’s appeal has no chance at all.

      8. Bryce says:

        So what you are trying to tell us is that the FIA has no idea how much fuel is put in the cars, has no idea how much is needed for the out lap, nor has a requirement for the sample, and/or can’t calculate the volume of a fuel tank?

        The teams are limited to 100kg of fuel for the race, that is it. They don’t want to put an extra 10kg in an oversized tank that takes up space that affects the aerodynamics and weight that costs them some two to three seconds a lap.

        We have the H and K unit limits that can be used as desired, and the fuel should be the same.

      9. Charlie says:

        Not at all. The FIA know exactly how much fuel is used by each team and they monitor their levels live from the pit wall during the race. Of course they need more than 100kg of fuel in total for race day.

        How would they complete the lap prior to lights out if they did not have additional fuel? I’ll repeat myself. They have 100kg for the race, NOT the entire race day. Red Bull did not have the approval to use their own equipment in place of the fuel flow sensor no matter how accurate their kit is. Other teams were told to reduce fuel consumption during the race by the FIA and did so. Red Bull refused to listen to the FIA which was always going to end in a disqualification. Ricciardo’s performance must have been boosted by using fuel at a faster rate than was allowed too. Fuel flow corrected Kevin probably would have beaten him to 2nd on track.

      10. Alan Green says:

        Thanks for the clarification, at least you sound as if you know what you are talking about unlike 90% of the comments on here.

        F1 is hugely complicated.
        How many of the hundreds of highly qualified engineers working in F1 have said,
        “Just bung in 100kg of fuel and let them run”?

        Is it just possible they know more about it than us armchair experts?

    3. grat says:

      Digging through to find the article, and relying on automated translation, it appears that Mercedes and Ferrari were warned, and complied with the FIA’s warning.

      Red Bull was warned, ignored the warning, applied their own correction to the flow rate without the FIA’s approval, and Ricciardo suffered as a result. It’s a shame– He’s a good guy, and drove a fantastic race.

    4. Optimaximal says:

      You don’t link to an

    5. Optimaximal says:

      You don’t link to an article, so I cannot comment whether it’s a genuine issue or a tinpot theory.

      The word on the grapevine is a few teams were all notified of passing the limit. The rest accepted the FIAs word and clocked their cars down, whereas Red Bull just assumed they knew better and persevered – we don’t genuinely know what they were reading (the lack of FOM graphics for the race didn’t help) but their ignoring of the request to comply with the homologated sensor reading was just foolish.

    6. **Paul** says:

      Pretty sure its Merc and not RBR that Luca was talking about in his open letter. After all Merc are the team who have a second a lap in hand and according to Wolff have another .5s when they run the fuel at what they believe is the correct flow rather than the FIA sensor.

      If we get the two Mercs racing each other then perhaps we’ll see how much faster they are than the rest of the field.

    7. Gudien says:

      “We must at all costs stop Red Bull. It’s Mercedes turn.”

  2. jmv says:

    Wondering if this a Renault problem.. or Red Bull?

    But interesting is that if Red Bull don´t like the FIA sensor.. it could be that that sensor tells them to consume less fuel.. hence less performance out of the box.

    1. Sebee says:

      There is real potential for FIA to have full control over fuel flow and thus performance of a car or team. They know how they are calibrated, and we know nothing about how random the handout of this sensor is or of specific know sensor is handed to specific team..

      It doesn’t pass the smell test. Why is it even needed?

      “Here is your 100kg of fuel for the race. Make the most of it.” And that should be all really. KISS…no need to explain this fuel sensor crap to fans either.

      1. Folkdisco says:

        The rules are clearly laid out. Total race fuel usage, and fuel flow. If DR’s car was driving faster by breaking rules, it should be excluded. End of. If Red Bull had complied with the rules, like all other teams, they would have turned down the fuel flow, DR would have driven slower, and probably finished further down the results. Maybe 5th, maybe 10th. We don’t know. Just ignoring FIA instructions seems bizarre, and possibly arrogant.

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        I’m thinking it’s not that simple. They have to restrict flow to ensure the race doesn’t become an endurance plod with a crazy sprint at the end. Think of a cycling velodrome sprint- weird races where they pace each other at a crawl then sprint away when they have position. It’s because they have a massive potential speed that can’t be maintained over the full distance.

        F1 would be the same with no flow restriction. We would get a couple of cars together at the front and on the last lap, or even the last straight, the guy with slightly more fuel would floor it and win. 60.9 laps of mind numbing crawl then 100m of one sided race.

        So no. Not a great idea!

      3. ErikT says:

        I guess you are right about that. If you used fuel to build a lead in the beginning and there was a safety car you’d be left for dead.

      4. bob says:

        Even without the risk of a SC, you’d still want to use your fuel late, as you are driving a lighter car. Pushing on a lighter car will get you more time than pushing in a very heavy one, which will wear down more.

        If we have a race, and the half is done with 30kg on our back, would you be sprinting on the time with the extra weight, or the time with no weight added?

      5. Sebee says:


        What you say is EXACTLY what FOM and FIA want. Exciting finishes to a GP.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      It sounds as if the team is responsible for the flow rate according to the full stewards ruling. But if it’s a part that was failing from the FIA it does seem incredibly harsh but then we’ve had unpopular exclusions before for what sound like the pettiest infractions. Shame for Ricciardo as clearly it was nothing to do with him and didn’t offer him an advantage if as RBR are saying the FIA sensor was just wrong.

      1. Tyemz says:

        You don’t quite get it do you? The ruling says the sensors are owned and managed by the teams and homologated by the FIA, not given to them by the FIA. It’s the FIA’s job to ensure they comply with the regulations hence the warnings which RBR chose to ignore

      2. AuraF1 says:

        Sorry I was reading the ruling where it says the FIA supply the sensors and it’s then the teams responsibility.

      3. Adam says:

        At the heart of the row is a tiny sensor supplied by the FIA to monitor fuel flow. Put simply, the greater the flow, the more power to the engine.

        Read more at http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/149767.html#ROUm9HGSi4ym7AVc.99

      4. chrisralph says:

        Surely points should be taken from the team, not the driver if there indeed be fault attributed in that area.

      5. Sigismundus says:

        The driver benefited from the increased fuel flow. It gave him raw performance advantage. Thus his result was boosted by the infingment. DR should be excluded if his car was having illegal power boost.

      6. BM says:

        That’s like saying doping is ok as long as the athlete doesn’t know he’s doped.

      7. aveli says:

        the fia made it very clear at the start of the weekend that they would be strict on fuel flow rate. i guess red bull were just testing the rules. their flow rate may be within the limits but they refused to follow instructions from the fia. it’s a shame ricciardo worked so hard for the fans only to be denied his second place finish after the podium celebrations.

      8. Chris H says:

        Quote from Christian Horner….we faced a situation where we would have been reducing significant amounts of power into the engine.
        So if they had run to FIA spec like all the other teams, they would not have been so quick.

    3. bob says:

      The next thing you know the FIA will admit that their weighing scales are also incorrect but will disqualify cars for being underweight after being weighed on said scales.

      The FIA look more and more a joke every race!

      Why not just ditch the stupid flow limit and let the teams spend their 100kg however they want?

      I honestly cannot understand the need for both regulations. What possible purpose can it serve? Let the teams go for it – if they go too hard early in the race they’ll have to back off later in the race.

      The amount of fuel is already restricted, why the hell restrict the flow also???

      1. J.Danek says:

        nonetheless, they do, and RBR knew this, and they flat-out refused to comply w/ FIA’s enforceable request – and now DR pays the price.

        Shameful behavior on part of RBR.

      2. OscarF1 says:

        “The nub of it is that Red Bull decided that the sensors were unreliable and applied its own offset”

        In this case, only RBR claim FIA’s measurement is wrong.

        It is like saying “FIA, your scale is wrong, in RBR we use a much more accurate one, since we calibrated it ourselves, so we’re not obeying”.

    4. Gerard says:

      The flow sensor is a strange piece of kit, why do the FIA need to regulate fuel flow when they regulate the amount of fuel that can be consumed during a race ?

      1. aveli says:

        it’s called a double inspection. knowing the flow rate confirms that no fuel was added or taken out after it was weighed and put in the car. i think those involved with quality control don’t only inspect quality at the start and end of production. they have inspections during many stages of the production stage to ensure quality at the end. they call it quality assurance.

      2. ALL4IT says:

        I’m in the same boat here too, after reading why, someone here explaining with the Velodrome cycling sprint example where they sprint at the end but it makes no sense at all to have this fuel flow complication. No chance of 22 cars doing the same thing, as track position will warrant good racing, why make this such a critical issue that result in such heavy penalty when there already 100kg of fuel limit rule, “put it simply” just let teams race with what they given, the 100kg in the tank. if they park their car before the last lap then too bad (don’t think they do), if teams want to finish then manage your fuel wisely, this rule just put me off as a new fan trying to understand the sport, it is unnecessarily complicating thing, and may I say a there not much logic or need to doing so. the fuel flow rule that is. or someone please convince me that this is wise that FIA needs Fuel Flow rule!?

  3. Razorsedge says:

    ‘The statement added that the team was asked to turn the rate down but declined to do so.’


    1. Sebee says:

      So…do teams have 100kg of fuel to use per GP or not? Did RBR exceed the amount used?

      I know safety car and other scenarios impact fuel usage. But this needs to be simplified. 100kg per race, use it as you like. Fuel sensor looks too flaky and could mean scandal. Actually, we already have a bit of one.

      1. [MISTER] says:

        It doesn’t matter how much fuel was used for the race. The rules state there is a max fuel flow which need to be respected. That’s because there are tracks with very high fuel usage, while other tracks have a low one.

        The problem is with the fuel flow measurement used by RBR.

        Even if those sensors provided by the FIA are not accurate, all teams have to use them.

        I find it ridiculous that the FIA allowed RBR to start the race knowing they were using a different measurement for the fuel flow.

      2. Richard says:

        I don’t think they did know!

      3. OscarF1 says:

        I see some people claiming the rule is nonsensical and thus should not be there (in order to defend a ‘not complying team’).

        - Engines will be 1.6 litre v6 turbocharged, limited to 15,000 rpm.
        - In Melbourne and Monaco, speed limit in the pits is 60km/h, while elsewhere is 80.
        - Abu Dhabi will grant double points.

        The rules apply for every team and driver.

        As for the need of a fuel limit/fuel rate limit there may, after all, be a logical explanation, being F1 a developing field for innovations and fuel consumption, efficiency and carbon footprint some of the most desired targets in the car industry.

      4. All revved-up says:

        I tend to be anti-establishment as I come from a culture where rule makers and those in authority make mistakes all the time.

        If the rule makers got their evidence wrong – the competitor should have every right to defend themselves. Whether its fuel rate, steroids, or evidence of murder.

        Best to have an open mind and learn the truth of the matter than to accept at face value what the authorities tell us.

        The question is – did RB IN FACT run the engines at a higher fuel rate.

        If the sensor got it wrong – let us all learn from it and for those talented engineers to try to improve the technology. Don’t close our minds to what “the authorities” tell us. They too are fallible human beings.

      5. OscarF1 says:

        Rule #1 to live in any society. Abide the rules or be ready for punishment.

        RBR decided on their own to disregard a direct command. They haven’t proved to be in the right, only claimed to be so.

        If FIA’s sensors were right, RBR breached the regulations on their own benefit.

        Even if FIA’s sensors were wrong, the teams which were instructed to tune consumption down and obeyed would be wronged, greatly, should the offender keep the results.

        I don’t quite see any field of discussion here.

    2. Peter Scandlyn says:

      Bugger is right – can’t be surprised by the disqual then, can we?

    3. Nick says:

      If a team were asked to make alterations to the dimensions of the car after it was measured by a dodgy FIA measuring tape, should the team just go and do it, or should they say, “No. The car is right. Jam it”?

      1. Tyemz says:

        It was RBR’s sensor, homologated by the FIA

      2. Nick says:

        From what I understand the sensors are supplied to the F1 teams by Gill Sensors. Approved and homologated by the FIA, but the sensors belong to the teams. They don’t design their own and have it approved, it’s a spec component.

    4. Michael says:

      If they were told and didn’t listen. They deserve what they got. I guess the RB10 isn’t
      that fast after all.

      1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        No wonder Vettel was complaining from low power. His can had the right sensor!

      2. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Judging from the on-board shots of Vettel during qualifying, the car looked to have about as much grip as a ‘can’ to!

      3. Richard says:

        Ha ha maybe!

    5. Mike84 says:

      Seems like FIA was being maybe too generous – they could have gotten away with an illegal flow rate at the crucial start (and maybe also in qualifying, apparently, from FIA’s report) as long as they turned it down later when asked?

    6. neilmurg says:

      yes a huge shame for RIC after a terrific performance. But RB, or any team, are not the arbiters of what is legal in F1. RB appear arrogant in ignoring and contradicting the scrutineers, and fuel use is a critical performance parameter.

    7. gareth says:

      Ok so fia calibration is incorrect. Thats all good, we will fix it to make it work properly. Cool. Now during the race they are monitoring fuel flow, which is 100% correct because red bull fixed the calibration errors. then, red bulls own “correctly” calibrated sensor shows they are going over the maximum fuel flow allowed. They are warned. They ignore the warning. They are fined. What exactly are they going to appeal????

      1. aveli says:

        to safe face i guess. if the judge tells you how to avoid being found guilty in court and you refuse to follow his/her advice who do you blame when the verdict is given?

  4. Colster says:

    Perhaps constructors points taken away and team fine/ penalty at next gp. Once trophies distributed on the podium drivers points should stand.

    1. Grant H says:

      Disagree rules are rules, why not let them have a v10 instead of a v6, no team should have a performance advantage beyond others, if other teams have the same issue they should also be penalised

    2. PeterG says:

      So basically your saying that a team should be allowed to not comply to the regulations in order to get there driver/s points?

      Under your proposal what happens if at the final race a car is illegal, the driver gets points & therefore wins the drivers championship with said illegal car because you believe only the team should be punished & drivers should not have points/podiums taken away?

      the driver is a part of the team, teams lose points by driver errors & the same is true the other way round.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      Of course they shouldn’t. If the car is illegal then the driver gained those points illegally and should therefore lose them. In this instance it’s like a football team fielding twelve players, being asked by the ref to take one off, refusing to do so and then being surprised that they are disqualified. Sad for Ricciardo, but that’s, as they say, motor racing.

    4. Jonathan says:

      that will never work. TV demands to see the podium ceremony…. they will not wait 4 hours to give out a provisional result!

      The only check they can easily make before the podium is the total weight – but they only check the driver…

      One has to feel for DC – he did his bit handsomely. Red Bull had no excuse for not complying with the instruction given. If this had happened to Vettel there would have been massive celebrations now!

    5. Tim Burgess says:

      So if a team blatantly cheats but the offence cannot be found in the time between the checkered flag and the trophy presentation (let’s say the engine is too large) they get to keep the win? Or do we delay the trophy presentation until all checks have taken place?

      What if it’s the final race of the season and there is no “next race”??

      Note: I am NOT saying RB blatantly cheated here – I’m talking hypotheticals.

    6. Andrew M says:

      That’s never going to happen, they’re never going to be able to scrutinise every single aspect of legality of every car in time.

    7. christhebiglad says:

      Breaking rules = unfair advantage. McLaren deserve P2 and P3, not a driver with an unfair advantage.

    8. ann pantal says:

      I agree. A grid penalty maybe at the next race.

      1. aveli says:

        the rules and sanctions were agreed to before the season opener.

    9. Variable says:

      Much agreed. Level the drivers alone and punish the team even heavier for making a mockery of the sport

    10. Kramgp says:

      I here you

    11. Multi 21 says:

      There is a precedent for this action: 1995 Brazilian GP. Michael Schumacher (Benetton) and Gerhard Berger (Ferrari) were excluded for fuel irregularities after the race. Upon appeal their WDC points were reinstated but Constructors points were lost.

      The difference here is that Red Bull were given warnings DURING the race. In the 1995 incident it isn’t possible to test a fuel sample during the race.

    12. bobster says:

      If the car is illegal then the result cannot be allowed to stand – even if the driver is not at fault. By exceeding the fuel flow limit the car had a power advantage and it can be argued that, for example, Magnussen could have passed Ricciardo but for the illegal advantage that Ricciardo gained, albeit unknowingly. It is harsh, but in cases like this it is impossible to punish the team without punishing the driver.

    13. Yes, I think you’ve got it just about right.

      The system is cumbersome though. It needs to be seamless.

      If the RBR appeal were to be upheld, it would open the flood gates for all the teams to ignore the FIA device calibrations, which presumably are the same for everyone….

  5. herald says:

    After the jeering comes the silence

  6. Kingszito says:

    I’m really sorry for Daniel Ricciardo, the guy drove superbly today. Though on the second thought I’m glad RBR is disqualified, their trickery software to mask fuel flow must have failed them. Just Saying!

  7. Dmitry says:

    Autosport has a full FIA ruling on that.

    Even if RBR appeals, I think point number 9 will destroy anything they can come up with:
    9) The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.

    They ignored FIA more than once and even during the race itself. Even if RBR were within rule-limits, these offences undoubtly will keep the decision of disqualification in place.

    1. Dave P says:

      Ageed… At the end of the day, Red Bull cannot just go and do their ‘own thing’ How would other teams feel about just trusting Red Bull… it would not be accepted. You have to comply and then discuss later…. If you loose performance for that race its tough… but you have to comply…

    2. Sebee says:

      You don’t think the little FIA power trip about WE, WE, WE is a bit funny? What is a team to do if the fuel sensor setting suggested is preventing their ability to use the 100kg of fuel they are allowed?

      Did RBR use more than 100kg of fuel?

      I know it’s RBR here, but this sensor has the potential to impact any team. Also, if FIA is at all incorrect or slightly off will they re-run the GP to allow the team to make up time lost? This is basically FIA mid race telling team to turn it down. They better be 100%. 99% doesn’t really cut it when we measure pole down to 0.001s.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        Sebee, that’s a little naive. I expect better of you. Your ‘what if’ is a silly example and the accusation is not that they used over the allotted amount of fuel but that they disregarded the FIA instruction after being repeatedly told they were infringing the rules. The stewards didn’t like either of those things so rbr were disqualified. Other teams were told the same and complied and hence were not disqualified. It’s simple.

      2. Sebee says:

        Infringing a rule with what appears to have huge holes in it? Perhaps.

      3. Barbara says:

        I agree.If it was something with another team Red Bull thought was dodgy they would be the first to kick off.If they had done as the FIA had asked they would not have been disqualified they maynot have been on the podium but any points they did get they would not have lost

      4. aezy_doc says:

        Holes in it just like the floor of the rb7! Look, the point is that they were infringing the rules, disregarded a repeated instruction and were duly punished. Reminds me off James Hunt being disqualified for having a car marginally too wide. Was it petty, yes it was, but rules are rules irrespective of whether you agree with them, like them or see the point of them or disagree that the rule has been broken. ‘referee, that was never a penalty!’

      5. Ed says:

        It’s not whether they are right or not, it’s whether the teams comply. Even if they are wrong, if Kevin was turned down and Dan wasn’t, they are clearly in breach. The flow limit is needed to ensure the race doesn’t go crazy at the start and a funeral march at the end, that’s entertainment…

      6. [MISTER] says:

        It’s the same for every team Sebee. Same sensor, same measurement, same RULES. We don’t live in a perfect world, and you should not expect 100% from FIA when the teams are not doing 100%.

        If everything would be perfect, there wouldn’t be flying loose wheels hitting people in the pitlane, there wouldn’t be cars flying down in the first turn taking out other cars, etc.

        What you don’t seem to grasp, is that FIA even asked RBR to rectify the fuel flow during the race. RBR decided not to do it. This seems to me a very kind move from FIA, but RBR chose to ignore it. They got what they deserve imo.

      7. Sebee says:

        That’s the problem, it appears it is not the same sensor. It appears this sensor can be a bit of a lottery and there is variance.

        As for FIA telling RBR to rectify the fuel flow mid GP, how is this different than a team being told to turn it down by an “outside” party – in effect impacting race strategy?

        Engine can’t rev past 15000RPM, 100KG of fuel allowed. X number of laps in a GP. Leave the rest to the team.

      8. aezy_doc says:

        Yes Sebee, there is variance in the sensors and that is taken into account because they work to a margin of error/ tolerance level. That is the same for every team. Other teams were told to turn adjust the flow to the engine and did so. RBR did not, thus they got a deserved penalty.
        As for the FIA telling RBR to rectify the fuel flow mid GP – this is clearly better than simply black flagging them. Much like a driver would receive a warning for cutting corners repeatedly to gain an advantage. The FIA and stewards gave leeway to RBR but RBR chose to continue ‘cutting the corner’. They ran with a car that did not comply with the current ‘formula’ and got disqualified. Deservedly so. You may not like the rule, but you just have to suck it up.

      9. Kingszito says:

        That’s exactly the comment I expected from Sebee when it comes to RBR. Please say it as it’s for once Mr. Sebee. RBR was given the opportunity to comply (and I believe they were not the only team warned), yet they chose to ignore it knowing fully well that the consequence is worst than losing a bit of performance. It has always been RBR way of cheating in the past. The break the law knowingly yet pretending that they don’t know. All the get for breaking the law in the past is just warning while keeping the points they gained with illegal parts (innovation). I am very happy they were punished, though I pity Dan.

      10. Sebee says:

        So you are saying that FIA cannot be wrong? Or to word it more clearly for you that FIA is always right?

        Look, it’s been clearly demonstrated that the sensors leave something to be desired. It was RBR in this case and at least they have the resourced to appeal. Other teams may take it on the chin and not expose a flaw, if there is one.

        We need more facts about this sensor, and more importantly on why this flow rule is in place beside fear that a team will cost at the end. There are so many scenarios for this fuel flow rule to present a very “Non F1″ way to race. Here is a few.
        1. Multiple safety cars deployed. So now the 100KG of fule given to teams cannot be used because of 12 laps under safety car? You’re telling me I have to finish with 10KG of fuel on board for no reason and I can’t use it to race, even if I’m allowed to use 100KG per GP?
        2. FIA basically dictating to teams when to “turn it down”. You go ahead and turn your engine down racing for P2 because FIA said so.
        3. Can I go and demand the McLaren flow sensor be given to me at any time to make sure they are really same? Are there just a bunch of sensors in a box that I can pick from randomly?

        Look Kingszito, it’s RBR so you’re suspicious. But this has the potential to impact any team. And how the heck do we know exactly that a team or an engine maker isn’t getting “better flow sensors”?

        I don’t think the process is transparent enough, and it has way too much potential impact on team/car performance. If safety is a rule, wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to put a 5 place qualy panalty on next GP if you run out of fuel?

      11. OscarF1 says:


        FIA isn’t always right, as no one is.

        In case of doubt, if the authority gives an instruction, it has to be obeyed or penalties might be produced.

        Should such instruction be disregarded, there has to be proof that the behaviour complied with the regulations, and just not with a faulty piece of equipment.

        Verbal claims by any team (as other arguments exposed here) are naive at best.

      12. Kingszito says:

        If the fuel flow regulation is not transparent enough, teams would have voiced their concern from the unset, but for the fact that most of us (F1 enthusiast) haven’t heard of the fuel flow regulation until now means that it was accepted by all teams without any controversies.

        The same fuel flow mechanism was provided to all teams. Although teams complained of the inconsistency during the Jarez/Bahrain Test as I heard but it was the same for every team.

        The main reason that I was in 120% support of the FIA’s stance on this one was that they were given the opportunity to turn it down during the race (which means that they were allowed to keep the performance they gained by racing an illegal fuel flow meter before the warning) yet the ignored it. This is not the first time RBR has used illegal parts/innovation to gain performance/points, but this is the first time they were punished for it. Good for them!!

      13. Ahmed says:

        100% agree with you on this.
        FIA acknowledged there was an issue with Fridays sensor, so they replaced it for Sat practice, which again resulted in incorrect readings (FIA acknowledged this fact). RBR was instructed to re-use Fridays sensor, which was known to be faulty!
        The FIA then instructs RBR to turn down fuel flow rate according to readings from a faulty sensor??? If RBR can prove that they did not go over 100kg/hr they have every right to appeal as if they used the readings from incorrect sensor readings it would put them at a performance disadvantage.
        Nothing has been mentioned from any other team about sensor failures/incorrect readings during practice sessions…
        Let’s let the facts not personal bias speak the truth…

      14. Sebee says:


        There is a reason why we have theory and application.

        This is the first time these sensors were used in competition. There are issues. Surely you can see that in a scenario where a GP will be ran only once, the rulling issue can be resolved at later time. Something this complex can’t be solved mid GP on the fly.

      15. C63 says:

        I have to say Sebee, you are being a little hypocritical here. When it was Mercedes who were in the dock over that tyre test business you were very clear on the offence and punishment required, rules are rules etc… Now it’s your favourites , Red bull, you seem to be a little less clear on your stance.Double standards, perchance ?

      16. Sebee says:


        I agree that I do cheer on RBR, but I am not blind nor always go with RBR. If you recall for example I was very much against tires being changed mid season. This change many say, benefited RBR in the end. I wanted RBR to figure out the tires, not get new ones.

        Look around. Teams are reporting issues with the sensor. It may impact another team next GP. There is a real issue to address here with these sensors.

      17. MISTER says:

        “As for FIA telling RBR to rectify the fuel flow mid GP, how is this different than a team being told to turn it down by an “outside” party – in effect impacting race strategy?”

        That outside party is like a referee, someone who sets the rules and who was appointed to enforce any penalties. You should know by now who FIA is and what they are empowered to do Sebee.

        Calling FIA an “outside party” is hillarious and sad in the same time. I would expect that from someone watching F1 for the first time, not from you.

        To summarise it, FIA provides the sensors, they check the sensors and hand the penalties.

      18. Sebee says:

        FIA being outside party, by that I mean outside of the team. Their interest are not the same.

        We don’t know the details fully. Actually, we don’t even know if RBR appealed. They said they would, but did they? Let’s get the RBR side of this one with their facts. All we have is the FIA letter.

      19. [MISTER] says:

        “1. Multiple safety cars deployed. So now the 100KG of fule given to teams cannot be used because of 12 laps under safety car? You’re telling me I have to finish with 10KG of fuel on board for no reason and I can’t use it to race, even if I’m allowed to use 100KG per GP?”

        Sebee, you are missing one important aspect of this fuel flow rate. The max fuel flow rate is 100kg/hour. Some races are 1.5h long or even 2 hours. Even if a team would be running at 99kg/h fuel rate, they would still need 200kg of fuel for a 2 hour race.

        I believe on average the teams are running at around 60-70 kg/h fuel rate, but can turn it up to a max of 100 kg/h for periods of time, but are not allowed to go over the 100kg/h.

        In this case, RBR have run at above 100kg/h fuel rate, therefore prompting FIA to ask them to turn it down. They declined and got disqualified.

        Seems pretty simple to me.

        “2. FIA basically dictating to teams when to “turn it down”. You go ahead and turn your engine down racing for P2 because FIA said so.”

        The FIA asked RBR to turn it down after noticing their car was running above the max rate of 100. How is that wrong?

        “3. Can I go and demand the McLaren flow sensor be given to me at any time to make sure they are really same? Are there just a bunch of sensors in a box that I can pick from randomly?”

        No part is identical. None. Engines, turbos, tyres, etc. Don’t demand a silly fuel sensor to be perfect when damn engines are breaking down on 1st lap like it happened to Vettel and Lewis. Seriously!

    3. In Lycoming and Continental aircraft engines (and presumably other makes) used in domestic service (here in the U.S. anyway) fuel flow (richer vs. leaner) is used to help in cooling of the engines. Might that be a “reason” to keep the flow rate higher, especially with the turbo assist? Just wondering.

      1. j says:

        Interesting point. Would be great to consult with a turbo engine expert for the answer there.

        I assumed that they wanted more power but their problem in testing was overheating rather than speed.

        The sensors are brand new and everyone knows they have failed at times so perhaps they thought they could blame the sensor and get away with something.

        They did switch out a working sensor for another one before the race and were told to put the original one back in the car.

    4. bob says:

      But the point is the FIA based their decision on information gained from a component that they readily agree was faulty and showing high readings.

      It’s ridiculous.

      RedBull nor any other team are required to listen to or follow any direction from the FIA – they are only required to abide by the regulations.

      Why should RedBull or any other team run their cars lean just because the FIA is using faulty equipment?

      1. aezy_doc says:

        I’m not sure FIA admitted it was faulty, just that it was showing a different reading to RBRs (and indeed other teams) own measurements.
        ‘RedBull nor any other team are required to listen to or follow any direction from the FIA – they are only required to abide by the regulations.’.
        True, but they didn’t abide by the regulations and were punished by the stewards who made the decision based on the fact that RBR were running a car that sat outside the regulations.

    5. Charith says:

      It’s a shame for Ricciardo, but Red Bull had this coming. Effectively they wanted to do what was necessary to hold on to the 2nd place. Had they done as they were told and played it safe, they could have came home with likely a 3rd place and having the result stand.

      They got greedy, it’s their own fault and they need to accept that.

    6. Rob Ducker says:

      Dmitry you are 100% correct. And it is not complicated at all as some writers have claimed: is is very simple. At least 2 other teams were notified by the FIA and complied with their wishes, even though, in the case of Mercedes they believed they were right and the Mass Flow Meter was wrong. The fact is they complied and RBR did not. This is incredibly arrogant and disrespectful to all other teams. But RBR don’t care in the arrogant belief that they are right. The fact is they may well be, but they directly disobeyed the ruing bodies instructions.
      One cannot have 12 different standards – for each team and 1 for the FIA. The only standard that counts is the ruling bodies: the FIA. If the FIA should back track on this (and it seems that they have been given the hard word by Luca dM well in advance)then chaos will rule. What about Mercedes and Ferrari and any others that complied with the request? Toto Wolf is on record saying it cost them about .5 sec a lap.

      1. C63 says:

        Very concise and well written post :-)

    7. grat says:

      Yeah– reading the FIA decision, it’s obvious Red Bull received multiple warnings, and then disregarded the official procedure for a faulty sensor.

      It’s going to be difficult to get this one overturned.

    8. WSH says:

      +1 Agree. Red Bull indeed showed neglect for the authority of the FIA in this matter. An appeal won’t make IMHO.

    9. Alex says:

      It is the same to what happened to Massa last year in Brazil, Massa was furious and blamed FIA, but he was told not to touch the white line, others did it, were warned and corrected it, but he didn’t, therefore, penalty.

    10. Rishi says:

      Have to agree with this; FIA rightly deliberated but ultimately had to disqualify him. Gutted for Ricciardo though; such a strong weekend and it was nice to see two new faces on the podium.

  8. Gary Honey says:

    I feared this would happen, F1 and FIA are essentially telling fans not to bother watching the race live, because new rules are so complicated that the final results will be announced during the highlights show. Being limited on fuel consumption is a good idea, but why also impose a limit on how quickly the fuel can flow, that’s up to the team to manage surely?

    1. Juzh says:

      It’s to stop 1000+ bhp engines which we would get with an unlimited fuel flow.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        They only have 100Kg of fuel, if you have unlimited fuel flow what do you think would happen?

      2. stoic says:

        It’s for safety and efficiency reason I guess. Imagine a race where there is a long safety car period at the start. They would have saved a lot of fuel early on that they would have 1000+ hp at their disposal later.

      3. NickH says:

        Does everyone not want 1000hp +? Get rid of the fuel limit all together, just another stupid rule that acheives nothing other than more slow driving.

    2. Grant H says:

      Rules are rules so RB should be punished, but i agree what is the point of the fuel flow rate rule? I agree why cant the teams sort it, i believe the fuel flow rule is not applicable in qually so why bother in the race

    3. AuraF1 says:

      You could argue that but it’s also in the rules and they contacted the team before and during the race to bring it within the rules. I agree if things takes hours after the race to sort out it can become a farce but if the team are given the chance to avoid it during the race and choose to ignore advice it’s their fault not the FIAs. I know red bull are saying the FIA sensor didn’t match up to their sensors but sometimes you just have to play within the rules even if you think the ruling is unfair.

    4. aezy_doc says:

      Well, it’s not complicated to do what the fia official instructed. Rbr didn’t and suffer the consequences. Self inflicted.

    5. wellerfan says:

      You seem to be missing the point. The maximum fuel allowed is 100kg for the race. The fuel flow is 100kg per hour max. This has been set to give a competitive lap time over the entire race distance. If there was no fuel flow limit then the drivers would race very hard for the first few laps then they would all be doing 60kmh for the last half of the race to get to the end. The FIA want a good spectacle for the fans so hence the fuel flow meter.
      If one team runs at a higher flow rate than the others then they can use this advantage to overtake then break the tow so the car they have passed cannot get into the DRS zone to re take them. The car with the fuel flow advantage can then fuel save in the knowledge that they will not be re passed and will still complete the race using the 100kg of fuel allowed. Quite simple really.

      1. Max Smoot says:

        Thanks for this.

      2. graham bowman says:

        This makes no sense. The car behind could just do the same.

      3. wellerfan says:

        No. The car behind would be restricted to 100kg per hour so limiting his performance below that of the illegal car who would have more horsepower while his fuel flow was above 100kg per hour

    6. Steve Dalby says:

      I do not think that all fans need to understand the technology but I am sure that all fans understand that there are rules and rules can be broken.

      If you break the rules then you must pay the penalty. In this case Red Bull are saying that their Sensor is more accurate than the FIA and they are right but the rules say you must use the FIA sensor.

      They had the chance but ignored the advice. Why is the FIA assuming people need to understand all the technology. This was a great start to the season and I am sorry RIC got caught by the Red Bull attitude to push the rules to the limit… it has happened before and will again.

      This is F1 and fans do understand…

      1. j says:

        Agree Steve. I’m not confused at all by the regulations and I don’t think many other fans are either.

    7. Rockman says:

      I agree, what’s the point of limiting fuel limit to 100kg per race and limit fuel flow rate?

      Just doesn’t make any sense. Teams should be able to use up fuel as fast or as slow as they want as long as they comply with the starting fuel.

      Rubbish rule this one…

    8. Alexis says:

      The whole point of the FIA supplied sensor is to prevent cheating.

    9. Rob Ducker says:

      Its the same for everyone Gary. While the Mass Flow Meters are sensitive and complicated, they are THE standard. Ferrari and Mercedes for one complied with the FIA request to reduce their fuel flow…Mercedes say it cost them 0.5 secs a lap, but they nevertheless complied.

      RBR have total belief that their measurements are 100% accurate and so they chose to disobey an FIA directive, even while showing paperwork that indicated they had complied. How much more arrogant can they get? They will get zero support from the rest of the teams.

      1. Veteran says:

        Too bad you are wrong. These sensors have too much variability. Some sensors report lower than actual fuel flow rate, while other report higher than actual fuel flow rate. Do we really want to give teams -4% to +4% performance based on luck of the draw? These sensors are crap. Right now, teams are not fighting with equal weapons.

      2. Rob Ducker says:

        Oh dear. ALL sensors are +/- it’s just a fact of life. Just the way ALL F1 teams must use the Gill sensor. Your figures are wildly inaccurate….the Gill señor is at least accurate to 0.25% ie 10 times better than you say.
        Many of the teams are disputing the readings but only one ignored a directive, Red Bull. Mercedes were also warned the previous day, they contested the Reading But they complied with the directive, saying that it cost them 0.5 sec a lap. Assuming RBR were in the same position they obviously didn’t want to loose 0.5 sec a lap so they used their own fuel measurement – how convenient!! RBR can say what they like but they put the finger up to the FIA and every other team competing. Their actions are simply unconscionable. Look it up.

    10. Mike84 says:

      What are they supposed to do, allow someone to cheat? Do we want to watch cheaters win?

      Anyone here trust Red Bull to police themselves?

      1. Veteran says:

        Wrong again. They used this sensor in FP on friday. Redbull and the FIA noticed wrong readings on it. So they used a new sensor in FP3. This sensor was also faulty. The FIA asked them to use the sensor of FP on Friday again with an offset. This offset was wrong according to RBR. So bacially the sensors are crap and the FIA tries to regulate it in a not so intelligent way.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        Wrong again. The FIA noted readings that were inconsistent with RBR’s own readings and told them to recalibrate their settings to match the homologated sensor. Other teams had the same issue which suggests to me the sensors are consistent with each other. The teams may get different readings of their own, but that doesn’t mean that the FIA approved standard sensors are inconsistent with each other.

      3. C63 says:

        Out of interest, how are you so sure Red Bull sensors are accurate?

    11. Ahmad says:

      I agree. I don’t really understand why the FIA felt the need to regulate the fuel flow.

      If a team could manage to save more fuel than the minimum required to finish the race (e.g. due to a safety car period, rain, engine management, or higher level of energy recovery) and then decided to attack the final laps with a higher fuel flow, what is wrong with that? This could have surely added another element of unpredictability and competition between the teams up to the end of the race.

    12. Steve Zodiac says:

      Too complex, will never be reliable and if road car technology is anything to go by, any savings made(ie environmentaly or cost wise)will be lost on costly replacement parts. Most modern cars do loads of MPG saving the owner money only to throw it, and more, away due the ridiculous cost of repairing this stuff. The most environmentaly friendly cars are the really old ones as the majority of pollution is generated during manufacture, plus old cars have always been re-cycled long before it became a latter day watchword.

      1. warley says:

        +1 agree 100%

  9. Bjornar Simonsen says:

    I have no sympathies for Red Bull. Ricciardo however, I do feel for.

    It is also worth noting that Red Bull seems to be in similar situations more often than other teams. Eventually you stop believing in chance.

    1. Bjornar Simonsen says:

      Could I dare say it is Red Bull who let Ricciardo down? They were warned, but with their cocky attitude they decided they were in charge.

      Too bad for RIC.

      1. zootrees says:

        This is how I felt the moment I heard. Any debating RBR does is mute. It’s their problem. They let him down, not the FIA who are sticking by the rules.
        I am so disappointed for Daniel

      2. Dimitar Kadrinski says:


      3. NickH says:

        Do feel bad for Riccardio, although it’s possible he may not have got on the podium if they had complied

    2. Veteran says:

      Wrong again. They used this sensor in FP on friday. Redbull and the FIA noticed wrong readings on it. So they used a new sensor in FP3. This sensor was also faulty. The FIA asked them to use the sensor of FP on Friday again with an offset. This offset was wrong according to RBR. So bacially the sensors are crap and the FIA tries to regulate it in a not so intelligent way. Saying this is RBR fault is way to easy.

  10. jmv says:

    … and Luca warned us! Stop the trickery! If FIA sensors should be used.. then there is no excuse. If the sensors are a bit.. innaccurate.. then is the same for everyone.

    1. Michael in Seattle says:

      It is not the same for everyone if the unit-to-unit variance is not consistent. In other words, malfunctioning units could all be reporting different rates to different teams. This is what RBR has been saying since practice began.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        I’m not sure there is unit-to-unit variance. Two sensors provided to RBR and both gave the same readings. Other teams complained of the same issue. It seems to me that there is no variance in the standard sensor, but just that they take readings that differ from what the teams felt they are able to achieve.

    2. Lindsay says:

      If it’s a systematic error in the sensors, it may turn out to be “the same” for everyone, but it contradicts the FIA’s own regulations.

      If it’s a random error, one team could get a sensor that over-reports the fuel flow and another team could get one that under-reports the fuel flow. That’s certainly not “the same” for everyone, and as soon as that happens it’s a complete lottery.

      1. Jonathan says:

        Nothing is that simple. The units are calibrated. That means they are ALL placed in a system that is set to flow at 100kg /hour and the output reading from the sensor is given as the datum reading for that sensor. The units might not be identical but the datum output reading for each unit will still give the 100kg/hour.

        I would imagine the differences we are seeing is down to the differing pipework either side of the sensors. A different layout could induce a change in flow turbulence causing a change in the sensor reading. I guess the only real way to perfect the set up would be for the calibration rig to use each team’s whole pipework set.

  11. Doobs says:

    Oops RB caught with hands in the till.. Too bad for DR but at least Seb has inherited Mark Webber’s reliability gremlins.

    1. Michael Grievson says:

      Unless they gave Daniel Sebs car by mistake lol

    2. VSI says:

      One can only hope ;)

      After last yrs’ 9-race marathon snooze-fest, any change in order is a welcome relief.

      1. Sasidharan says:

        You are going to witness a 18-race “marathon snooze fest” by another team. 1 over, 17 to go!

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        You cab bet people won’t be moaning about it.

        It’s not what they did, it’s who did it.

      3. NickH says:

        Yeah they will dominate no question, but Rosberg V Lewis will be great stuff to watch as they both badly want the title and are much closer in performance than Vettel and Webber. Lewis will already by annoyed by being 25 points down to the only guy whose got an identical car, fireworks to come

    3. LightHorse says:

      part way through the race I was imagining Seb jumping up and down, demanding he be given Dan’s car at the next GP :)

      1. oddball says:


    4. Andre says:

      Doesn’t become true by repetition. Vettel Bad bis fair share oft reliability issues. And bis Werke mostly in far better positions than those oft Webber…

    5. manz says:

      and thats such a great relief for you yeah ? :D
      his reliability problems will end soon hopefully

  12. Daniel Bodley says:

    Robbed by the FIA and its incompetence. So sorry Dan.

    1. MISTER says:

      You mean RBR’s incompetence. RBR were warned during the race to turn the fuel flow down, but they ignored that. DR was let down by the team, not FIA.
      If they would’ve listed to the FIA, DR might have gotten a 3rd, 4th or 5th, but this way he got disqualified.

      I’m glad this happened, but I am convinced RBR decided to ignore FIA because they thought they will be forgiven given its the 1st race.
      The rules are there for a reason!

    2. Tom Greene says:

      How is this a robbery?
      The below was extracted from the steward’s ruling

      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.

      to sum it up, you listen to what the stewards tell you to do! It is almost like ignoring a drive-through penalty because you do not agree with it, seems like Red Bull was doing it just to see how far they can push the FIA

      1. Aaron Noronha says:


      2. Alex Ward says:

        Well if the drive thru was issued for crashing into car#2, then you would be a fool to take the penalty when you have very clear evidence to the contrary, you would continue to the chequered flag and hope that the FIA would realise they were silly and back down, or hope the court of arbitration would reverse the DQ issued by the FIA based on the evidence that #2 Webber was not even in the race!

    3. Flying_Scotsman says:

      Dont you mean robbed by Redbull and its inability to follow the rules laid out by the governing body?

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        You fail to get the point. F1 is about pushing the boundaries while staying in the confines of the rules. Like the mass dampeners of Renault which were legal until they were banned The moveable floor of the Ferrari in 2007 Or the double diffuser of Brawn Gp team which were protested and than adapted by every team once it was declared legal. Or the F duct introduced by Mclaren and than copied by most teams, the blown diffuser was reintroduced by Redbull and adapted by others and when it was banned it was Mclaren and not Redbull who perfected the downwash effect to blow their diffuser(unlike Redbulls and Sabaur that used the less effective Coanda effect) but it was later exploited and copied by the others with Redbull mastering it in 2013 and Mclaren squandering its opportunity by starting 2013 with a brand new car instead of an evolution of what was the fastest car 2/3 of 2012. Take the FRIC suspension used by Mercedes and Lotus. This years Redbulls camera placement and the innovative suspension blocker used by Mclaren plus every team exploiting the loopholes in the rules to come up with different solution to the front wing with lotus having a solution that is too extreme. There are numerous other which i have left out. My point is to call Redbull cheaters just because they are innovators is kinda immature and silly. If they cheated i am sure they would have been thrown out of the champtionship

        I must add that Ferrari is very conservative when it comes to new concepts or exploiting/reintroducing old one. You never heard Ferrari bringing in something new. I think it really needed a shakeup of its technical department. Maybe in the long run James Allison may be able to infuse some revolutionary or evolutionary ideas that other teams may want to copy.

        Coming to this latest case involving the Redbull i am pretty sure they did break the law. The rules are pretty clear and they were warned at least 3 times. As far as it is evident they were the only car having sensor issues(or the only team that reported such issues so far. I hope they lose their appeal. Although i am sure their lawyers will argue very well but i doubt their case will hold any water. Feel really bad for Riccardo he did a fine job yesterday.

      2. NickH says:

        Ferrari 2007 moveable floor was never declared legal. It was banned after Ferari was way faster than the others in the first race

      3. Aaron Noronha says:

        Nick you fail to get the point. It was legal for the first race it was subsequently banned as the results still stand. I.e Kimi wasnt stripped of his victory.

    4. Sebee says:

      There is truth here. Their own rule seems to have more gray in it than a gray-ramp!

    5. aezy_doc says:

      Robbed by their own arrogance.

    6. F1 Badger says:

      FIA competence and RB in-competence I’d say. Either way though the poor fellas been robbed, gutted for him!

    7. quattro says:

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


    8. Rene says:

      +1 the FIA is useless!

    9. super seven says:

      Robbed by Red Bull’s arrogance, more like. They knew the rules, and we’re even given a final chance to come into compliance during the race, but chose to ignore it. They brought it on themselves.

      McLaren have to be the happiest after Mercedes following the first race. Two strong drivers, a good car, and leading the constructors’ championship by 18 points after the first race. No wonder even Ron was smiling.

    10. grat says:

      “Robbed by Red Bull and it’s arrogance. So sorry Dan.”–

      There, fixed it for you.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        How does that work?

        Robbed by Red Bull and it is arrogance?

      2. grat says:

        There’s a procedure for dealing with the faulty sensor– The FIA determines the correction value to apply. Red Bull didn’t like that value, so they made up their own (which can, apparently, be done, but only if the FIA approves. Which it didn’t).

        Then, during the race, multiple teams were told they were exceeding the fuel flow limits– all but one complied with the warning(s). Red Bull.

        So they ignored the established procedure, ignored multiple warnings, and as a result, Ricciardo lost his points.

    11. Mike84 says:

      More likely IMO that the Renault engine is providing bad data than that sensor, hasn’t the Renault engine been the most unreliable piece of equipment up and down the pitlane throughout testing and this race weekend?

      So Red Bull’s argument that the sensors have been unreliable goes out the window. Their alternate method of measuring is less reliable.

      1. j says:

        Good point.

      2. Alex Ward says:

        The injectors and Mclaren ECU controller are not bespoke parts, they are standardised. If the engine was erratic, sure, but car #3 was running fine.

  13. Justabloke says:

    Gutted for RIC, but I bet VET is happy not be going into round two down on points against his team mate. I can’t imagine why Red Bull thought it was ever going to end well if they blatantly disregarded a request from the FiA./Stewards..

    1. manz says:

      and how r u sure about ur bet??? i guess you know seb personally i guess

      1. Just a bloke says:

        Nope of course I don’t know him, its a PERSONAL OPINION, based on nothing more than my interpretation of his attitude and approach over the last few years……..I Could of course be very wrong?

  14. bazzer says:

    Redbull don’t like it up them…

  15. TBP says:

    Absolutely gutted by the news. Hope the appeal is successful.

    1. Barbara says:

      I don’t you break the rules ,you p[ay the price sorry for Daniel tho he had a good race but would he still have got the 2nd place if hte fuel flow was correct

      1. aezy_doc says:

        Punctuation is very important. A comma here or a full stop there makes all the difference.

      1. TBP says:

        I know all the teams try to bend the rules as much as possible and I don’t like cheats either. But, I was really hoping that Daniel gets to keep the points as he’ll need the psycological advantage over Vettel.

        My disappointment is more from Daniel’s perspective rather than for team Red Bull.

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        And you think this is unique to Red Bull?

  16. Anne Elk (Miss) says:

    It’s strange that RBR’s statement claims that the fuel is in compliance with regulations rather than arguing against the reason for which they were disqualified (using an unapproved measurement method and ignoring the instruction on the correction factor). Are they in a complete flap? It sounds like they haven’t read the stewards’ decision.

    1. Dmitry says:

      They are in its own distorted reality and even after penalty dare to question FIA.
      I really doubt they have any chances with appeal.

    2. WSH says:

      I had the same thought: The fuel itself is in compliance, the fuel-flow rate wasn’t, which is a completely different thing. Could also be that the quote was incorrect, as it seemed quite a sloppy mistake, unless it was just done for PR reasons to give a counterargument where there is none.

    3. Hutch says:

      I can’t understand what Red Bull were thinking in disobeying an FIA directive. There must be more to this and I look forward to hearing their story in more depth.

    4. Luke says:

      You must also remember that Mercedes, FIA & Pirelli all gave out some rather “interesting” media statements after Mercedes illegal test last year. That was more blatant than this from RBR and they received 2 lashes of a lettuce leaf in punishment. RBR might just be trying to play the same sort of game.

  17. AlexD says:

    Strange….sorry for Ricciardo.

  18. Hoggy says:

    I really hate it when the results change after the race.

    Have to admit that I didn’t realise that the cars were fitted with flow rate sensors.

    1. C63 says:

      The flow rate sensors are the way in which the FIA police the fuel usage, eg a 2 hour race would require an average maximum flow rate of 50kg/hour. It’s because the out , in and warm up lap are not part of the race distance and therefore not subject to the maximum fuel weight regulation. Otherwise the cars would need to be weighed on the grid, after the warm up lap and then at the end of the race immediately after crossing the finishing line. Obviously not practical.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “Otherwise the cars would need to be weighed on the grid, after the warm up lap and then at the end of the race immediately after crossing the finishing line. Obviously not practical.”

        Ridiculous idea, 100Kg should cover everything on race day.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      It is annoying to read a few hours later on the net that the results have changed, you’re right.
      However…………..rules are rules, because as Al Murray says if we didn’t have rules, where would we be? That’s right………France- where Renault and the FIA are based, ironically….

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        As grounds keeper Willy might say: “[The FIA are] Cheese eating confusing monkeys!”

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        Breate less Gaz Boy, France is full of rules.

  19. aveli says:

    unlucky ricciardo.

  20. DEANO says:

    The cars are much to complicated, I doubt that this will be the first technical glitch that results in the altered placement of a driver. Imagine getting this info 4 hours after the race. Too bad for a driver who raced his heart out in front of his home crowed. I guess we will see if the teams appeal will be upheld?

    1. neilmurg says:

      they got the info before AND during the race

  21. SteveS says:

    Sounds like RB is in the right here. If the fuel flow rate constantly exceeded 100kg/hour, as the FIA claims, and the race lasted an hour and a half (as it did) then DR’s car would have had to be carrying close to 200kg of fuel. I’m sure it’s physically impossible to put that much fuel in the car.

    Instead of a maximum fuel flow rate they should load 100kg of fuel into each car and let them burn it as they see fit.

    1. Craig D says:

      They’d only be using above 100kg/h when running the engine in its max settings. They obviously wouldn’t be using that when fuel conversing and behind a SC, etc.

      The reason there’s a mass flow rate limit for fuel is to place a restriction on development of engine performance. If there was no limit then a manufacturer might design their engine to have a “super mode”, burning a huge rate of fuel with a big power gain! So it’s to put a cap on stopping engines being too extreme!

      1. Craig D says:

        *conserving I meant (obviously)!

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        But then they’d run out of their 100Kg of fuel.

      3. Craig D says:

        No, they’d just be a much greater variance in lap times across the race. They’d be using the “super performance” mode early in the race and to make “easy overtakes” when another car is saving fuel, and then be crawling to the finish line in super lean at the end (exactly the fears of how the racing would be).

        A fuel flow limit allows for more consistent lap times and racing across the whole field for throughout the whole and stops engines being potential designed to be 1000bhp beasts for quali, etc.

      4. Voodoopunk says:

        “They’d be using the “super performance” mode early in the race and to make “easy overtakes” when another car is saving fuel, and then be crawling to the finish line in super lean at the end (exactly the fears of how the racing would be).”

        What’s the problem with that?

        Not entertaining enough I guess.

    2. Nedder says:

      I agree. It seems odd that BOTH a limit on fuel weight and a limit on flow rate are necessary… Maybe the FIA are trying to prevent some trickery that hasn’t occurred to me yet? But having said that, they WERE told. Dumb decision by the team I reckon, that’s destroyed a really impressive debut.

    3. Andy says:

      The 100kg/hr is the maximun flow rate allowed, so the actual flow will be regularly below that.

      What you can’t have is the FIA issuing instructions and a team blatently ignoring them.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “What you can’t have is the FIA issuing instructions and a team blatently ignoring them.”

        Cause that’s never happened before?

    4. Tyemz says:

      I assume 100kg/hr is the maximum flow rate but that doesn’t mean cars are expected to run for exactly one hour with 100kg of fuel. For a start, cars don’t run flat out from start to finish and the MGU-K accounts for part of the power

    5. C63 says:

      Polite correction. 1.5×100=150 . Last season the cars routinely started a race with that amount (or more) of fuel on board, so no problems there! What I can’t get my head round is the idea of Red Bull cheating. I mean, who would have thought that nice Mr Horner would cheat. Especially after he made such a fuss about Pirelli in season tyre test. Just goes to show you never can be sure about someone.

    6. Jamie says:

      200kg? Even last year they didn’t have maximum consumption rates the cars only had about 150kg. It states that it was the maximum full rate, therefore most of the time it would have not been at max consumption. In addition to that at Melbourne, the cars are only at full throttle 61% of the time, so they could easily exceed 100 kg/hour but use less than 100kg in total.

    7. Jonathan says:


      RB were warned, then told but chose to ignore an instruction.

      The cars do not travel for the whole race at full throttle! 100Kg/h is a regulated MAX flow rate. No team would build a fuel tank to take significantly more than the 100Kg – so at least you got that bit right!

      Having said that I do not really see the necessity for the flow rate rule. Mercedes reckon they could have been half a second quicker in quali without the restriction – but I don’t think any team would make a significant quali only power increase without being worried about the PU lasting the distance.

    8. Carlos says:

      The FIA meant that the car was exceeding 100kg/hr frequently – not continuously.

      I agree with your last point, though. Give them 100kg and let them use it as they’d like.

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        So the cars will be rockets on the straight and overtaking was just a matter of who has more boost? Or Qualifying will be hugely different from races? Or on less fuel critical tracks they would always use the max 100 kg of fuel, because they could turn them into horsepower by just increasing the boost?

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        “Or on less fuel critical tracks they would always use the max 100 kg of fuel, because they could turn them into horsepower by just increasing the boost?”

        Exactly, what’s the problem with that?

      3. ManOnWheels says:

        The manufacturers want Formula-1 to display the capability to mix high performance with low consumption – a formula like that would be rather sluggish on the consumption side.
        Is it really good to have the cars running the most power on tracks like Monaco, where fuel is not a problem?
        And aren’t high speed differences on the straights a recipe for desaster? Because that’s would could happen as well: If the driver in Front is in eco mode, trying to save a set of tires and the driver behind in full attack mode trying to get the most out of a short stint, you’ll get a recipe for desaster..
        Obviously one reason why there is a fuel flow limit is that the performance differences at any time on the track should not grow too large.

      4. Voodoopunk says:


        If they’re going to be regulated to that degree then give them all the same chassis and engines and be done with it.

    9. Andrew M says:

      Because the fuel rate could have exceeded 100kg for a specific portion of every lap, say 20% of the time the car was at full throttle (or whatever it was). If the rate was 110kg then but significantly less for the rest of the lap (tending towards virtually zero during braking) then it could happen quite easily mathematically.

      Having said that, I don’t really see why this limit is in place, if cars can deliver the fuel more quickly than the fuel rate but still get the fuel to last then what’s the harm? I guess to make sure the cars are greener?

    10. Barbara says:

      the fuel limit for the race is 100k 135 litres

    11. I imagine the fuel flow rate is not constant – for example when you’re braking you’re using less fuel than when you’re accelerating. It’s like saying the speed limit between A and B is 100km/h. You can consistently go over 100km/h but still end up driving 100km in 1 hour.

    12. aezy_doc says:

      The fuel flow rate may have regularly exceeded the allowed rate rather than constantly and rbr would still be in the wrong.

    13. Martin says:

      The statement didn’t say “constantly”, it said “consistently”, there’s a big difference which makes your reasoning incorrect

    14. Byron Lamarque says:

      I’d love to learn more about these devices. My understanding is that they are designed to prevent the teams from running very lean all race and then blowing all their fuel at the end. So I take it that no if you exceed the flow rate you will not run out of gas. It simply means your fuel air mixture is above the allowable limit. Again I’m not sure exactly why this is the case.

      James any further details available on this?

      1. Byron Lamarque says:

        … It’s just occurred to me perhaps why this is important. You wouldn’t want a situation where a driver put his car in extra lean mode on the track where or when he knew he couldn’t be passed and then used a very rich mix for the bits where he needed to stay ahead. This would make for a very frustrating race. Perhaps we saw that a bit with Red Bull today. Daniel was holding back everyone and appeared to be quite slow but then we he needed to be he was fast. Perhaps that was what was happening which would ruin the spectacle for everyone and frustrate the hell out of your competitors!

      2. James Allen says:

        We are preparing an item from Mark Gillan on this

      3. Chris says:

        Maybe it’s top late, I’m getting a headache. ..

      4. graham bowman says:

        I have a flow rate meter on my solar water heater,pretty simple piece of equipment really . If red bull would like to borrow it feel free to pass on my e-mail address.

    15. George says:

      Hey.. what this is about is fuel flow rate exceeding the maximum allowed. I’ve never heard the frequency at which it’s measured but at other times while fuel saving the rate would have been well below 100kg/ hr so it seems they used the legal amount too rapidly rather than busting the max total allowed.
      Bummer for Ric & us lot but we saw it coming I recon.

    16. mtm says:

      The word used was “consistently”, not constantly.

      Also 100kg/h is the max flow rate at 10000+ rpm’s. It drops down as the rpm’s go lower.

    17. yellowbelly says:

      That would only be the case if they were on full throttle for the whole lap, which clearly they are not.

    18. haj says:

      Cars are constantly accelerating throughout the race. Corners, braking zones, pit stops and safety cars all play a part. In addition the statement said regularly not constantly.

    19. Anthony says:

      No, this isn’t right. It’s just the maximum fuel flow rate that can’t exceed 100kg/hr. That isn’t inconsistent with the average flow rate for the whole race being c65kg/hr, based on <100kg divided by 1hr 32min.

      There are plenty of parts of the circuit, particularly under braking, where the flow rate is lower, so the average will be less than the maximum.

    20. quattro says:

      The exact wording was
      “during the race car 03 consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100kg/h”

      A big difference between “constantly” and “consistently”. “consistently exceeding” must be a number of spikes on the trace rather than running over 100kg/h constantly. Still this probably gives (an unfair) performance advantage over those not doing it.

    21. warley says:

      I believe that the flow rate constraint is to stop teams from having special ‘qualifying’ settings with large amounts of fuel being used which would set off an ‘arms race’ for grid places.

      1. SteveS says:

        I see a number of people making that claim. And yet there was no fuel flow rate constraint for the last several years. Why was there no “arms race”?

      2. Jake says:

        Perhaps because engine development was not permitted…

      3. Alex says:

        But engines had a rev limit no?, this is almost the same in my non technical view.

      4. CJD says:

        actually i thought, during qualifing there is NO flowrate restriction. so then the merc maybe really has 900+ bhp. maybe we see it next race

        its a little bit like the turbo pressure limits in former days, or the restictor plates in nascar.

        flow control to stop extrem performances a good build turbo engine is possible to give…


    22. Mike says:

      The car would need to carry 150kg of fuel. But that would only be required if Riccardo had his right foot pinned to the floor for the full race, which obviously he didn’t. He has to brake for corners.

      In simple terms more fuel means more energy input resulting in more energy output. This would allow Riccardo to accelerate more quickly and achieve a higher top speed. Both of which contribute to a faster lap time, so he would have benefitted from more fuel flow.

      This will likely end up in the courts where Red Bull will have prove the sensor was unreliable and back up their offset calculations to demonstrate they didn’t exceed a flow rate of 100kg/h. The reliability of the flow sensors will be questioned, if Red Bull wins the appeal a potentially dangerous precedent could be set by allowing other teams to calculate their own offsets. Then it won’t just be the result of the Australian GP in doubt.

    23. franed says:

      No its the maximum instantaneous flow rate at any point, but obviously mainly when the throttle is fully open. They are allowed to use 100kg of fuel but can carry more if they want (though it is unlikely they would).

    24. super seven says:

      The 100kg/hr requirement is a peak limit, not an average.

    25. GP says:

      I don’t think the FIA is saying they did it for the whole race. RIC or his engineers may have gone over as a defensive move against MAG.

      Near the end of the race, MAG got really close but then RIC was able to build another gap, could the FIA see he was going over his legal consumption to do it?

    26. Nathan says:

      They are not under peak power the whole lap and have different maps they can run so they are not always using maximum fuel pressure (and fuel flow). They would only use more than 100l in an hour if they were constantly using full fuel pressure.

    27. Auq says:

      consistently =/= constantly…

    28. photozen says:

      this is wrong, there are 2 points here, first the flow rate at 100kg/h and 100kg total fuel for the race. no car runs at max fuel flow, only for a bit of time here or there per lap but not constantly, that is impossible to be flat out all the time.

    29. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      before making your calculations, I think you should first get your facts right. They might have had it bellow 100ks/h for 3/4 of the lap, and then when the overtaking opportunity for the opposition comes close, they let it go over 100 kg/h, so in the overall lap average they are still well bellow the limit of 100 kg/h. Also there were enough laps when Magnusen was saving fuel and they had comfortable gap to him so they can have the flow well below the limit for that time.
      I though it was very clear for all the followers of the sport how it works…

    30. Alex Parkin says:

      Sorry, but the regs are quite clear:

      a) maximum fuel load of 100kg, AND
      b) maximum flow rate of 100kg/hour

      Disappointed for Daniel but as has been said “you win as a team, lose as a team”.

      Having said that, whoever decided within RB/Renault to disregard the FIA telling them that they were exceeding the permitted rate needs sorting out.

      1. Pedanticoldgit says:

        The max flow rate is specified as 100kg/hr. As far as I can see, nowhere in the regs is the time over which the flow rate is measured, hours? Minutes? Miliseconds” If RBR were warned after only 5 laps it appears that the FIA have their own interpretation of this rule. The homologated sensors appear to be able to measure the flow rate 10000 times a second, At 15000 rpm the injectors are firing at 750 times a second so we must assume that the homologated sensors are performing some form of integration to remove the spikes when the injectors fire, but I can’t find any spec. For this. RBR wil have a record of how many gms of fuel the EMU has ordered to be delivered to the injectors, so presumably can give their view of what the flow rate was, over any given time period. During practice they found that this did not correspond with the homologated flow meter readings, as I believe did other teams.
        So, it all boils down to the fact that the FIA have issued an imprecise rule and, it appears, have forced the teams to use a flakey flow meter to try and enforce it.

    31. Brian says:

      Give them the right amount of fuel – that’s so simple and sensible. What a good idea.

    32. Mazdafarian says:

      Exactly. Why have all this artificial gimmickry to create a momentary speed differential (DRS, ERS, and flaky tyres) and then mandate a maximum fuel flow!?

      Even then, a control fuel pump and restrictor is much better idea than a meter. I suspect that the Renault engineers will already know exactly why the module reads wrong and will be giving the FIA a fluid dynamics lesson this week.

    33. SteveH says:

      Do you really believe the engine is constantly running at maximum power? Geez…….

    34. Ross Dixon says:

      That’s assuming tht the car uses 100kg/hour at all times.

      The rule says maximum fuel flow rate. Not average. So braking and half throttle would not deliver 100kg/hour but if the rule is maximum and they used 101kg/hour then that breaks the rules.
      The FIA even gave them a chance to sort it and they declined!!

    35. Keith says:

      You have misunderstood this. The flow rate is a maximum. Thus they will only be anywhere near it at max revs under full throttle. Maybe once or twice a lap. Consistently to me implies they were going over the 100kg/hr for a few seconds a lap but it was happening repeatedly.

      This rule is so easy to break and needs to be very strictly applied or teams will try there luck just to stay ahead or even pass that car in front. Does sound like the sensors need to be better though.

    36. Mark V says:

      Your assumption would be correct if it was a simple case of the throttle being constantly on and at 100%. But of course that is not the case with any circuit, (the Albert Park circuit being something like 61% full throttle). Add in the time to do pit stops and the added power via the Energy Recovery Systems (ERS), and this is how 100kg of fuel at a fuel flow rate of 100kg/hr can last more than 1 hour.

    37. Glennb says:

      Your thinking is a little bit wrong in your first paragraph. Too hard to exlplain.

      +1 with your 2nd paragraph ;)

    38. Han says:

      Agreed in principle but you would also have to take into account less fuel usage during the safety car also right? I don’t think its as straight forward as multiplying 100kg/hr by 90 min to get more than 100kg of fuel as you obviously would consume less during coasting, braking, ERS/DRS usage?

    39. JC says:

      With no flow limit these PU could be on 1200 hp (no turbo boost limit) like they were in the previous turbo era. Could be fun but huge hp difference through the race to make it to the end with 100kg. Such a diff between cars at diff times could be really dangerous …
      Flow meters: An imperfect solution to the current PU s … The small tolerance on the measuring devices may be the reason for winning or losing

      1. SteveS says:

        “With no flow limit these PU could be on 1200 hp”

        Last years larger engines had no fuel flow limit and yet somehow failed to make 1200HP.

      2. JC says:

        Hp potential on NA ENGINES is lower and given by max rpm and engine capacity, fuel will have the limit of oxygen needed for combustion. Those limits are expanded with forced induction – turbo. Look at historical data of f1 turbos, then they were 1.5. Now 1.6….
        Hp 1.6 turbo no boost limit >>> NA 2.4. @19000rpm

      3. Robert says:

        What is it about tubrochargers you don’t understand? In the days of Senna, their very small turbo engines produced up to 1500 hp in qualifying trim…

        That is why road-going supercars have nearly all moved to turbocharged engines (Mercedes AMG, McLaren, Lambo, etc.) – massive hp for a given displacement. Only Ferrari are really resisting that – while making turbo engines for Maserati to use nonetheless.

    40. neilmurg says:

      you have misunderstood the rule, the adjudication and the transgression.

    41. Variable says:

      Agreed. Well said

    42. WSH says:

      It is the fuel-flow rate, not the overall consumption that matters. It is like speeding but overall on a certain distance your average is on the legal max, but you have broken the rules nevertheless.

    43. Derek Nickels says:

      Exactly!!!! I thought the same thing & in the preview show explaining the rules they said they were down from 140kg of fuel to 100kg as the maximum amount of fuel,so HOW THE F*** could the car flow more than 100kg/hr and still make it home.
      The way i see it is that the issue is the crap FIA sensors,not RBR.With all the reliability issues & the limit on power units reduced to 5,all the teams would do the same so they would finish. If the FIA wants to mandate control parts,they need to make sure they are accurate & reliable,otherwise this sort of thing will have a lot of fans switching off,or over to NASCAR or something.The FIA’s reaction is like a PETULANT child carrying on because his brother won’t use his cricket bat because it has no grip on it!!!!

      1. graham bowman says:

        You just don’t get it do you. It was just when he was accelerating out of Corners on full throttle that the fuel flow was exceeding 100!! Thus giving a unfair advantage, Mercedes got told that they were exceeding the flow rate too but wisely reduced the rate to satisfy the fia. This was on-going all weekend so why red bull didn’t listen to the warnings is there problem.

      2. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        More like at the end of the straits when he was close to full RPM.

      3. Ticketyboo says:

        [mod] clearly unable to draw distinction between ‘consistently’ and ‘constantly’ – the other teams cautioned during the race about max flow rate were able to take that input and respond accordingly and pick up their points, RBR on the other hand decided they knew best; they have their just reward for it unlike the floor they used to win with which was found to be illegal and they still kept their points – it’s about time that they were put back in their box.

      4. aezy_doc says:

        [mod]. It’s a MAXIMUM flow rate, meaning the AVERAGE flow rate is not 100kg/h but more like 60kg/h.
        The example of speeding WSH gives above is perfect. “Did you realise sir that you were doing 45mph in a 30 back there?” “Oh yes officer, but you see I was only doing 12mph for the first half of my journey so on average I was actually under the limit.”

      5. James Allen says:

        Moderators’ note -Please do not insult other posters.

        If you do your comment with be deleted

    44. Christos Pallis says:

      They didn’t say it constantly exceeded just that at points it did

    45. j says:

      I know you are a RBR fan but I doubt many people are going to take your dodgy math seriously.

      I’m sure that you are aware that the 1.5 hour long race is not run on an open road under constant acceleration.

      Periods of high accel only occur for approximately a third of the lap. I’m sure someone can provide more accurate numbers regarding amount of time on full throttle at Melbourne.

      It is easily conceivable that exceeding 100kg/hour of flow would help temporarily boost the power of the Renault if it is down on power to the Mercedes.

      1. Ticketyboo says:

        +1 but it does seems too much for some to comprehend.

    46. Ahmad says:

      The safety car period allowed the teams to save fuel. Others complied with the maximum flow even when they had fuel in reserve but RBR chose not to.

      I agree though that I don’t understand the need for the FIA to regulate the fuel flow.

      1. Nigel W says:

        Ahmad, I agree that at first it seems strange to regulate fuel flow when they have already limited the amount of fuel to 100kg.

        From what I understand it would be purely a safety issue.

        If you run fuel systems at high pressure and therefore high flow rates you increase the risk when there is a problem. A fuel line could burst or a fitting could fail, especially under racing conditions where the cars can get very hot.

        Petrol is about 740grams per litre, so 100kg of fuel = 135litres (not sure of exactly what blend of fuel F1 run but it would be about that, however don’t forget that fuel volume changes with temperature, that is why they calculate by weight not by volume).

        If you run that at 100kg/h that means the fuel flow is 2.25lt a minute. If a hose burst or the car was involved in a crash which cause a fuel leak but the engine was still running, the fuel system would be pumping 2.25lt of fuel a minute onto the track, or the car, or the hot exhaust etc. Now increase the fuel flow to 200kg/h. that’s 4.5lt per minute flow.

        That’s a real risk, so I can understand why they want to regulate the flow. Personally regulating fuel pressure is much easier and more reliable, so they should have done that.

        Also higher pressure and flow means parts are under greater strain, so reliability would also be a factor.

    47. Nigel W says:

      Unfortunately Steve S, that’s not quite how it works.

      You’re assuming flow rate is flow consumption and the two don’t operate like that.

      The issue in question is the flow rate. Most fuel injection systems on modern cars (I just fitted fuel injection to my bigblock muscle car so have first hand experience with the systems) is they run a fuel return system. That allows you to pump fuel through the system at whatever rate you wish, any fuel not used by the injectors is simply returned to the tank. The fuel being cycled like this has a few benefits in what I can see.

      Firstly it means more fuel is available to the injectors if/when they need it. That means the injectors could operate at a higher duty rate when required. I see no indication of what the injector flow rates are or if they are even covered in the regulations, but the ones I just fitted are rated at 88lb/h at 60psi ( that’s only 40kg/h but in a dual quad setup (8 injectors in 2 throttle bodies) this is enough to support 1,200hp).

      Secondly with the fuel cycling constantly it *could* help weight distribution as the total fuel load isn’t constantly sitting in the tank.

      Finally it *could* also help keep the fuel cooler if they pass the fuel through other systems to reduce heat soak.

      Flow rate is not proportional to fuel consumption. It’s only relational to the amount of fuel available at any given time to the injectors, so the instant they are off the throttle, the fuel injector duty cycle would drop to very low and any fuel not used is simply returned to the fuel tank where it would be ready to be recycled through the system by the fuel pumps.

      Personally I don’t know why the FIA didn’t just run fuel pressure regulators instead of flow meters. Limit the pressure the fuel system operates at I think would be more reliable.

      The final thought is that we don’t know by how much they exceeded the 100kg/h limit. Was it 105kg/h or 150kg/h?

      1. Alex says:

        Very well explained, but I have a question, the flow rate has a directly relation to the engine rpm? this could be seen as a variation of limiting the rpm of the engine? that restriction has always existed, what I see is just an extended regulation due to the advantages you just mentioned.

      2. Nigel W says:

        Hi Alex, Thanks for your reply and question.

        The fuel flow (or more relevantly the fuel pressure) isn’t directly relational to the engine RPM, it’s more relational with the Manifold Vacuum. However the relationship is inverse. So at low throttle there is high manifold vacuum and at high throttle there’s often low vacuum, but that is only proportional to the load on the engine, so yes there is a relationship between RPM and manifold vacuum. So an engine that constantly runs with low manifold vacuum will be using more fuel as it’s operating less efficiently. Increase RPM will increase the injector duty cycle though.

        On a modern EFI system if you set your fuel pressure to say 30psi via a Fuel Pressure Regulator, the Fuel Pressure Regulator will then vary the pressure in relation to the manifold vacuum. So if you have 10psi of manifold vacuum, then the Fuel Pressure Regulator will also increase 10psi, so now your fuel system is operating at 40psi. This ensures the engine is receiving a constant 30psi irrespective of the vacuum/load it is operating at. There’s nothing else that I’m aware of which could effect fuel flow, other than any governing regulators, the injector flow rate and the fuel pump flow rate.

        The Fuel injection system will be using a Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor for its calculation of air mass flow rate which it will use to determine the fuel metering to obtain the desired air fuel ratio for the current throttle position.

        The fuel flow could be used to govern the engine, but the issue is though that could be mitigated by other means. An example using an old carby. Mechanical fuel pumps usually operate at very low pressure (4 – 9 psi). your carby to compensate for this has fuel bowls so that when you are at WOT (Wide Open Throttle), the mechanical fuel pump would not be able to supply the required fuel to sustain that throttle position, so the carby draws fuel from the fuel bowls, if you have a high horsepower engine and you remain at WOT for long enough and they run dry, then your engine either leans out and detonates, or it cuts out. That’s not a nice feeling believe me. So with this type of system there would be nothing stopping them having surge tanks which they pressurize via the fuel system mounted in parallel with the injector rails, so if the fuel flow from the pump had reached its maximum the system could draw on these surge tanks. I have no idea if they do this, or if it’s allowed, but it’s just one of the reasons why measuring / governing fuel flow is ridiculously complicated. That is what I do on my car. I have a 3lt billet alloy surge tank in the engine bay which the EFI fuel pumps can scavenge fuel from, rather than having to draw it all the way from the fuel tank, so any unused fuel from the injector rails is first returned to the surge tank in the engine bay, once this tank is full it returns to the main fuel tank. The efi pumps can draw directly from the surge tank. This system also ensures no air is trapped in the fuel system either as that’s bad. Also on a side note to this have a look at drag cars. Their fuel cell is always in front of the engine. That way under heavy load (ie g-force acceleration) the fuel pump doesn’t have to work against that by drawing fuel from the rear of the car. at the front they have the benefit of that acceleration to keep the fuel system primed. Where is the fuel tank in an F1 car? Directly behind the driver, so it’s in front of the engine. That alone would cause variations with fuel flow metering.

        The other unknown though with these engines is they are running forced induction so that adds a whole new level of complexity because they will generate increased pressure (vacuum) and provide a greater quantity of air to the engine.

        Personally I feel that F1 took a turn for the worst when they removed refueling. Refueling allowed so much more strategy with pitstops and meant the cars didn’t have to carry so much fuel in the car for most of the race, plus it played a huge benefit to tyre life and lap time. If they want to increase fuel efficiency the first thing you do is stop carrying around unnecessary weight. That being a full fuel tank. They don’t qualify the cars with a full fuel tank for a reason, so why subject us to that during the race. I don’t want to see just a sprint to the finish, I want to see cars sprinting through out the race if a team chooses a 3 stop strategy (light fuel load per stint) versus someone on a 1 or 2 stop strategy. Now pitstops are only governed by tyre life and the mandatory requirement to run two compounds, which is no where near as interesting.

    48. Hayden says:

      Think of it this way.

      Highway allows 100kmoh

      The rule restricts you to 100kmph but it doesn’t mean if you drove slow for first30 minutes, then go beyond 100kmph to catch it all up.

      Yes 100kg is the size of the tank but the cars will not be at full throttle all race.

      i am no engineer but i assume this max consumption is to restrict engine performance to a certain limit.

  22. Martin (England) says:

    RBR cheating again, six race ban for the team please FIA.

    1. C63 says:

      I know, the very idea of it, and they made such a fuss about the Pirelli in season test last year :-)

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “and they made such a fuss about the Pirelli in season test last year”

        Because it was illegal…

      2. C63 says:

        Indeed it was and so was the conduct of Red Bull at the Australian GP. At the very least they didn’t follow laid down procedure for dealing with a sensor they believed was faulty. Mind you there is a difference between the Pirelli episode and this one, Ross had a get out of jail card signed by Charlie Whiting. I wonder, do you think Christian has one of those too? ;-)

      3. Voodoopunk says:


        If the sensor can be proved to be inaccurate, then yes.

    2. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      I think those kinds of problems come from Adrian Newey. In his whole time in F1 he was known for always trying to bend the rules (having a wrong interpretation / not interpret the rules in the spirit of them, but knowingly trying to bend them to take an advantage).
      He is a (quite obviously) a great engineer, but this has always been his mark.

    3. manz says:

      they cant put that ban to please you…soyy…lol

  23. deane says:

    Using their own fuel flow calculations huh?

    ”Team Hubris” in action once again.

    1. CC says:

      One of the oddities about this situation is that Melbourne is not particularly marginal on fuel consumption – there are no long straights so the cars are hardly on maximum revs for a long time. Also, the cool and overcast air and track temperatures would give the engines better “charge”, which helps with an engine’s efficiency, giving better mileage anyway. Add a reduced race distance by a lap and a safety car period, it does seem odd that this situation has come about on the Red Bull – every other car has been passed legal.
      Wait for the court case is the only solution.

      1. Andrew M says:

        On the Sky commentary it was said that Melbourne is the second most critical in terms if fuel, due to all the braking/acceleration zones, first was Canada.

      2. CC says:

        I find that odd analysis on Sky F1 with regard to Melbourne – I agree with Canada though, as it has a long back straight with cars at full revs/throttle for a long time. I would say the hardest races on fuel consumption will be tracks with long fast corners or long straights such as Montreal Silverstone, Spa and Monza. Silverstone will be also be challenging for oil pressure as the long fast corners promote oil surge, which affects fuel economy.
        In the previous 80s turbo era, the hardest circuits on fuel consumption was the original flat-out blasts at Imola (1985 and 1986 races when practically every finisher ran out of fuel in those two years), Silverstone (1987 and 1988 were very marginal, Nigel Mansell ran out of fuel after winning in 87) and Hockenhiem (the notorious 1986 race).
        Likewise, slow speed tracks such as Monaco, Jerez and Hungary saw hardly anyone running out fuel during the turbo 80s.

    2. AJSenior says:

      Remember that it is possible FIA is incorrect but are hiding behind the ‘do what we say’ statement. If you’re looking for hubris, look no further than the FIA.

      If they identified it during the race why not do something during the race rather than 5hours later. The sport needed a clean start to the season. The sport failed.

      This seems like an unnecessary rule anyway. Why not just drain the cars and give each car 100kg fuel for the race. How they burn it is up to them.

      Gutted for RIC.

    3. Mike84 says:

      Right, it’s like a cop flashes his lights at you to slow down and you wave a finger out the window because you want to go by your own speedometer rather than his radar. You’re going to get pulled over and have to argue it in court, where you’re probably going to lose.

      1. Alex Ward says:

        if the cops radar says you were doing 101 in a 100 zone and you have GPS telemetary to say you were doing 100 you might win in court no matter how scary the cop is.

      2. Mike84 says:

        Not if the judge had recently warned you that the radar would be the measurement the law goes by unless he tells you otherwise in advance.

        Red Bull could have asked FIA to let them ignore the sensor and use the alternate method, and why did they not? Because they knew what FIA would say in this case. So they ignored FIA putting them in a position where they have to make an example of RB otherwise everyone will ignore FIA.

        This is nothing short of a test of who is in authority in this sport — FIA or the Big Teams.

  24. German Samurai says:

    Fair enough. Red Bull have to take their medicine if they willfully broke the rules. Thankfully it has happened in round 1 and not round 19.

    If the Melbourne race contract isn’t renewed by the Melbourne organisers it will have nothing to do with the complexity of the rules or Red Bull being disqualified from a race for breaking the rules.

    It will be because no-one wants to spend $50 million to hold a glorified GP2 race. Actually that might be unfair to the GP2 series. A glorified Indy Car street race.

    The Indy Car series might be as underwhelming as F1 in 2014 but at least those teams are able to operate on budgets of $10 million rather than $400 million a year.

    1. GP says:

      You bring up a good point about it being round one. The same penalty at the end of the season will be twice as costly.

    2. DonSimon says:

      Wow. So you’re not a fan of 2014 regs? Maybe give it another race or two haha.

    3. WSH says:

      But double points are waiting at the end of the season, hopefully not for them to compensate this screw up.

  25. Craig D says:

    It is a shame this but you can’t be sentimental with rules and if they aren’t adhered to then you open grey area issues in the future.

    Perhaps there is cause for appeal in this case though. It’s never good when results get changed afterwards.

    If Red Bull were warned however and they just arrogantly refused to listen (a la camber angles with Pirelli’s tyres last year), then they only have themselves to blame.

    1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      I can not agree with you more! BUT having said that, if FIA asked the team number of times during the race to change it, and the team did not react, then they should have BLACK-FLAGGED their car DURING the race. The way they do it now, makes them all look like clowns!

      1. James Allen says:

        You have a point there

        I will ask FIA about that

      2. [MISTER] says:

        James, I believe the FIA did not BLACK-FLAGGED Daniel because even if they were running at a high flow fuel rate, RBR could still turn the fuel flow down considerably towards the end of the race, so the average fuel flow would be below 100kg/h.

        In the end, it seems RBR didn’t do this, and their average was above the 100kg/h. That is what I suspect being the reason for not getting black-flagged. Could this be it?

      3. George Debenham says:

        Probably too concerned that any marshal waving a black flag would have been lynched by an angry crowd. Much safer to take the decision after the crowd has gone home!

      4. superda27 says:

        The FIA will need to be able to prove (in court?) that their flow-meters are accurate else they will look even more incompetent.

        The responsibility of the F! teams is to push the rules as far as they can.

        The responsibility of FIA should put in place process and or rules that do not need post race scrutiny or they will continue to look incompetent.

      5. dimitar kadrinski says:

        Thank you James.
        It is also very interesting no one has mentioned qualifying.
        The sensor they used on Saturday did not get satisfactory readings, but he kept his first row position for the race.
        As many people have mentioned it is a very grey area….

      6. Tyemz says:

        That would be a good idea but they would want to be cautious with that rule. What if RBR could prove that they were right and the FIA was wrong, and the car had already been black-flagged!

      7. Jota180 says:

        Do the FIA have the ability to do that?

        As far as I understand it, all they could do would be report them to the stewards and let them make the decision.
        I didn’t think the FIA had the authority to police things on the ground?

        I stand to be corrected though :)

      8. dimitar kadrinski says:

        Then they say to the marshals “Car No 3 does not comply with the rules” and the marshals HAVE TO black-flag it, or I should think so…. (and they don’t have to explain why the car is illegal either(at that stage)… in the end of the day they are the rule makers, and if they say it is illegal then it is, as far as the marshals are concerned :)

      9. dimitar kadrinski says:

        feel free to replace marshals with stewards on the post above…. (blushing)

      10. Ticketyboo says:

        Agreed, they should have brought out the black flag.

      11. Alex Ward says:

        Flag marshalls were aussies, if the order went out they would have hidden the flag!

  26. abashrawi says:

    Is that what Montezemolo was referring to?

    “Ferrari urges FIA to be on its guard over ‘grey areas’ of new F1″

    1. mtm says:

      I think that was aimed at Mercedes specifically, there were comments from Ferrari in the second test at Bahrain about how Merc shouldn’t be getting that much power unless they were going over the fuel flow limits. The Renaults hadn’t done much running in testing.

      Same ball park though.

    2. **Paul** says:

      99% sure he’s talking about Mercedes.

  27. Bones says:

    Were Red Bull the only team with these kind of problems with the flow sensors?

    1. Anthony says:

      No, or at least I doubt it. But they do seem to be the only team that ignored the FIA’s instruction on the fix, and then declined to change their minds even when offered the chance to do so during the race.

      I’m on the FIA’s side on this one. There are very good reasons for their disqualification.

  28. Truth or Lies says:

    It’s all very clumsy and unsatisfactory.

    F1 should be much better organised than this and the sensors fitted to the cars utterly reliable, such flow sensors are hardly new, even if the application is.

    It’s very disappointing for Ricciardo and for fans around the world who shared in his great result.

    Another fine mess and plenty of negative coverage for F1.

    1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      I did not read anywhere that red bull is claiming the sensor was inaccurate. They simply ignored the rule.

      1. Steven says:

        Then you’ve not actually read the stewards report have you? How are you commenting without having read it?

        “The team stated that based on the difference observed between the two readings in P1, they considered the fuel flow sensor to be unreliable.”
        “…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.”

      2. dimitar kadrinski says:

        I miss-typed it on my post sadly, my mind was running faster than my fingers :). What I meant was that they did not say the sensor was faulty, but inaccurate. The FIA told them to use the working(but inaccurate) sensor with an offset they recommended. However RB as they are, simply decided to ignore FIA and play the game by their own rules.. Or at least that is my understanding …

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        perhaps you might like to widen your search. the RBR defence as stated by CH is that the saturday,’sensor 1, was inaccurate and they changed to sensor 2 and that was also inaccurate so they reverted back to sensor 1. this again proved faulty so they went onto their own sensor system which they state as being accurate as it measures 100% accurately the amount of fuel passing through the injectors.

        to reduce the fuel flow on the FIA sensor would be agreeing to run less than efficiently in a competetive sense with an otherwise internal fuel flow system. based on this explanation it appears that ‘prima facie’ RBR have a legitimate reason for not complying with FIA race control demands.

        people are rushing to judgement by slating RBR as cheats. it would be far better to get the facts first then say what you will.

      4. dimitar kadrinski says:

        the facts say the sensor was not faulty, but inaccurate. That is a big point i guess…

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @ dimitar. if a component which sole purpose is to provide an accurate measurement within a defined limit fails to do that, then by simple extrapolation it is faulty, no?

    2. j says:

      Flow sensors don’t seem to be new but ones that measure flow at these types of speeds were not available on the market and had to be specially developed.

      Agree that it’s a disappointing result but it was well known before the season that these sensors are on the cutting edge and have a lot of problems.

      Could be in this case that the sensor is at fault. Could be that the Renault engine was mapped to use more fuel flow than allowed (in some engine modes) knowing the bad reputation of the sensors used to enforce the rules.

      We have seen this type of thing before where for example a part was not allowed to flex and the FIA allowed a margin of error for manufacturing tolerances. Some teams seemed to use up the maximum of that allowed tolerance on every copy of the part they built. Then the FIA tightened up the rules and magically the teams have no trouble meeting the new stricter tolerances.

    3. Ahmad says:


      Since this issue was known since Friday, the FIA should have been able to make a decision on the sensors by the end of quali on how to punish RBR there and then.

      5 hours after the race is ridiculous and damaging to the sport.

  29. Matt says:

    It will be a shame if the FIA requested that Red Bull refit a different fuel flow sensor and Red Bull refused to make the switch. Ricciardo drove a cracking race. His enthusiasm is so appreciated. I do hope everything is resolved in a reasonable matter.

    If the fuel flow was too high then obviously they need to hand back the position. Shame it comes to rule debates after such a fun Grand Prix.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      If the fuel flow was too high why didn’t they run out of fuel?

      1. Tyemz says:

        I’m sure you would have answered your own question by now but if by any chance you haven’t, read the responses to SteveS’ comments. Goodluck

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      who says the FIA sensor was accurate? RBR say that their measurement at the injectors will prove that they didn’t exceed the maximum flow rates!

      1. Jake says:

        Who is to say the Red Bull flow measurement is accurate. What about Mercedes, do they get to devise their own measuring technique?
        There has to be one system for everybody to ensure fair play, it may have some flaws but that does not excuse Red Bull completely ignoring it and doing their own thing.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ jake, forget the other teams for a moment as this is a singular action between the FIA and red bull.

        if red bull say that they have at no time exceeded the limits of fuel flow then why would they accept any other ruling? they will now have to prove that point in an appeal court. if they cannot then they will have to wear the decision but if they can prove that they did at no time exceed the FIA limit then that should be grounds for a successful result.

      3. jake says:

        OK Kenneth, tell me how you retrospectively prove the accuracy of your fuel flow measurement, particularly since the car is with Red Bull and they could have changed any settings they used to determine the flow rate.
        This is not even the point, there is a device fitted to the car that is the approved flow measuring device, no other method of measuring the flow has been approved by the FIA. Any reading from a device that is not approved is meaningless as far as complying with the fuel flow restriction rule.

  30. Peter says:

    OK, I know some are going to say “rules are rules” but what does fuel flow really matter? As far as I am aware no-one has suggested that Red Bull used more than the permitted 100kg of fuel for the race so, as there was a lot of talk that this would be marginal, how on earth does it make any difference to the result if the fuel was used quicker? Please not more fuel used but simply the rate at which it was consumed.

    If the FIA want to make this year a farce then they’ve made a damned good start!

    1. PM says:

      Ya I agree. I always saw the fuel flow rate to be unnecessary. I think the maximum fuel load is enough. Why control the fuel management for the teams so much?

    2. Pete says:

      Total agree…. If the FIA say that you can only use 100kg of fuel during a race, that’s perfectly fine. But to limit the fuel flow is a joke………. The teams should be given the flexibility to use the fuel flow at their own discretion. Put simply if the safety car is out for a number of laps or where a car is following close to another for a long period and they manage to save fuel, during this time, they should be allowed when possible to run at full pelt… At least the fans can see some real action…….!!

    3. aezy_doc says:

      It means they can go faster at different points and defend their position/overtake more easily.

    4. gpfan says:

      Do you understand how an engine works?

      “Okay, DR, Kevin is behind you and wants
      to pass. Don’t worry. By having a fuel
      flow of over 100kg/hr flow-rate you have
      a much higher top speed and power. Do you

      “But, Christian, what if I use over 100kgs
      of fuel during the race?”

      “You won’t. When you can, you go into fuel
      savings mode and also save fuel when in places
      where Kevin can’t pass you. Do you understand?”

      “Ah! The old ‘Multi-twenty-one’ trick!”

      1. SteveS says:

        The trouble with all that is, there is not a shred of evidence that DR’s car ever went over 100kg/hr. And the stewards were careful not to claim otherwise. Their case is much more lawyerly.

      2. dimitar kadrinski says:

        I think that is exactly what they are claiming…


        They don’t say the car went over 100kg for the whole race, but do claim the flow rate was over 100kg/h number of times during the race (and practice in that matter)

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ dimitar. yes, the FIA did say that the fuel flow did exceed the limit at times. that is because the sensor was faulty. maybe red bull can prove that point in which case they should not be penalised.

    5. Adam says:

      Here Here!!!!!

      If the FIA approved part had to be changed, only for the FIA to mandate another change back, and for that sensor to give ‘errors’…then why is it being used. Mercedes also had issues, not to mention the other teams reporting inconsistent readings, FROM A CONTROLLED PART. Fuel flow is BS. Theyre using a 1/3 less fuel this year, the rules are getting beyond a joke

      1. jake says:

        All sensors have errors. it’s a fact of life. The FIA applied an offset to the sensor in order to correct for the error, this is standard practice with sensors. Red Bull did not agree with the offset value applied by the FIA and unilaterally decided to ignore the approved flow sensor and use their own measurement system.

    6. Bob says:

      Fuel flow matters because in theory The driver can get more power out of his engine during acceleration out of a corner and down the straight which a) decreases lap time and b) could be the difference between being over taken or not by a following car which is complying to the fuel flow regulation.

      The commentators were saying during the race that they didn’t think the cars were hitting their 15000 rpm limit during the race due to the fuel flow limitation so clear advantage gained.

      I do feel sorry for Riccardo but RB should’ve turned the fuel down when they were warned during the race. They may have lost a couple of places but they’d probably still have scored some decent points.

    7. C63 says:

      I think you may have missed the point. :-(
      The flow rate, is the way in which the fuel usage is monitored by the FIA – eg 100kg fuel allowance for a 2 hour race is 50kg/hour fuel flow. In other words, it’s very important!
      If Red Bull exceeded the fuel flow rate they have also exceeded the fuel allowance.
      More fuel = more power = naughty Red Bull!
      Who’d of though it, Red Bull cheating? And to think, there hasn’t even been a suggestion of Red Bull cheating before today!! ;-)

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        If they exceeded the fuel allowance then why didn’t they run out of fuel?

    8. quattro says:

      The “boost button” when pressed by a RB car (for defence or overtaking) providing THE biggest boost among all cars – is that fair you think?

    9. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      Because the rules should be the same for ALL the competitors. Perhaps RB don’t like it this way…
      I will give you an example:
      If McLaren were allowed to up the flow limit for Magnusen for only a quarter of the lap in which he was within DRS range of DR then the result would have been very different. Don’t you think so..?

    10. Keith says:

      What if RB exceeded the max flow rate rule every time the K Mag got in the DRS zone? That is a very black and white case of cheating. That is why it matters how quickly they were using it at any given point. I don’t see how that is a farce if they have found repeated evidence of such cheating?

    11. WSH says:

      I disagree with you as fuel-flow rate is one way to force teams into more fuel-efficient cars. And why is RedBull, apparently, the only one that managed to upset the FIA.
      I would like to know the interactions of the FIA with all the teams during the race, that would make this situation much clearer for us, but that will not happen, unfortunately. Too much transparency for the FIA.

    12. Matty says:

      Higher instantaneous fuel ratee = more power/greater acceleration. This would be absolutely crucial at the start line.

      Punishing excessive fuel consumption means the onus is on engine manufacturers to produce powerful, but efficient, engines.

      Remember, teams can always turn down the engines later in the race to save fuel.

    13. j says:

      Agree totally. Discussing whether the rule was broken is one thing but I totally agree that this rule, and most of these power unit rules, are awful and take away what was historically the best part of F1, diversity, cars that look different and sound different from each other.

      Why they didn’t just drain the tanks before the race, give them all 100Kg of fuel and let them figure it out. Watching a V12 VS a flat-4 turbo VS a hybrid and seeing what the engineers figure out as the fuel per race is reduced each year would have been brilliant.

  31. Quade says:

    So Red Bulls miracle improvement came via cheating? Shame.

    I feel for Ricciardo though, he dove strongly and added so much to the race.

    1. Sebee says:

      You don’t think these rules and sensors leave a bit to be desired? These fuel sensors aren’t F1 standards worthy. Especially since fuel attributes aren’t standardized in F1 and we measure down to 0.001s.

  32. Richard says:

    Would’ve been funny had it happend to Vettel. However, now its not. Felt so happy for Dan on the podium and now he is robbed. But then again, rules are rules and should be applied at all times.

  33. danny11 says:

    I feel sorry for Ricciardo but I really hope this one sticks because RBR team has been constantly breaking, bending and twisting rules last couple of years which was, apart from Newey’s brilliance, main reason for wining four consecutive championships! They have to finally learn the lesson; You break the rules you get punished, period!

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      If you think they’re the only team to bend the rules then you haven’t been watching F1 for very long.

    2. Sebee says:

      So you’re saying this a good rule and you’re satisfied with the methodology?

    3. manz says:

      lol ….such a sentimental statement to nullify all their achievement in one go ….redbull isnt different from newey as he design car, show his brilliance, twist, bend the rules and work on the limit to make the car go fast ..
      agree they or any other team should be punish for breach of any rule or atleast REPRIMANDID like merecedes were when they conducted an illeal test and were just allowed not to participate in young driver test

  34. Anne says:

    Good lord! Last season it was the tyres,and now the fuel. I feel very sad for Ricciardo. But it does look like RB broke the rules.

  35. Sebee says:

    If telemetry can prove that sensor is unreliable, I don’t see how it can be used as an enforcing factor.

    It’s like being found guilty of speeding with a laser that’s unreliable or not calibrated.

    1. Tim Burgess says:

      Totally agree. The problem for RB, though, is that they chose to ignore the “referee” because they (RB) believed the flow rate was, actually, legal.

      Imagine a football/soccer team deciding to ignore the ref and taking a goal-kick because the defender didn’t really touch the ball when the ref gave a corner…

      Doesn’t work, does it?

    2. Actually it’s more like 22 cars going by a speeding laser and ONE getting caught going over the speed limit. The sensors are the same for everyone.

      1. Sebee says:

        Clearly the issues prove the sensors are not 100%. In a sport where we measure down to 0.001s, 100% is what is needed from a sensor that has direct impact on performance.

      2. Aaron says:

        These sensors use a new technology, it is not that accurate.

        Sensor supplier Gill Sensors claims that 52 per cent of its meters are with a 0.1 per cent accuracy reading, with 92 per cent within 0.25 per cent.


      3. Robert says:

        The sensors had a known variance in pre-season of up to 1.5% according to their manufacturer Gill Technology, but are then calibrated and a correction factor applied to supposedly even them out. RBR is claiming that they don’t believe their calibration was correct, and that their ECU data shows differently. Hard to say, but it is clear the parts are not 100% identical. However, I am in the camp that if the FIA says DO something to stay legal, then compliance is not optional.

    3. Sid says:

      Absolutely agree sebee. N a perfect example.

    4. C63 says:

      How do you know the Red Bull flow sensor is accurate? Besides, the regulations clearly state the procedure for dealing with any discrepancy or inaccuracy the team believes they have discovered. Red Bull failed to comply with the regulations, end of. Or slam dunk if you prefer the vernacular :-)

    5. quattro says:

      True, but if the SAME car is time and time again caught “speeding” while the majority of the other cars are NOT, you have at some point stop scrutinizing (to death) the “laser” and start taking a look at the background of the owner of that car as well!



      Standard police procedure.

    6. Cliff says:

      Agree up to the point, but no team should be allowed to disobey the governing body and its rules. Has for the part, it was homologated which suggests that all the teams were forced to use it. RBR are at best, asking for an exemption from this rule, or at worst sticking two fingers up the FIA.

      1. Sebee says:

        If the law is flawed, you have to demonstrate that flaw to have the law stricken down. Same with a flawed rule perhaps. RBR have the resources to do it. I wonder with the fuel limit, what is the logic for the flow rule in the first place?

      2. C63 says:

        It’s the way in which the FIA monitor fuel usage. No one seems to have grasped this point, although a quick Google reveals all. The max fuel flow rate is 100kg/hour for the duration of the GP. So for Australia, which ran for just over 1.5 hours, the max average flow rate allowed would be around 66kg/hour,, ie 1.5 x 66 = approx 100.. The fuel allowance is for GP distance only, not out, in and warm up lap. That being the case, the cars cannot be weighed prior to the start of the race or just as they cross the finish line so this is how the FIA monitor fuel allowance. Hope that helps :-)

      3. Kimee says:

        For the life of me I don’t know why people can’t understand the concept of having to limit the rate of of flow of fuel. If it wasn’t done the racing would cease to be competitive at all with those engines able to produce the most top end power being able to fend off all the others simply by using it at the right times!

    7. Matty says:

      The sensor is approved by the FIA – the team’s can’t supersede it by using their own calculations which will always show that they’re using less fuel.

      The real problem is:
      1) RB used their own fuel calc. method (not in compliance with regs)
      2) RB were given the opportunity to apply the FIA mandated offset to ensure compliance and chose not to.

      Everyone needs to play by the same rules – it’s a farce for the FIA to say ‘OK, RB you can use your calculations – everyone else, use our sensor’

    8. Torchwood Five says:

      It looks like Red Bull re-installed the clearly faulty sensor for the race.

      That sounds like something used to create an alibi.

      It was faulty and we didn’t trust it.

      Okay, you took it off, then you put it back…what was that about?

      1. DML says:

        I read that they were instructed by the FIA to put the original sensor back in.

  36. MISTER says:

    James, any info about how much fuel did DR used in the rest compared to others?

    1. Juzh says:

      Total amount of fuel used is not in question.

      1. C63 says:

        Polite correction, but total amount of fuel used is in question. That’s the point. Red Bull average fuel flow rate has exceeded the limit allowed which, by definition, means they used more fuel than permissible.

      2. Juzh says:

        C63, no, you got it wrong. Ricciardo’s PEAK fuel rate surpassed 100kg/h on some occasions, but overall race consumption was less or equal to 100kg. Average fuel flow for a 90 minute race is around 66 kg/h.

      3. [MISTER] says:

        Thanks Juzh. Realized that after my comment. It seems the regulations state that there is a max fuel flow allowed.

  37. Tim from Perth says:

    This type of rule, where we are now squabbling over a procedure is stupid and pointless. Surely the requirement to get by with only 100kg fuel per race is enough, and easily measurable.

    So a sensor fails, and in the heat of a race the FIA penalises the team for it? Ridiculous.

    I am glad the V8 supercars make for such great racing, because F1, you are losing your fans ….

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “Surely the requirement to get by with only 100kg fuel per race is enough, and easily measurable.”

      So simple…

      1. C63 says:

        Typical Barrack Room Lawyer mentality. How do you propose the FIA would simply measure the fuel? Bear in mind the fuel allowance is for race distance only, not the lap to the grid, the warm up lap or the in lap at the end of the race. So to simply measure this would require the FIA to weigh every car immediately prior to the start (after warm up) and then again the instant the cars cross the finishing line (remember the amount of fuel used on the in lap doesn’t count).
        Not quite as simple as you thought is it?

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        It is as simple as I thought, 100Kg. If you run out tough.

        Where’s the problem?

      3. C63 says:

        The 100kg limit applies to the race distance only. How do you propose to measure that usage when the cars have to get to the grid, run a warm up lap and then an in lap? How much extra should they be allowed for the 3 extra laps, or maybe more than that if the do a couple of installation laps on the way to the grid?

      4. Voodoopunk says:


        Why should they be allowed any extra for those laps?

      5. C63 says:

        I don’t know why you keep asking me to justify the 2014 F1 Technical Regulations, they are what they are and I am merely reporting them to you as they stand. The FIA and the teams (I assume) composed and agreed upon them and the fuel limit was set at 100kg to last the GP distance. If you don’t like them, write to the FIA. They might be interested in what you have to say. Lol.

      6. Voodoopunk says:


        I’m not asking you to justify anything, you can tell me to go forth, I wouldn’t care.

        But then, you keep justifying them.

      7. C63 says:

        I’m not asking you to justify anything…

        It appears that I may owe you an apology as I misunderstood you. But first, please let me explain how my confusion arose. Twice in this thread you replied to my comment with a question (you know, the sentences ending with a ?). I, understandably, mistook that as a query directed at me – who wouldn’t?
        Now, in the light of my explanation, I think it would be harsh to place all of the blame for this misunderstanding on me and I hope you will accept that you played a significant part too.

        tell me to go forth, I wouldn’t care…

        Why would I do that? I enjoy our little exchanges. They provide a mildly amusing diversion from some of the more mundane tasks of daily life :-)

      8. Voodoopunk says:

        They were more in the way of rhetorical questions, fair enough they were directed at you but I’m sure you know as much about these things as I do, which isn’t much.

        “They provide a mildly amusing diversion from some of the more mundane tasks of daily life”

        I’m with you on that.

    2. aezy_doc says:

      They weren’t penalised in the heat of the race. It was in the cool aftermath. If a v8 supercar ran a v10 instead, they would be punished. Surely if a team breaks the rules and ISN’T punished it’s greater reason for people to leave the sport.

    3. WSH says:

      Why ridiculous? The teams knew all this, they agreed on this when the rules changed, the FIA has told them they would police this very strict…. and now the FIA’s does there are complaints everywhere.

      The FIA would do a better job with keeping us informed of these things – showing the fuel flow-rate live with the live- timing. for example, but the FIA has chosen the path to keep the fans ignorant of crucial info. The whole live timing page on Formula1.com is a joke now. They stripped away all the tabs with additional info (weather, speed traps etc) and the sector times are gone, replaced by stupid coloured bullets that has no additional value at all. I have not bought the new app for tablet or phone, as the complaints about that thing are massive. I had it last year, and it worked fine, but why stripping down the free version.

      I have not pity with the teams on the matter of the sensors etc, as they all signed up for it, so accept the rules Red Bull or leave the field.

  38. Luke says:

    Don’t get this. Why don’t the FIA just drain all cars of fuel in parc fermé and fill them up with 100kg of fuel? Then the car would either finish with 100kg or not finish and we wouldn’t have to rely on these ridiculous sensors that may or may not be right.

    1. TimF says:

      …they are talking about fuel flow rate, not fuel quantity.

    2. Sid says:

      Exactly, some ridiculous rules by the FIA. this is a complete farce n FIA have only themselves to blame.

    3. Lindsay says:

      That’s a different issue. The sensor is not there to prevent the cars from using more than 100 kg of fuel during the race. You’ll notice the rule allows flow rates of up to 100 kg/hr. Presumably to limit “trickery”.

    4. AJSenior says:

      Agree completely.

      To quote beardy Branson:

      Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.

      100kg each is simple. Added fuel flow rate limits using sensors that need correction is unnecessarily complex. FIA are fools.

    5. Matty says:

      You’re missing the point. Read up ^

      More instantaneous fuel consumed = more power = higher acceleration

      This would be insanely helpful in starts or out of slow corners.

      Limiting fuel consumption means that engine makers must produce efficient engines if they want a chance to win. Teams can, and will, turn down the engines at the end of the race when the result is already a given – that’s how they make the 100kg limit.

      It’s a decent rule – don’t get cross at the FIA if you’re missing the point of it..

      1. Tim says:

        And your saying that the reduction by 50% oh the fuel available to the cars did nothing to help improve efficiency? Gee, tough crowd.

      2. Jake says:

        Really, 150 down to 100 is 50% reduction… :-)

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        It’s a daft rule, just limit the fuel, couldn’t be simpler.

      4. Luke says:

        I would argue that no rule is decent if it causes the result to be changed 5 hours after the race…

      5. Jake says:

        So you would argue for no scrutineering after the race, no fuel testing etc because it takes time, basically a free for all, teams doing whatever they like. That will be fun.

    6. Multi 21 says:

      You’ve missed another important point:

      Cars can carry more than 100kg of fuel in their tanks, they just cannot use more than 100kg for the race (from lights out to the chequered flag).

      In addition to the race distance (i.e. 58 laps yesterday), the cars must also complete laps from the pit lane to get to the grid, a formation lap and a lap to parc ferme at the conclusion of the race AND they must still have 1L left in the tank for a post-race fuel sample.

      That means they leave the pits on race day with more than 100kg of fuel on board.

      1. Luke says:

        I have not missed that point.

        It would be perfectly possible to construct the rule so that the car had to manage with 100kg (or 102kg to cope with your extra few slow laps) from leaving parc fermé to getting back to it after the race.

        Also, if the FIA filled the cars up themselves in parc fermé, they wouldn’t need the extra litre at the end because they’d know what had been put in the tank.

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        They should be able to do the whole race day on 100Kg of fuel, if they run out… tough.

        I don’t see why it can’t be that simple.

    7. quattro says:

      As C63 and others eloquently describe above, the 100KG restriction is for the race distance, excluding the run to the starting grid, warm up lap and in lap. But following what you suggest, it should be way more robust to set a max amount of fuel for each car to start the race with, e g to max 105KG, and put it in (by “FIA”) right before the race starts – than using hard-to-police fuel flow limit.

      Having said this, I feel a limit on fuel weight/flow at all, in what should be THE king of formulas, is wrong to say the least (especially for those despising the mention of “lifting off and coasting for big part of the lap” in F1.6).

  39. Sylvester says:

    Such a heartbreaking decision for Dan and all Aussie Fans out there..

    But James…
    Do we “The Fans” have to endure this inconsistency in regulations and loopholes forever ??

    Who or what needs to be set right ??

    1. OffCourse says:

      How is this an “inconsistency in regulations and loopholes”. A team ignored the FIAs direction when they were advised that they were out of specification, and are subsequently punished.

      It’s not the complexity of the rules that has done the damage here. It is RBR’s attitude towards the rule that has caused the problem.

    2. Cliff says:

      There is no inconsistency in regulations. The sensor is homologated, so on this occasion RBR have to use the part as prescribed. The FIA had no choice, their authority was being challenged. Other teams questioned the sensors, if the FIA can demonstrate that there were no issues with the remaining teams RBR will have to accept their punishment.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “The sensor is homologated, so on this occasion RBR have to use the part as prescribed.”

        So they had to use the sensor as provided, that didn’t work properly and had to change it for another that didn’t work properly.

    3. DonSimon says:

      What is inconsistent here? It’s the first time the rule has come up. They acted on it.

    4. j says:

      Sad for Daniel but this is not an “inconsistent” decision. What this situation seems like is RBR trying to bully the FIA… Betting that with an Aussie on the podium and a sensor that has been faulty in the past as a scapegoat that the FIA wouldn’t dare enforce the rule this time.

      I’m not super surprised simply because every other Renault car was rubbish on the back straight. Look at the results by engine manufacturer, it’s really clear:

      M, R (disqualified), M, M, F, M, M, F, R, R. Toro Rosso did beat Perez but other than that they only came in front of the Saubers, Marussias and cars that DNF’d.

  40. Goob says:

    So this is how F1 WDCs are going to be decided/controlled now… almost makes the double diffuser WDC less manipulated.

  41. Brent says:

    I feel sorry for Ricciardo and the Aussie’s but it sounds like Red Bull new there was a problem and ignored it.
    I don’t really understand why an accurate, dependable fuel flow meter would be tough to design/build. Put the meter between the fuel cell and the engine, send real time flow rates back to race control and when the car runs over 100kg per hour a red light comes on. How much over is irrelevant. Over is over.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Sounds too complicated.

      Give them 100kg, if they run out, they’ve used too much.

    2. Steve says:

      Of course it also sounds like the FIA knew there was a problem with their sensors all weekend…

    3. Kinkas says:


      As far as I am aware, the sensors were approved end of last year / early this year, because they were not providing readings within the approved tolerance (reliable readings).

      During testing and on practice sessions, some teams and FIA were unhappy with the accuracy of the sensors readings, hence they fitted a couple of sensors on Ric’s car, until they reverted to the first one they used during Friday.

      I guess that on this game of F1, you try to explore the limit all the time, which means that on instances were you try to run at maximum flow, you don’t want to give in the 0.5% (or whatever the tolerance might be) of variance that comes with the official meter. RBR have developed their own flow meter, which they believe is more accurate then the one provided by FIA, and they checked their “real” flow using their own control systems. Important to notice that the decision was made based on the readings of this Friday sensor (which was deemed unreliable, at some point over the weekend), and I am sure that if the consistent readings exceeding the maximum allowed are to be judged by, then RIC might have ended up with no fuel.

      Without making any judgements of whom is wrong or right, I believe that this debacle could have been avoided. Leave the flow rate to the driver / team to sort. The cars are already very quiet, and if the pattern of today’s race is kept, this will be a year of processional races.

      I heard the pundits stating that Australia was a bit hard on fuel consumption, but already before the mid point of the race, the drivers were being told that they were now “safe” on the fuel side (except that they are limited on the flow…). So if the coming tracks are more easier, then why impose this flow rate?

  42. Texas T says:

    A major frustration with F1 is that you get adjustments to the standings hours (or days with appeals) after the race has finished.

    F1 has identified this as a problem and made strides to fix it, but the fuel infringement is a tricky one and we’ll likely get more situations like this during the season.

    From James’ article, the fuel infringement was flagged as an issue to Red Bull during the race and Red Bull chose to ignore the FIA. So, could the FIA not have imposed a drive thru penalty or a time penalty so that the result is fixed at the end of the race and the guys on the podium are rightfully there?

  43. JAWA hs-f1 says:

    I feel sad for Ricciardo. He drove brilliantly.

    But as far as RedBull is concerned, I can not sympathize. It is clear now, they were warned and even then chose to go by their own model to calculate flow rate!!! Amazing..

    Imagine if every team started doing that.

    I think the “Grand Farce” will be if this ruling somehow gets overturned..

  44. Anthony says:

    Red Bull seem to be the new Ferrari.

    Awful situation for Ricciardo, but you ignore FIA instructions at your own peril.

  45. f1finn says:

    Taken away by stewards….robs of trophy…
    Biased reporting much?

    Broke the rules, gained advantage, got caught.

    1. rasbob says:

      “Broke the rules, gained advantage, got caught.”

      Biased reporting much?

    2. Robbed Steward says:

      Im sorry but you have no idea what a good journalism or a good headline is:) I mean…Glad to see that someone is not afraid to bring it up.

      I think RB should have stayed straight and not play along this game, hand in a protest before the race or boycott the whole event. But if there really were inconsistencies with the unit supplied by FIA, then FIA should take the blame for not doing their homework, again. Instead, by changing the flow meter with an illegal one, RB became the criminals. Sad story, no matter how you look at it.

  46. Peter Freeman says:

    James what I don’t understand is how then, did the not run out of fuel? If they are restricted to 100kg’s of fuel and his car was using it at a rate that was above the allowed limit, surely he would run out all by himself?

    Could you or Mark explain this all to us in a bit more detail so that we can get a better understanding of what the issue is?

    1. James Allen says:

      You don’t run at that rate for long, of course!

      1. MrNed says:

        This being so, what’s the point of the 100kg/hour limit? Nobody could run at this rate for long anyway (or not if they wanted to see the chequered flag), so why have the additional restriction?

      2. j says:

        What about quali? Do you want to see HAM out there with 1000+ HP grabbing pole at every race?

        The flow limit means they don’t get much power after 10,000 RPMs and some claim that the Merc engine already has 700 HP before the adding the 160 HP electric motor. With no flow limit they could use up the full RPM range and boost the power and top speed massively.

      3. Aaron says:

        A lot of people seem to be misunderstand the problem here and confusing flow rate with the amount of fuel burnt. Fuel doesn’t just go from the tank to the engine. It is constantly cycled round under pressure, with any fuel that is not used by the injectors being sent back to the tank. This is done to ensure that fuel is instantly available to the injectors should they require more (ie when the engine goes to full power). The flow rate governs this cycling of fuel, not how much is being used by the engine.

      4. Sylvester says:


        It would be great if you could explain this
        “Super Rule” in detail.

        Still unable to get a hang of it..

      5. Erik says:

        For long?
        Can it ever in any instant go over 100kg/ hour?
        For 1/100s of a second? Or how is it applied?

        Fuel expand when heated but weigh the same.
        But they measure the fuel by flow, milliliter, not weight. So if they overheat the fuel where it is measured it will then flow more than the limit even though the weight flow is the same.

        How is the flow meters calibrated? How large is the allowed discrepancy? One tiny amount of difference will make a huge difference.

        If FIA cannot police it nor measure it reliably they need to find a better system.

        Does the mercs run with a different kind of fuel compared to the other engines?

      6. jake says:

        “Fuel expand when heated but weigh the same.
        But they measure the fuel by flow, milliliter, not weight. So if they overheat the fuel where it is measured it will then flow more than the limit even though the weight flow is the same.”
        Correct,however a correction factor can be applied to the measured flow rate in relation to the fuel temperature. Thus the flow sensor would be temperature compensated.

      7. Robert says:

        The Gill Technology meter used by the FIA measures flow and temperature of the fuel as it is delivered…according to the press statements issued when it was approved. Try Google…

      8. Chris says:

        OK, I get that, so what does the “consistently” in the ruling mean? Is there an intention in the new regs that extra power, to fight for position etc can only come from ERS?

      9. Neil says:

        it means that because RB chose to ignore the FIA sensor and trust their own equipment, the effectively chose to cap their fuel consumption at 101kg/hr. I think the ruling means then that DR was hitting this rate everytime he was at full throttle, in an appropriate rev range.

        I imagine that after a certain amount of revs is reached, the flow rate will be flattened and limited to that rate by the ECU. Clearly the engine builders need to hit this rate early, and use the lower revs to get a better fuel / rev ratio, which is why those things are so Torquey

        I guess the FIA is being clear here and are not saying that they occasionally exceeded this rate (e.g. on over-rev, or at the rev limit etc, or other unusual circumstance). it seems to be a straight up disagreement by RB on how to measure peak fuelflow rate.

    2. C63 says:

      The maximum fuel flow rate allowed, is an average of 100kg/hour for the duration of the race. So, for instance, a 2 hour race will require a maximum average flow rate of 50kg/hour or the limit will be exceeded. As the Australian GP lasted for just over 1.5 hours, the maximum average flow rate would need to have been around 66kg/hour.
      Hope that helps :-)

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        That makes no sense at all, what’s the point of restricting the flow?

        Just have the fuel limit.

      2. C63 says:

        Measuring the flow is the way the FIA have decided to measure fuel usage – I didn’t invent the idea. Complain to the FIA if you don’t like what they are doing. ;-)

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        Seems crazy to me, but then I’m not a casual viewer they’re trying to attract, I’m one of the viewers they’re losing.

    3. yellowbelly says:

      You don’t run the whole lap on full throttle, therefore you are not burning fuel at the maximum allowable rate for 100% of the time.

    4. Baktru says:

      I’m baffled there’s so many comments asking this very same question when it should be utterly obvious.

      Maximum amount of fuel per race: 100kg.

      Fastest speed at which it can be used ever under full throttle etc.: 100kg/h.

      Of course it works out, they don’t spend the entire race on full throttle… It’s a simple difference between average (which is the 100kg rule) and maximum (which is 100kg/h).

    5. kenneth chapman says:

      my initial understanding is that the FIA sensor was giving misreadings and RB changed it back to another FIA sensor which was not accurate. they then proceeded to use their own internal sensor which is calibrated to 100% perfection as it monitors the exact amount of fuel passing through the injectors.

      during the race they were instructed to reduce the fuel flow but if their own ‘injector’data was proving accurate then to turn the fuel flow rate down would have been uncompetitive.

      as others have said, usage of in excess of the 100kg would have stopped the car. some three months ago i flagged this very problem based on an article in racecar engineering by the makers of the ‘in line’ fuel sensor being homologated for the FIA. in that article the makers indirectly expressed an opinion that getting 100% accuracy 100% of the time was proving problematic.

      if it can be proved that RB blatantly cheated then they deserve to be penalised. horner has publicly stated that other teams suffered also which would bear witness to the problems. the outcome of all this will be interesting to hear as it will no doubt have a bearing on the championship results. my sympathies lie 100% with ricciardo. after such a super drive, to have his second place unceremoniously stripped from him must be quite a blow.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        It seems to me as if they need to get rid of the flow rate side of the rule, just stick with the limit.

        Just like in the old days when if they left the turbo boost turned up for too long they ran out of fuel.

      2. jake says:

        No such thing as 100% accurate sensors. They all have an accuracy defined within certain limits. The more accurate the sensor the smaller the limits.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @jake. are you saying that injector pump calibrations are not as accurate as the FIA approved sensors? why did the FIA agree to the changing the sensor from friday to saturday and then when that sensor was unreliable and didn’t work, order red bull to revert to the friday sensor that they had instructed red bull to remove because it was inaccurate?

        red bull have stated that they were of the opinion that to have followed the FIA instructions that it would penalise them unfairly. i shall await the court of appeal decision with anxiety as it is totally unfair to strip ricciardo from the results. if red bull have cheated and it is proved conclusively so then by all means strip the team of WCC points but leave ricciardo out of it. the FIA have absolved him of any misdemeanour if you read the published stewards report.

  47. Ronspeak says:

    Surely they haven’t got a leg to stand on?! If Redbull get away with using they’re own equipment then they’re just laughing in the FIA’s face. How do the FIA police anything after this unless they stick to they’re guns? I can’t think what grounds Redbull think they can appeal?

    1. SteveS says:

      “I can’t think what grounds Redbull think they can appeal?”

      This is an elementary exercise in mathematics. If the mathematics is on RB’s side then they have excellent grounds to appeal. Either the FIA has the correct understanding of what the fuel flow rate was in DR’s car, or they do not. It can’t be difficult to discover the truth. I’m not prejudging the outcome but there are obviously grounds for an appeal.

      1. Ronspeak says:

        That’s ok but they where already asked to change the sensor to a homologated one and refused. Every team has said they had the same problem but accepted the rules and FIA’s judgement. They were using an illegal sensor and were still given the chance to correct the fuel flow rate during the race. I’m sorry but I still don’t understand how they feel they have a right to appeal. If they do and win it will be the same as the old Ferrari days of doing what they like and that is a standered formula 1 doesn’t need.

    2. Rene says:

      The FIA’s rubbish sensors aren’t reliable. Why would you listen to such a useless and indecisive bunch of bureaucrats?

      1. Robert says:

        What, you mean the sensors built by a wholly independent manufacturer in the UK, and merely selected and approved by the FIA?

      2. Rene says:

        If it your job to ‘select and approve’ you should select and approve something that works, no? Otherwise you are just there for the donuts…

      3. Robert says:

        It does work…within a range of error, as all sensors have.

        There is a correction factor that is applied to nullify that error, or at least make it insignificant.

    3. warley says:

      They could try logic but its the FIA they are dealing with!!

  48. ffcunha says:

    I´m even more confused, so they completed the race with de 100 kg but they are not allowed to exceed a rate of maximum 100kg/hour?? Are they trying to normalize de fuel comsuption between all engines?? F1 is looking more and more like a formula renault or gp3. Give everybody the same engine , fuel and tyres at least we weren´t beind deceived.
    Also all the doubts about the sensors,ludacris.

    1. Bob says:

      Without getting onto the whole whose fault was it discussion, just reading that FIA explanation illustrates how complex this whole thing has been made for fans. Yes, F1 is the pinacle of racing, but when fans see results being changed and can’t truly understand why, that’s when the sport loses appeal. I am sure most fans in this site probably get it, as they are pretty sophisticated, but what about the average guy/gal that tunes in just to watch some good racing?

      If anything the FIA should have a plain English version of what happened….

    2. SteveH says:

      They’re trying to keep the power down. Maximum fuel flow (100 kg/hr) starts at 10,500 rpm and is constant at that rate to the rev limit, 15,000 rpm.

    3. David in Sydney says:

      The 100kgh is a maximum flow rate – over a lap the car would not be using maximum fuel flow otherwise, as has been pointed out, a car would theoretically use 100kg of fuel per hour.

      Going over the maximum would give you a peak engine advantage over another with the same engine not going over the maximum limit – it’s a rule linked to fuel usage but not necessarily linked with the 100kg fuel limit – gear and tune your engine to work best at 90kgh fuel and you’ll never have to hit the limit.

      Let’s hope the sensor was erratic and faulty proving that Red Bull was right to rely on it’s own data to avoid technically going over the 100kgh fuel flow rate.

  49. Rick says:

    The cars sound like my lawnmower, the noses are ugly as sin, and now Ricciardo is disqualified for a fuel flow issue ? Something which does not even belong in F1 regulations. They’re racing cars.

    After 44 years of dedicated F1 watching, I may have to sit this year out.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Same here.

    2. C63 says:

      The cars sound like my lawnmower..

      Really? Where can I get a lawnmower like yours? :-)

    3. Paul Kirk says:

      Hay Rick, I’d love to hear your lawnmower! If it sounded like these cars I’d offer to mow your lawn every day! I reckon the cars sounded great! Reminded me of almost the sound Cris Amon’s V6 Ferrari made going past the hangers at Wigram (NZ) decades ago, it was like music to my ears.

      1. Rick says:

        Hey Paul, I don’t know if you were there and got to hear them in person, but at full song on TV, they sounded awful to my ears. And the majority of fans will be hearing them on TV, not live at a race. I thought the Turbo’s in the 80′s sounded much better. The aural impact of an F1 car is a huge part of the experience.

        Maybe I will post a recording of my lawnmower !

        I am quite envious of your hearing Chris Amon in a V6 !

  50. Olivier says:

    This is so cruel on Ricciardo … can’t they just punish Red Bull by stripping them from the Constructor Championship points? Ricciardo can keep his second place and Driver Championship points?

    It is quite arrogant from Red Bull to ignore the warnings from the FIA. Basically Red Bull decided that FIA was wrong and decided to carry on despite the FIA warnings during the race?

    1. Grant H says:

      I feel for DR but his car had a performance advantage those behind did not, imagine if they dont punish him every other team on grid will be doing the same next race, rules are rules in the end

    2. MrNed says:

      “It is quite arrogant from Red Bull to ignore the warnings from the FIA. Basically Red Bull decided that FIA was wrong and decided to carry on despite the FIA warnings during the race?”

      Which is kinda the point: Ricciardo couldn’t do anything about it (the stewards judgement says as much) so it was for RB to tell him to turn down the engine / save more fuel. The infringement is pretty clear (even if the reason for the rule is not), and Ricciardo (and his fans) should be angry with RB for being so arrogant in ignoring the FIA, not angry with the FIA for applying the same rules to everyone.

      1. C63 says:

        Don’t blame the FIA for policing the rules, blame Red Bull for breaking them.

    3. Kev says:

      The car’s pace is illegal without which he wouldn’t have stuck to 2nd place. How can he be left to keep his points?

      Consequences of an action, they call this.

    4. aezy_doc says:

      It’s the last lap. The driver in second place takes a short cut and gains the lead and wins the race. Surely that’s not the constructor’s fault. Let them keep the win but punish the driver. Er, no. Win as a team, lose as a team, be disqualified as a team.

    5. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      So according to your rules, RB could keep building cheater cars and Ric or Vet would win the WDC? Don’t think that would work….

    6. Stephen says:

      RBR obviously feel strongly that they have grounds for appeal based on faulty fuel flow readings. They could just as easily argue that the fuel flow reading from the standard sensor was disadvantaging them, if it was giving a reading much higher than they were actually using. I’m no RBR fan, but some have to take biased views out of this: All cars get the same fuel and the same amount of fuel, so unless RBR have blatantly used more fuel (impossible) or had an elevated fuel flow rate for extended periods (factoring in errors with sensors that could give false readings which FIA already acknowledge), then the appeal will be successful.

  51. Ikki says:

    Extract from FIA statement: “The FIA technical representative observed thought the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor – and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction.” – The team were given an opportunity to correct their irrational mistake, but still they ignore it thinking they can get away with their lame excuse. This in itself calls for the punishment. But they should spare Driver’s points.. Poor lad.

    1. McHarg123 says:

      As much as I am massively gutted for Dan, it’s clear cut. You can’t just Punish the team and let the driver off. RedBull it seems were given the opportunity to correct it and failed to do so! Hard to swallow for Dan I know, but cop it on the chin and move on. Look at the positives he can take out of this weekend. Beating a quadrupole world champion comprehensively over the course of the weekend, in his first race with RedBull. Very impressive!!

    2. Tim Burgess says:

      If the fuel flow was above the allowed rate (ignoring allegations of inaccuracy for a moment), the engine would be running with higher power than is allowed under the rules.

      This would mean Dan was second because he had an illegal amount of power. Why should he not be disqualified?

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Shouldn’t he have run out of fuel, what’s the point in having a fuel limit if they’re going to limit the fuel flow?

    3. C63 says:

      I feel dory for Dan, after all it wasn’t his fault, or within his control. But, if he was driving a car that had an advantage (ie more power) due to a technical infringement then that is not fair on the rest of the field. Sorry, but if Red Bull are guilty, he loses his points as well as the team being penalised.

    4. Stephen says:

      So let’s say you turn down the fuel rate (even though your own data is saying you comply) and fall way down through the field. Then at the end of the race you find the fuel flow meter is faulty… a “sorry” from the FIA is not really a compensation. I can understand why you don’t follow the FIA instruction when you are convinced the fuel flow meter is once again faulty. Better to get the placing and debate the facts later

    5. kenneth chapman says:

      before you rush to judgement i think you should peruse the RB statements re the ‘injector fuel flow monitoring’. if this system was accurate then why would you revert to another system that is flawed?

      1. Kev says:

        So RB suddenly have this magical instrument that makes the right decisions while Merc/Macca/Ferrari don’t have one?

        Merc were required to make some offset and they did so. Only RB chose to think that the law didn’t apply to them.

        The rule may not be 100% accurate but it is consistent for all of the teams. So eventually they are all fighting the same fight. RB should have done the same but decided to get a unfair advantage.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @kev, if red bull’s data was showing that they were not exceeding the limit and at no time did they exceed the limit, then why would they accept a directive to change their settings to an uncompetetive level? how can you assume an ‘unfair advantage’ if what red bull says turns out to be the truth. yes, they did not accept the ‘directive’ and they have admitted such but at no time did they breach the flow rate settings.

        until the hearings we are all just commenting on the published commentary and there are many interpretations. i am avoiding any politics here just trying to see the technical problems and the ramifications of same.

      3. C63 says:

        The technical regulations clearly define the procedure that should be followed when a team believes the flow rate sensor is inaccurate. Red Bull decided not to follow the procedure, which is not their prerogative and, in itself, is also an offence. Incidentally, an offence which Red Bull admit to committing.

  52. Mike Hessey says:

    Well, if all the other teams accepted the sensors, and Red Bull did not, and recalibrated them as they felt fit, I’d think they deserve a penalty – if not, where will it end when teams see fit to alter standard components? Whether RIC does deserve a penalty and how much seems to me more debatable. Of course the rules don’t allow this, but RB losing all their constructors points might be right, but surely RIC, who drove brilliantly, should only get a time penalty, or a places penalty, or points penalty?

    1. Anthony says:

      But you don’t know how much advantage DR gained by using an excessively high max fuel rate (if indeed he did). If the sensor was correct, it could be that DR didn’t actually drive as well as we thought, and was on the podium only as a result of having an unfair advantage.

  53. SteveS says:

    It should not be difficult to discover who is right and who is wrong here. They know how much fuel was put in the car, and how much was in it at the end of the race. They have telemetry describing the fuel flow rate at every instant during the race. In fact, they have two different and conflicting models of the fuel burn telemetry … the FIA’s, and RB’s.

    Given the above data it should be quite straight-forward to work out whether the FIA or RB has the correct understanding of the fuel flow rate.

    1. Querfeldein says:

      It’s not so simple. Weighing the car before and after the race only gives you the average fuel flow rate, and clearly, that is well below the limit. The FIA and RB fuel flow measurements may well agree in terms of the total amount of fuel consumed. The key question is the time interval over which the fuel flow rate is measured by either system, and if that differs, the peak fuel flow rate will be higher in the system that has the shortest interval.

    2. C63 says:

      They know how much fuel was put in the car..

      How does the FIA know how much fuel was put in the car at the start of the race?

    3. Tim Burgess says:

      “They” know how much fuel was put in the car…? That would be RB, not the FIA. IF (and that’s quite an “if”) RB were cheating deliberately, why would they tell the truth about the starting amount of fuel?

      1. Bryce says:

        There is a 100kg maximum that is policed.

      2. Tim Burgess says:

        Fair point.

    4. MrNed says:

      Unfortunately, the decision to use a backup reading is for the FIA to make, not the team, so RB had no right to decide – carte blanche – to ignore the official sensor and use their own calculations. So yes, it would be easy enough to demonstrate whether-or-not RIC’s car exceeded the flow rate, but the rules will still have been broken by RB because it was not up to them to decide that they’d use their reading instead of the official reading of the FIA-supplied sensor. They also ignored the FIA’s warnings during the race that they were infringing the fuel flow rate. FIA warned they were going to police this harshly. Put simply, RB could have easily avoided a disqualification.

    5. KARTRACE says:

      Greater flow would yield more horse power when needed. We are talking here of the maximum fuel flow that is allowed. Ultimately would not affect overall fuel consumption as they could turn down fuel consumption when in “costing” mode. It would be similar as if they , lets say, have their turbo charger delivering 1.6 bar instead 1.4 bar when needed. That explains why Ricardo’s car was so agile/lively throughout the race when accelerating.

    6. Bradley says:

      That depends on whether the two were systematically different – or randomly different. As a test it works in the former case but not the latter. And while it’s a test that appeals to engineers, try convincing the lawyers.
      If the FIA sensor measures ‘correctly’ but with a lot of noise on top, it might give false signals above 100kg/s now and then.
      Or their sensor might be fine and RB broke the rules.

    7. Bryce says:

      I actually agree with you on something.

      Even allowing for your usual one-eyed view of the VET/team bull (F1) world, you might be right on this one.

    8. KRB says:

      The FIA doesn’t know how much fuel was in the car to start with. I believe they should weigh the cars before they leave for the grid on Sunday, but they don’t do that. Of course, they can look at the fuel tank capacity, to find a maximum fuel load.

      Charlie Whiting said they could and would also correlate what the sensor was saying, to a check of the injectors. Still, why would RBR refuse the FIA’s request? That’s just asking for trouble. I know they thought the sensor was bad, and that slowing down would’ve cost them position. It was a total double-down, going all-in with Ricciardo’s chips as it were. I wonder if they would’ve done that if it had been Vettel instead?

      1. C63 says:

        I believe they should weigh the cars before they leave for the grid on Sunday…

        The fuel allowance is for the race distance only, not the lap to the grid, warm up or in lap at the end. The average flow rate is the way in which the FIA police the usage. For example a 2 hour race would require an average max flow rate of 50kg/hour to remain within the max limit of 100kg for the race.

        It was a total double-down, going all-in with Ricciardo’s chips as it were. I wonder if they would’ve done that if it had been Vettel instead?…

        I had the exact same thought, Red Bull would, I suspect, have been more cautious had it been the golden child’s points that were at risk.

    9. John R says:

      Referee is always right.


      1. Voodoopunk says:


      2. KRB says:

        Ok, the saying John R has used is not meant to be taken literally (i.e. of course the referee isn’t always right, they’re human!). Instead it’s meant to convey that it’s usually a waste of energy to try to convince a referee that they’ve made the wrong decision. The decision has been made, it won’t be reversed, so get on with the game. Control the things you can control, let go of those you can’t.

        It’s a football saying … maybe the second universal phrase learned. First would be “unlucky, lad!” :-D

  54. mofs says:

    Not sure what Red Bull can defend here – they’re the same senors for all the teams so just do what the FIA say and they’ll be fine.

    1. Juzh says:

      and those sensors have been malfunctioning for all the teams to some degree.

    2. Yak says:

      The problem is, while they’re the same sensors for all the teams, the sensors seem to be inaccurate and inconsistent. The accuracy of the fuel flow sensors could effectively give one car/team an advantage over the others.

      If car A can run at 100kg/h and their FIA sensor says its 100kg/h, they can run at that rate. If car B’s sensor reads 100kg/h when they’re actually only running at 90kg/h… according to the rules, they can only run at 90kg/h. Does that sound fair? If you were spending hundreds of millions to go racing, would you just say, “Well, all of our own data says this is wrong, but we just have to do what the FIA says”?

      If the sensors really are flawed as is being claimed, it’s better for the sport that Red Bull are challenging it. We can’t have races where enforcement of one of the big regulations is essentially done by lucky dip. They need to either get it right, or get rid of it.

  55. Michael Prestia says:

    I believe Red Bull were relying on the fact that Riccardo is Aussie and it would not look good on the sport to disqualify him at his home race. Case and point: “the team was asked to turn the rate down but declined to do so.” They believed they were immune!

    1. Michael says:

      Immune? Who the hell does Redbull think they are? Ferrari? lol

    2. Yak says:

      OR, they were relying on the fact that they know they’re right.

      From memory though, the regulations state that the teams have to comply with the fuel flow limit, and specifically that it’s according to what the FIA’s sensors determine. So in that case, they’d just be wrong even if their actual fuel flow was within the limit.

      But if that’s the case, and the sensors really are dodgy and inconsistent from one to the next, then the whole thing is a joke. RB reportedly changed the sensor because it gave different readings on their 4th FP1 run and then continued to do so in FP2. So it’s not even like they can just test 1000 of the things at the factory until they find a spot-on accurate one to put in the car, coz an hour later it might give a different reading.

      So they’re just supposed to go along with whatever the FIA’s sensors say, even though they’re known to be inaccurate and inconsistent?

    3. Stephen says:

      They didn’t just ignore the FIA directive – they are arguing that the sensor was faulty and giving an incorrect reading (which had they followed the directive would have meant they were possibly disadvantaged. Regardless of whether a standard homologated sensor is issued to all teams, any piece of equipment or sensor can have faults, be damaged etc. The case in point is that they were instructed on Friday to change it by the FIA already because it was obviously faulty? The FIA won’t have a leg to stand on in appeal if the sensor was faulty. RBR are the most professional outfit in the paddock, does anyone really think they would be so ignorant on a FIA directive unless they had strong grounds to defend their position?

      1. Grant says:

        Are teams allowed to defy instructions based on strong grounds?

        That sounds like opening a can of worms.

  56. Don says:

    Poor Daniel – His dream debut messed up by Red Bull’s usual shenanigans!

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Messed up by the incompetence of the FIA.

      Get it right.

  57. Joe B says:

    RBR continuing its quest to become the least popular team down under, I see. Massive shame for Ricciardo, that was a popular result. What kind of advantage would that fuel flow have given him?

    1. JB says:

      FIA is at fault here. Red Bull and Ricciardo are all victims.

    2. Paul Kirk says:

      It allows the engine to produce more power, Joe B.

    3. KARTRACE says:

      That is the amount of the fuel that he could use at any given time under the engines load thus yielding extra power = performance, greater top end.

    4. mtm says:

      More horsepower, higher speed, better acceleration.

    5. Brent says:

      It may have kept him ahead of the McLarens.

    6. Alex Parkin says:

      Err, just the ability to turn teh wick up at the end and stop Magnussen getting past….

    7. Michael says:

      What kind of advantage? Kevin Magnussen was on his gearbox and probably would’ve passed him.

    8. Joe B says:

      Thanks for clarifying that, everyone! That makes perfect sense to me now, I don’t think I had my thinking cap on when I read this yesterday…

      During the race I thought it odd that Magnusson couldn’t close the gap even with the richer fuel mix in the last two laps, but just figured Ricciardo had also been fuel saving at earlier points in the race. I was also surprised by the speed of the Red Bull, but this was measured against a McLaren being driven by a rookie – not the most readable yardstick in the first race.

      That puts the RB10′s magic pace improvement into perspective then. If the appeal is unsuccessful, then we’ll see where they truly sit in the pecking order next race.

      1. Michael says:

        Doesn’t this also show how dominant the W05 is? Mercedes won this race by 25 seconds. The only thing that will stop them from winning both championships is the weather conditions and reliability.

  58. Dane says:

    Gutted for Ricciardo. Can Red Bull really be blamed if the FIA have them a part that wasn’t working correctly? Still they should’ve adjusted the fuel flow when asked.

    1. SteveS says:

      No, if RB are correct in their measurements then they should not have slowed their car down when asked.

      Were they correct? We don’t know that yet, but they’re more likely to be correct than the FIA technical representative. We should know shortly who did their sums right and who did not.

      1. C63 says:

        No, if RB are correct in their measurements then they should not have slowed their car down when asked…

        Actually SteveS you are wrong when you say that. There is a laid down procedure the teams have to follow when they believe the FIA flow rate sensor is not functioning correctly. Red Bull ignored that as well, which, in itself, is another offence.

  59. KenC says:

    “flow rate was exceeding 100kg/hour, which is the maximum in the regulations. The statement added that the team was asked to turn the rate down but declined to do so.”

    Hmmm…refusing an order is risky.

    “Red Bull had twice changed the sensor on Ricciardo’s car after being unhappy with readings during practice. The unit fitted to his car during the race is the original one he used in Friday practice”

    It’s too bad they didn’t try to get another one, rather than using one that was already giving them unhappy readings.

    1. mtm says:

      There not a team for taking chances though. They must believe they can prove the sensor was faulty and their readings are correct otherwise they wouldn’t attempt it.

      I’m assuming they can back it up with actual before and after amounts of fuel in the car.

      1. C63 says:

        Red Bull not a team for taking chances!!! What???
        Are you a new viewer to F1?

      2. mtm says:

        Been watching it for about 20 years. I’ve always seen them to take the ‘bring home the points’ approach and make decisions based on data.

      3. C63 says:

        You must have been watching something different to me then:-) It’s self evident, on this occasion at least, they did not adopt the conservative approach which you claim to have detected. If they had, they would have taken heed of the FIA warning and settled for a potentially lower, but still points scoring, position. As it is, they have got nothing. Incidentally, proving how much fuel was used during the race (even if they could) won’t help them on this occasion. They are not being accused of exceeding the 100kg/race limit but exceeding the 100kg/hour flow rate – two entirely different things.

    2. Brent says:

      Or file a grievance before the race.

  60. Jorge says:

    Oh my.. imagine if this happened to Vettel.

    Good thing Dan is so likeable.

    1. John R says:

      If it hapenned to Vettel we’d all be cheering!

      Pity Dan is so likeable as makes us think for a moment that – perhaps – following the rules and doing what the stewards tell you is possibly not the right way to go. Which of course it isn’t.

  61. Jose Sanchez kowalsky says:

    I feel sorry for the Australian fans. If only the fia would have given free fuel flow for the first year, and slowly reduce it over the years, the formula would be more appealing to the fans, and the very unpopular diqualification of ricciardo wouldn’t have happened.
    Nevertheless, I thought it was going to be even worse. On TV its OK. I would just wait a few year to go to a race track to watch them live.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Why restrict fuel flow, just restrict fuel limit, if you turn the wick up and burn too much you run out.


  62. Mark J says:

    Am I just being a simple Simon? Would it not be easier just to say all teams start the race with 100kg of fuel, weigh the car before the race and away you go? Put car weight, driver weight, fuel weight together then you have the final measurement, then race!

    This is what gets super confusing as a sit at home fan. Some sensor which has obviously proven to be faulty for a lot of teams, has altered the result of the race. No fault of the driver or car, but questions marks over the teams personal and the FIA in handling this though.

    I now have to spend 30mins of my time reading various motorsport internet sites to understand why this happened, then go over a long winded highly detailed report from the FIA. Wish everyone luck trying to have a rational discussion about this outcome with their mates tomorrow… Poor Dan, guy has done nothing wrong but drive a great race, in front of his home crowd!

    1. KARTRACE says:

      There is no mystery. They were advised during the course of the race and RBR decided to ignore recommendation of FIA representative.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        And the FIA are always right?

      2. KARTRACE says:

        Is FIA always right, of course not always. But it is the onus on competitors to adhere to the rules and instructions passed by the FIA officials. The fact that RBR ignored those instructions is not going to be in their favor during the appeal process. One rule for all is what we are looking for. We know how notorious is RBR when it comes to bending those rules. That rule of 100kg/h fuel flow is there ever since rules being changed for 2104.

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        “The fact that RBR ignored those instructions is not going to be in their favor during the appeal process. One rule for all is what we are looking for.”

        Fair enough.

        As long as the equipment the FIA provide is up to it.

        If it’s not?

    2. Brent says:

      I feel for Ricciardo but it’s a team sport and it appears the team screwed up. If Red Bull had played by the rules you wouldn’t have to read an FIA report

      The sensor didn’t cause any other team to exceed the flow rate.

    3. David in Sydney says:

      Effectively you are right but the FIA has imposed a secondary rule of fuel flow – fuel limit plus fuel flow = the rule.

      Unless RBR can prove the sensor was faulty and that they had no choice but to work out their fuel flow another way then the FIA will win through.

  63. Sebee says:

    I just read the rulling. As Mr. Conspiracy Theory, I have to say, this fuel sensor is a nice way for FIA to have full control of team performance.

    I think they need to give the teams 100kg and move out of the way. There is too much gray in this flow sensor.

    1. NickO says:

      Since max fuel load is the same for everyone, why have a sensor at all?

      FIA rules are opaque enough- I just don’t understand this one.

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      Way too sensible an idea for the FIA.

      Makes perfect sense to me.

    3. Martin says:

      Presumably the flow limit is there to ensure that all cars have the ability to run for up to two hours.

      The alternative of masses of cars running out of fuel long before the finish or half the field limping around at 20 mph for the last ten laps just to get home while the other half who have used fuel consistently consistently are bearing down on them at 200mph would be an even bigger farce and a safety issue.

      Bottom line, Red Bull ignored a clear and perfectly reasonable FIA instruction to reduce fuel consumption and bring it into line with the FIA’s readings and paid the price.

      My feeling is that showing them the black flag would have been better than dealing with it after the race but I have no doubt that disqualification is the right decision.

      1. Sebee says:


        But at the same time I really feel FIA is determining team strategy with this. Not only that, who watches the watcher and ensures this sensor selection and calibration is bullet proof and blind? Also, it’s a bit anti F1. Every team know that to win you have to see the checker. For as long as we’ve watched F1 there have been sprints and turning down, coasting, etc. Plus this has the potential to spice up the show big time.

      2. Peter Young says:


        Errrr, Actually I reckon this would be quite exciting rather than a farce – Let the teams decide how & when they use their 100kgs!

      3. Yago says:

        “My feeling is that showing them the black flag would have been better than dealing with it after the race”
        This is what Charlie said about that:
        “When asked if there could be an instant verdict in the event of a driver going over the limit just before the finish line, he said: “No, I don’t think we would know with complete certainty at that point – it would have to be investigated.

        “It is no different to any other technical check because checks get made for two and a half hours after the race. Any one of those checks could mean disqualification.””

        “Presumably the flow limit is there to ensure that all cars have the ability to run for up to two hours.”
        I don’t think those are the reasons for the flow limit. I think it is partly for safety reasons, and partly to conduct the research program towards efficiency (energy recovery systems and electric power), and lower power working ranges of the thermal engines. I think with only the limit of total fuel usage, the development would go towards finding as much power as possible with the thermal engine, even at the expense of fuel consumption, and electrical power could be a bit overlooked. The most powerful thermal engine would have a big advantage in qualy, but also in the race, as more power means you can back off also for more time, because you are faster. One could end with beasts which could deliver too much peak power when summing up thermal plus electrical power, which is a safety concern.

    4. C63 says:

      Of course the explanation could be much simpler. Red Bull have been caught cheating.
      There have been several episodes where they sailed very close to the wind and on this occasion, they appear to have gone too far!

    5. Fireman says:

      Yeah, just give faulty sensors to Merc if they are second faster than everyone else. You know, for sake of racing ;)

    6. Robb says:

      Agree. I don’t see any reason for a fuel flow limit when there is already a 100kg per race limit. It just introduces one more thing that can fail. Pity the team and driver who did nothing wrong, but have to give up points when the FIA sensor is faulty.

    7. Sid says:

      Again sebee I agree with you 100%

    8. Brent says:

      Too much grey area around Red Bull. The rule is pretty straight forward. At no point in the race can the volume of fuel flowing to the engine exceed 100kg per hour.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Then why limit the fuel load to 100Kg?

      2. Brent says:

        It enforces efficiency.

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        But surely a total limit enforces its own efficiency, use too much, you run out.

      4. Robert says:

        One is a limit of efficiency, the other is a limit on peak power output, probably in the name of safety. As great as those 1500hp Honda F1 turbos were, there were few F1 tracks on which they were safe…some would say none.

        To limit peak power, the FIA can therefore limit either turbo boost or peak fuel flow. There are arguments that can be made as to which is better to enforce – but the fact is they chose peak fuel flow.

        Just understand that this has NO relationship with the 100kg total fuel limit.

      5. Voodoopunk says:

        “Just understand that this has NO relationship with the 100kg total fuel limit.”

        I understand it perfectly, but if you’re going to govern fuel flow then why bother with a limit of 100Kg total fuel?

        One excludes the other.

    9. Random 79 says:

      +1 Sebee

      What I’d really like to know is why is Dan being punished if it’s the team that’s at fault?

      Take away their constructor points and give them a bloody big fine of you want to, but please don’t punish the driver for the arrogance of the team.

      1. OscarF1 says:

        Yes, yes, that’d be perfect.
        Then the teams might consistently break the rules in order to grant a driver WDC.

      2. Random 79 says:

        It’s true that my solution isn’t great, but I think it’s nonsense that it’s the driver that ends up copping it.

        You’re entitled to say my solution is nonsense, but can you think of a better one?

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        Why would they do that? The Constructor’s championship is where the money is, not the driver’s.

      4. OscarF1 says:

        Actions take consequences.

        If a driver ignores a drive through, he would be disqualified from that race and the team would loose their points for WCC.

        If a team is given a direct command by the governing body of the ‘sport’ and they decide to disregard it, the offending car would be disqualified.

        If you’re stopped for DUI, you can decide to ignore the police measurements and keep on driving, but you’ll surely face consequences (even if the aforesaid measurements were wrong).

      5. Random 79 says:

        All true, <i.But…

        Ricciardo was never handed a drive through, so that point is moot.

        The second point is true, but there should be a better alternative. If your boss was doing something illegal without your knowledge would you expect to be thrown in jail with him?

        As for the third point, at least you might have your chance to end up on the world’s greatest police chases ;)

      6. Random 79 says:

        I kind of screwed up that tag, but at least I didn’t mess up everyone’s italics…again :)

      7. OscarF1 says:

        Dear Random,

        With the first and second examples I mean that when either driver or team takes a decision against the regulations / against a direct order by the governing body, both of them face a penalty since both take an illegal benefit from it.

        Your argument against my second would be valid if (and only if) I didn’t get a profit on my boss’ illegal deeds.

        For the third one, at least in my country when you don’t agree with the breath tests (you get a second one on the spot, half an hour later), you can *be taken* to a hospital and, instead, have a much more accurate blood sampling.
        If you decide to simply drive away, ‘Alleged DUI’ becomes secondary to Contempt of Court.

        Back to ‘our case’, it’s a good idea to re-read the Sporting Code:

        12.1.1.e Any refusal or failure to apply decisions of the FIA.
        12.1.1.i Failure to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event.
        12.1.2 Unless stated otherwise, offences or infringements are punishable, whether they were committed intentionally or through negligence.
        12.1.4 Any natural or legal person who takes part in an offence or infringement, whether as instigator or as accomplice, is also punishable.

      8. Random 79 says:

        I understand the rules and I understand why they are the way they are – I just choose to disagree with them.

        Of course when an individual does the wrong thing there can be consequences for others, but I refuse to accept that consequences should be applied to an individual if it can be shown that they were unaware or unable to do anything to stop or correct the offense – and the FIA did find that “This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo”.

        But if there’s no good solution to it and we might just have to agree to disagree.

    10. KRB says:

      Well, they all have an FIA sensor for the fuel-flow rate, and one to monitor the total fuel used (maybe the one sensor allows for both calc’s). Either way, you’ll still have a sensor.

      Of course you could weigh the cars before they leave for the grid, and afterwards, and so the difference shouldn’t be more than 100kg. But there you could have shenanigans, with mechanics adding weight to the vehicle before the formation lap, or at pitstops, etc. Maybe make the last rims heavier than all the others. I would hope the FIA has a way to police stuff like that, but who knows?

      1. Random 79 says:

        The cars must be a minimum weight, but I believe the teams can add as much ballast as they wish – in theory they could drive around with a two tonne F1 car if they felt the need to – and I suppose part of that ballast could be comprised of heavy rims, but I can’t see any F1 team adding weight to any F1 car unnecessarily as that would kind of defeat the purpose of cheating in the first place.

        What the FIA should be do is weigh the car and driver without any fuel to verify that they meet the minimum weight, then observe the team as they put in no more than 100kg of fuel before the race, and then simply let them rip.

        Then if the team runs out, tough.

        But the real problem is that while it’s been mentioned that having so many reliability problems could be embarrassing for the FIA, so could having cars running out of fuel mid-race in what is supposed to be a showcase for fuel friendly technology, so I think this whole sham is solely because the FIA want to monitor the fuel flow closely to ensure that none of the teams go through it too quickly and run out.

      2. Multi 21 says:

        @KRB & @Random 79

        They DO weigh the cars & drivers. After qualifying and the race finish you might notice the drivers go straight from their cars to the weighbridge.

        Are they supposed to place a weighbridge at the end of the pit lane or does each team visit the FIA garage in their own time and then hope no one does anything dodgy in between weighing and racing.

        You might want to check what Tyrrell did in 1984 to manipulate the rules surrounding minimum weight.

        Also “observe the team as they put in no more than 100kg of fuel before the race” is a flawed idea.

        The problem is cars ARE ALLOWED to have more than 100kg of fuel in their tanks. The 100kg fuel limit for from “lights out” to the “chequered flag”.

        But in addition to the race distance they need fuel for driving from the pits to the grid, a formation lap and a warm down lap to parc ferme after the race.

        This year, the cars must now also return to parc ferme with more than 1L in the tank for a post race fuel analysis.

      3. Random 79 says:

        @Multi 21

        Yes, but there should be a better way than this this keeping tabs on an inaccurate fuel flow gizmo rubbish.

      4. Sebee says:

        Yo, Multi 21, you’re so 2013! :-)

      5. Random 79 says:

        Lol Sebee

        Yes the new “Multi 21″ is “Stay second Vettel do NOT overtake Ricciardo I repeat do NOT overtake Ricciardo confirm you understand and keep in mind the engines are much quieter this year so pretending you can’t hear us clearly so confirm you will NOT overtake Ricciardo”

        It’s a bit vague I know, but they’re working on it :)

      6. KRB says:

        Random, I mean that the car would run underweight for the majority of the race, and then would get the necessary weight added to it at the last pit stop to make it “legal” again. That would be a major advantage.

      7. Random 79 says:

        I guess they might be able to do that but again, but then again if the FIA suspected they were doing that then they could just scrutenise the hell out of it before and after the race to find any extra hidden ballast that wasn’t there before.

        And as for the heavier rims that should be easy also – just weigh them all and if some happen to be heavier than the others then you know the TP’s been a bad boy (or girl) :)

    11. Han says:

      Totally agree. making things way more complicated than they need to be.

    12. David says:

      Yup, FIA have heard all the fans complaining of the Red Bull domination the last 4 years and are going to change that. And Red Bull are tired of hearing how they favour Vettel over the Aussie, so to make up for it, they’ve flipped this year.


    13. Wade Parmino says:

      Yes. It should not matter what flow rate of fuel is used so long as it is possible to fit ONLY 100 kg of fuel on board. That should be the parameter: max 100 kg fuel on board the car at the start of a race. Teams should be able to use that fuel however they want at whatever rate they want.

    14. C63 says:

      With respect to all of the above comments. None of you have grasped how the fuel usage is measured. It is done with the flow rate sensor.
      For example,100kg of fuel permitted for the race distance, 2 hour race requires a max flow rate of 50kg/hour. Therefore if Red Bull exceeded the flow rate they have also exceeded the allowance and gained an advantage. It would be completely impractical for the FIA to weigh the fuel before and after as the allowance applies to the race distance only, not the out, in and warm up lap.
      Some of you might want to reconsider your comments in the light of this.

      1. Random 79 says:

        So why isn’t it limited to 50kg/h to ensure they can make a two hour race?

        Okay, some races are less, but few if any races last less than an hour so why are they allowed to use 100kg/h?

        Give the teams 100kg of fuel to use in the race – however you want to measure / enforce it – and then let them decide how they want to use it.

      2. C63 says:

        Hi Random79
        First, let me say I feel sorry for Dan, he didn’t do anything wrong (knowingly), he was just the victim of Red Bulls arrogance. However, if a team/car has gained an advantage illegally, as Red Bull are reported to have done, then the driver/team obviously cannot keep the points or there would be no controlling the teams.
        Now, on the point of fuel flow, I make no claim of expertise. I have just done a bit of googling and read up on it. The fuel is restricted in two ways, as I understand it. First total burn for the race and second maximum flow rate at any given time. All in the name of encouraging the engine manufacturers to develop more economic power units with more bang for your buck, as it where. I guess in the hope technology will trickle down to the road cars. Whether you, I or the teams like this is immaterial, them’s the rules and the teams have to get on with it. Red Bull, unquestionably did not follow the regulations, which state the course of action required, when a sensor is suspected as faulty and are also accused of exceeding the max flow rate so have been disqualified. Tough on Dan, but what else can be done if we are to avoid the teams pleasing themselves? Personally, I don’t see how Red Bull can argue this one, the rules are clear and the FIA pledged to enforce them strictly. However, the Bulls have always enjoyed the protection of a powerful ‘minder’, in the form of Bernie, so you never know. Ol’ Bernie may flex his muscles once more and get them off the hook :-(

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        “It would be completely impractical for the FIA to weigh the fuel before and after as the allowance applies to the race distance only, not the out, in and warm up lap.
        Some of you might want to reconsider your comments in the light of this.”

        This is all completely unnecessary, just give them 100Kg of fuel for race day.

  64. Kaki says:

    Very sorry for Ric. But on the other hand,Redbull , who they think they are and make their own rules?Maybe Redbull should start it ‘s own championship ,running alone with their own rules….

  65. Iwan says:


    Wouldn’t it be easier for the FIA to supply the teams with a max size fuel tank for the season, taking into account different circuits and the desired fuel saving.

    Give them a 100kg/hour size tank based on two hours worth of racing at the average circuit requirement and be done with it. Yes, its a one size fits all solution but will be MUCH less complex to police.

    1. Robert says:

      Fuel expands with heat. The size of the fuel tank for a given amount of energy output changes depending upon that DAY’S temperature…

  66. German Samurai says:

    It would have looked obvious if they gave young Daniel an alternator or KERS problem. Plus they actually need to run their cars as much as they can this year to get those test miles on the clock.

    Would be no good giving young Daniel and alternator or KERS problem early in the race and not getting those valuable test miles under the belt.

    This way they get to see what young Daniel is made of, do some test running of the Renault engine (sorry power unit), and keep him on the same number of points as young Sebastian.

    Did I really just write that??? Am I really that cynical? Sheesh…

    Would be embarrassing getting to Malaysia and having young Sebastian retire again with young Daniel getting a decent haul of points. He could have potentially been up 30 points to nil against the 4-time champion of the world.

    They’ll have to get crafty if young Daniel is ahead of young Sebastian in Malaysia. Maybe screw up Daniel’s pit strategy by bringing him in a few laps early and putting him on mediums instead of softs. Webber could tell you all about those mystifying pit wall decisions from 4-time world champion team manager Christopher Horner!

  67. Jb says:

    Red Bull would not have jeopardise the team by cheating in the most obvious manner.

    If FIA provided a crappy sensor, then they really screw up and blame others for their error.

    The only way they can ensure that Red Bull is at fault is that they proved the team have used over 100kg/hr. The only thing they have proved is the sensor is not theirs.

    Personally, there is a full proof manner to measure fuel . Which is a before and after race weighing. FIA just keep shooting themselves in the foot for complicating the measurement.

  68. Richard says:

    Did they exceed the 100kg/hour limit for a couple of laps during the race (Lets say lap 40-50 as an example) or did they exceed the 100kg/hour average to complete all 57 laps?

  69. MistressofSpeed says:

    I’m sure this story will develop and in doing so we will hear not only more about this regulation in particular but also the technology being used to police it.

    As I haven’t read anything about issues with the sensor during the weekend I would be interested if anyone can establish, in more detail, other teams’ experiences with the sensors during the race as well as any known feedback about the sensors during testing.

    Cristian Horner, while being interviewed on the BBC, mentioned that their appeal will be made on the fact that there have been known issues for quite some time and he implies that: “… some cars ran without the sensors”!

    There were cars in the race that were not been being monitored to see if they complied with the regulation! Can the FIA confirm or deny this assertion.

    On another note:

    How is classification worked out from positions 14 to 22?

    The Sporting Regulations that I’ve read doesn’t go into that level of detail. So I would like an explanation on the following:
    If Lewis Hamilton retired on lap 3 and Sebastian Vettel on lap 6 and both retired with a mechanical issue how is Hamilton classified at 17 while Vettel is at 20?

    Sporting Regs

  70. Michael Grievson says:

    I’m confused. Why limit the flow rate of the fuel if everyone starts with the same amount?

  71. TGS says:

    Does anybody know what the point of the fuel flow rate rule is?

  72. Thompson says:

    OMG….. Not trying to put any conspiracy theories out there or anything like that but. …… what a perfect way to noble your driver – Helmut is willing to take this hit to take Ricardos points knowing once the Redbull is ready it’ll be fast and Vettel will start winning.

    But now there is no points advantage – it’s early days I know but isn’t fuel flow one thing the team manages.

  73. Chuck 32 says:

    Impound the car, get a bucket, turn on the RB and FIA telemetry, set the fuel flow to the max rate used in the race as seen by both. After 20 sec measure fuel in bucket.
    Maximum fuel delivery rate is critical in a turbocharged engine as it is the limiting factor.
    If the FIA can not provide the teams with 99.999% reliable fuel flow sensors the current formula will not be viable.

  74. Tim W says:

    As a Melbournian and someone who has attended all the Australian GPs at Albert Park since 1997 I feel Formula One will lose out big time after this weekend. The minority of “die-hard” F1 fans in Australia (like me) will continue to watch on TV and attend races but it’s the majority of casual observers that I fear will be lost; thus putting the races’ contract extension in jeopardy.

    I say this because my general perception from this weekend is that the large group of casual race fans found the new rules to have a negative impact. Yes, it made the race itself unpredictable and exciting because no-one knew how the teams would cope, however that will be largely be gone in a few races once the field has settled down and acclimatised to change in goal posts. What has frustrated people has been the mind-boggling complexity of the new cars and most people I speak to can’t begin to understand how they work, and consequently will be frustrated by Ricciardo’s DSQ. The most notable frustration though has been the noise, or lack thereof. Most people I go to the races with go for the sheer thrill of seeing the speed of the cars, but mostly to hear them scream. That’s gone. A lot of fans won’t be back because in their minds the thrill is lost. They don’t care about MGU-K’s and H’s or fuel flow rates. They just want the thrills.

    Maybe I’ll have to think about a trip to Singapore or Suzuka for 2016 onwards…

  75. Querfeldein says:

    What is the time interval over which the fuel flow rate is measured? Clearly, averaged over the race distance, the fuel flow rate is much lower.

    It is very difficult to accurately measure flow rates over very small time intervals. For example, at a frequency 1/10 th of a second, the threshold corresponds to less than 3g of fuel. It would be very difficult to consistently stay within, say, 5% of that.

    However, if the time interval is much longer, it would create a potential loop hole. If RB and the FIA define the peak fuel flow rate over different time intervals, that may well explain why they get different answers.

    Personally, I think that limiting the total amount of fuel is quite enough – why also limit the flow rate, which is much harder to measure accurately?

    1. Alex Ward says:

      The initial meter reading was 10 times per second, after Red Bull complained of faulty sensors the FIA changed it to measure 5 times per second, it didn’t fix the problem.

  76. SteveS says:

    The instant-by-instant fuel flow rate data plots an irregular graph over the course of the race. The area under that graph, which is easily ascertained via some basic calculus, gives the total amount of fuel burned. We know the amount of fuel put in the car, and the amount in it at the end of the race. So it should be childs play to figure out whether the FIA or RB was using the genuinely correct fuel flow rate numbers.

    The stewards ruling essentially conceded the possibility that RB might indeed have the correct numbers on their side, they just said that “You have to follow our numbers even if they are wrong”.

    If, using the FIA numbers, DR’s car should have run out of fuel before the race was over then this decision will be reversed.

  77. Sujith says:

    Leave the future of the Australian GP out of this. It is not the FIA’s fault. It is REDBULL’S!

    How can someone be so arrogant?? So sad for Riciardo. But glad that they got a penalty. RedBull should have listened to the FIA and corrected the flow when they had the chance. Blame the Ausie Farce on Redbull not the FIA.

  78. Leslie D'Amico says:

    Early days yet, many new rules and specifications, first race many DNF due to reliabilty issues, much give and take between the teams and officials, disqualifying of a popular driver, there will be more of the same in the races to come, always happens when rules change so drasticly, personally I’m not a fan of hybrids or fuel economy racing but major rules changes always predate a period of instability within a racing series. It will be a turbulent year, good opportunity for some teams to make the leap to frontrunner status, will be interesting to be sure.

  79. Monktonnik says:

    What a shame!

    I guess the flow rate is set so teams are forced to run at a more consistent pace. It would be equally poor to run at 150kg/hour for the first few laps (or the last few for that matter) then slow down significantly.

    If the sensor was faulty it shouldn’t have been put back n the car. If it was found to be working correctly and they IGNORED THE FIA then RBR really have messed up big time.

    But they should have announced he was at least under investigation during the race.

    In defence of F1, V8 super cars has some weird restart rules which caused a few penalties at the Clipsal 500. It isn’t just F1 that has issues with complex rules and unpopular decisions.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “It would be equally poor to run at 150kg/hour for the first few laps (or the last few for that matter) then slow down significantly.”

      Why? as long as they use their 100Kg of fuel and don’t run out, why can’t they use it as they see fit?

  80. Andrew Carter says:

    Judging from the full Stewards statement, it seems that Red Bull effectively took policing into their own hands, ignored the FIA and so got excluded. If thats all true and nothing else was going on then I think RBR actually got off lucky, they could have been hit far harder.

  81. Steve Rogers says:

    Having ignored the advice to turn down the fuel, it was up to Red Bull to assess their chances of proving the FIA meter inaccurate. If they have decided to proceed with their defiance without adequate proof they have no case.

  82. David Howard says:

    I may be wrong, I’ll defer to James and those with more technical knowledge to correct me if I am, but surely they could have exceeded the fuel flow capacity at various times in the race and still have had only 100 kg of fuel in the car. If their software allows the fuel flow to vary at different throttle settings, could not the software temporarily exceed the threshold to provide the car better performance on acceleration. The increased fuel flow would then be offset by decreased fuel flow in other areas of the track, under braking for instance.
    I would imagine that RBR is trying to make the argument that the flow rate should be calculated by fuel consumption over a longer period of time rather than an instantaneous reading of how much fuel is flowing. The real problem is that they were caught doing this and refused to comply with a request to stop.

    1. Kinkas says:

      I might not understand technical stuff more than you do, but RBR argument is that FIA’s meter is flawed and unreliable (they replaced meters several times over the weekend with both them and FIA unhappy with the reliability of the system). RBR is arguing that because they have a system which measures fuel pumped by the injectors (besides the meter that is compulsory), their readings were more accurate and they can prove that they never actually exceeded the maximum flow.

  83. CC says:

    Interesting comments on this particular debate, but we should all wait until Red Bull appear at the FIA Court of Appeal to give a full explanation, otherwise it would be easy to make slanderous comments [sic] when Red Bull could be entirely innocent on this matter.
    I do feel for Riccairdo, whatever the eventual outcome. His race was the epitome of control, maturity and discipline, and he earned his podium finish entirely on merit – but has the car?
    I was fearing that this fuel flow regulation could be a potential grey area. Perhaps it is better if it exposed right at the start of the season so it can be resolved quickly.

    1. C63 says:

      otherwise it would be easy to make slanderous comments [sic]….

      Far from it, making a slanderous comment via this website (for ordinary posters like you and I)would be impossible. Slander is a false spoken statement.
      Libel, on the other hand – you might well have a point ;-)

  84. Jean-Luc says:

    This doesn’t make sense to me at all. How much fuel these cars are supplied with? If they are carrying 100 kg of fuel at the start of the race as I understand, how could Ricciardo complete a 92 mimutes long race whilst consuming 100 kg of fuel per 60 minutes?

  85. Wombat says:

    Is there room for a burette on the steering wheel?

  86. Richard says:

    I feel that this is an area that the FIA are going to find difficult to police with any degree of accuracy. F1 is about exploring the limits of the regulations, and I suspect that Red Bull may be able to prove that the sensors supplied to the teams by the FIA are not sufficiently accurate. – They need to be calibrated to a high degree of accuracy to be fair, otherwise some teams will gain an advantage through the imprecision.

  87. giorgio says:

    The people don’t understand that in critical moment to use not 100 but 110 l/h gives unfair but advantage, and you can perhaps recover that by less using (e.g. 80-90 l/h) at other phase and sectors, that’s a point of that.
    I wonder really that was a reasson of RB sudden surge??

    1. giorgio says:

      Poor DR, didn’t last his joy long.

  88. JohnBt says:

    Such an enjoyable race overall especially with Bottas catching then nudges wall, then rushing all over again overtaking so many cars and we have a Red Bull or FIA damper? Seems RBR is guilty or gray areas again.

    Was a great start to the season.

  89. Micky D says:

    Does anyone know when the appeal takes place or how long it is likely to take?

  90. plawtoon says:

    Surely in this day and age it would be possible to fit a FIA tested valve that would only allow a max fuel flow at a rate that the FIA lay down in the rules this valve would be sealed and inspected when ever they feel fit that way there can be no argument

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Of course, unless it’s a duff valve.

  91. Eric says:

    Why does the fuel flow rate even matter anyway? There is already a regulation for how much fuel is allowed to be used in a race, why does the FIA care about the rate of use?

  92. M Frost says:

    The fuel flow limit is extremely important. Without it the power units could have peak power performance of well over 1000hp creating big safety concerns.

    1. Robert says:

      +1 for someone that gets it…

  93. uan says:

    I think folks are missing the point of this – it’s not about RBR “cheating” to get 18 points. I don’t think Red Bull are too concerned about the 18 points they may lose here.

    This is about confronting an issue that could cost them 100s of points over the whole season and a shot at the WDC and WCC. RBR and Renault (and all the teams/manufacturers) need to maximize fuel consumption down to the last drop. They can’t give away X % due to faulty or imprecise sensors.

    A fraction of a percentage may not seem like much, but it was probably the difference between RIC staying in front of MAG or getting passed.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that the ruling is upheld, but a new interpretation or expanded options for the teams are instituted. This wouldn’t just benefit Red Bull, but all the teams.

  94. Vipin says:

    Will FIA ban Red Bull for the next two races just like they did to BAR Honda in Imola 2005 after Jenson Button scoring podium?

    1. Timmay says:

      Its nowhere near the severity of that. That was hidden cheating, this was an open rule violation sortof like cutting a corner. Sounds the same but is very different.

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      I wouldn’t have thought so, that was completely different, just like the Mercedes secret tyre test, they weren’t banned for n races were they?

  95. Clemo says:

    When things like this happen in a race wouldn’t it be better if a message came up on the tv screen like it does when the stewards are investigating a racing infringement, something along the lines of fia has notified Rbr that car number X has exceeded fuel flow rate.
    That way we would all ( fans incl) be aware that there may be a problem rather than watching what amounts to a fake podium and interviews.

    1. Timmay says:

      But that might bring Formula Dumb into disrepute?

      Can’t have that prior to the Double Points Grand Finale.

  96. Mhilgtx says:

    It sounds like RBR has a point about the sensor. If it was faulty as they claim and is apparent according to the article above the FIA have pretty big balls expecting any team to go by it if the team knows from its own more trusted data to be the case.

    Ferrari and Mercedes both seem to have had issues with the sensor and we only really have the FIA side of the story at this time.

    I thought the whole fuel flow rate restriction was a bridge too far. When you through in the fact that at least here in the US we are starting to seriously question the so called science behind man made global warming and that these cars seem slower than Indycars and sound even worse I scratch my bald fat head.

    I wonder if RBR decided to challenge the FIA and expected the ruling to through the issue into court. Not familiar wth the way things work in Europe but this looks like a pretty open and shut case for a US court. Have a third party test the sensor calibration in question and if it works properly the FIA wins if not issue an injunction against the FIA and throw out their ruling along with the fuel sensor.

  97. garyp says:

    As I understand it they can use 100kg in the race, the flow is adjusted depending on if they are in fuel save mode or attack mode so max flow is 100kg/hour for max power.

    So the FIA told them they were exceeding that amount. All they had to do was use the FIAs figures to compensate for their ‘incorrect’ readings. I.E. RBR telemetry says running at 99kg max, FIA says its actually 101kg so they should reduce by 2kg on there readings so its correct.

    Trouble is RBR said up yours we know better.

    Only problem is FIA says we gave you a chance to correct it you didnt, those are the rules so up yours you are disqualified.

    More fuel means more power output/faster car.

    Is that right?

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “More fuel means more power output/faster car.”

      True, but if they’re going to limit fuel flow then why limit the amount of fuel they carry?

  98. John Fish says:

    I am really sorry for Daniel, he is such a really down to earth guy who is enjoying his racing I don’t want to see that smile disappear for too long. I have a feeling that fuel flow sensors are going to be the talking point of F1 this year. As for RBR I also have a feeling they will also fall foul of Charlie Whiting and the ‘false’ camera mountings from their nose cone or should I say the lack of them. I know they have interpreted the rules and have a ‘false’ camera hidden in the nose, but this according to Charlie Whiting clearly goes against the spirit of the rule and he is going to be looking at this loophole. I have a feeling that RBR will be told they will have to have these ‘camera wings’ placed on either side of the car’s nose as per all the other teams. Adrian Newey clearly does not want these as they will interfere with RBR air flow. Interesting few weeks lie ahead. James do you have any news on this aspect of their car ?

  99. John Turner says:

    So, from what I can gather the Car can use 100kg of fuel. However at any one time the flow of fuel into the Engine can not exceed 100kg/h, I’m guessing to limit how fast the Cars can accelerate?

    Seems a bit of a pointless rule.

    But at the same time, Red Bull can’t make up their own rules as they go along and just apply their own Calibration and expect it to be accepted. After all, if you can tinker with the Fuel Sensor, then why not just bring your own Tyres to a race, which will be more Durable and give you more Grip?

    Finally if the FIA and had given them the chance to correct and didn’t I don’t they have a Foot to Stand on, surely it would have made sense to turn it down and get some points rather be Disqualified.

  100. RichardD says:

    Perhaps this high rate of fuel flow contributed to the unexpected better performance from the Red Bull?

    1. SteveS says:

      There was no “high rate of fuel consumption”, and if you read the stewards ruling carefully they don’t base it on any “high rate of fuel consumption”. Ten-to-one, the true rate of fuel consumption was what RB said it was and not what the FIA thought it was.

    2. Yak says:

      Red Bull’s problems before this weekend weren’t so much power related, more reliability related. The Renault is a bit down on power, but more importantly, they just couldn’t get out on track. Other drivers noted at testing that when the Red Bull WAS out on track, it looked quick. But even at Melbourne, the Red Bull still didn’t have great power down the straights. Its strengths were through the corners where it’s about grip not power.

  101. Peakcrew says:

    a) Homologated parts are homologated parts – there is no argument about that. However, if b) there is facility to alter the way the homologated part works that isn’t covered by the regs, then that is part of racecraft – you use what you can to gain an advantage! It seems to me on my reading so far that it is b) that creates the “grey area”.

    Having said that, only a fool ignores advice from a steward, and I think RBR are going to end up with a penalty for that alone – and rightly so. I’m in two minds as to whether Daniel should be penalised, but the penalty should not be disqualification – that should be reserved for incidents in which the driver himself has done something that endangers the safety of others. Grid penalty for the next race should be sufficient for the driver in cases where the team is the cause of the infringement.

    1. Timmay says:

      I look forward to someone gaining championship places at the Double Points Finale thanks to your lax version of the rules. You’d fit right in at the FIA

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Someone isn’t going to gain championship places due to the double points rule?

  102. Haider Al-Seaidy says:

    Why is the fuel flow even important. If you have 100KG fuel to get you to the end, what difference does it make if you have a high fuel flow, as long as you can get to the end on 100KG. Can someone explain?

    1. TGS says:

      Yes I would like to know this too. Anyone?

      1. Robert says:

        It limits PEAK engine power, just as a limit on turbo boost would. That is to prevent 1500hp missiles under peak engine boost slamming into the post-tunnel chicane at Monaco…

  103. luqa says:

    The FIA has just shot itself in the foot again and are looking like complete and utter incompetent fools.

    IF the fuel flow meters are so unreliable and STILL haven’t been fixed- since this is not the first time we have heard about the unreliability of the homologated unit, then the requirement for the specification needs to be removed until a consistently reliable unit can be issued to all teams. Given the obvious problem with the units, ( who makes them anyway?) the specification could have been suspended in the interest of fair play.

    The way it looks now the FIA is manipulating the results to suit its own nefarious agenda at the expense of the paying public. Absolutely pathetic!

    1. Robert says:

      Gill Technologies of the UK makes them, Google will tell you that in 10 secs. They ultrasound to measure fuel flow and temperature, and sample at 1000hz. They are known accurate to within 1.5%, and are further calibrated with a correction factor that corrects for that inaccuracy by a second company that specialises in calibration technology.

      This is NOT mom and pop stuff.

      1. luqa says:

        Indeed it’s not Mom and Pop stuff. 1.5% at this level of sophistication is a huge discrepancy! and frankly unacceptable.

        Can you image the dimensions of the cylinders being off by 1.5% and a “calibration” factor being applied to ascertain their compliance simply because the FIA doesn’t have an accurate enough micrometer?

        From my understanding the way the engine builders measure flow rate is significantly more accurate and volume based rather than using an inaccurate ultrasound device at 1000 hz that requires a “fudge factor”.

        To put it another way, it would be like having a 1.8l difference in the amount of fuel in the tanks between the cars at the beginning of the race! Once again unacceptable.

        Or, the FIA only being able to use a stop watch to time laps to within 1.5 seconds (assuming a 100 second lap). That’s 1950ies technology and equally unacceptable today where we measure time easily down to the nearest millisecond.

        If the FIA insists on such rules for whatever reason, they should ensure the appropriate technology is in place or provide the tools to enforce them properly. At the moment they obviously can’t and rely on faulty technology with an interpretation to figure out a fudge factor. Using such methodology they have opened themselves up to ridicule, potential favouritism, and outright cheating.

        Given the fact the engine manufacturers ARE in a position to show accurate flow values, the whole situation is a farce and makes the FIA look like a bunch of amateurs. It would be so much easier to just ask the teams for a printout of the fuel flows after each session that could be compared to the required norm.

      2. Robert says:

        I was off slightly – the FIA spec says 1% maximum allowable error rate. There was talk that the initial batch of sensors had 1.5%, but that was improved over the off season testing.

        The Gill sensors are supposedly some of the best that can be developed – what is to say that the ECU sensors are any better?

        But in the end – THAT DOES NOT MATTER. ALL that matters is that the FIA is consistent between the teams, and in it’s enforcement. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the ECUs that are homolgated are perfectly equal, or that THEIR sensors are either.

        Let’s be clear – ANY manufacturer is free to submit a fuel flow sensor that can withstand the engine bay of an F1 car (or the tank actually, where they are mounted), and meet the tech rules. So far only Gill has, but the regs allow as many as feel like submitting a sample for testing. If it was so easy I imagine there would be several to choose from…

  104. distant viewer says:

    and so the cheating begins well done Red Bull
    Im sure Daniel is happy about this

  105. phil says:

    As with others, I wasn’t even aware fuel flow rate was limited. I don’t understand why limiting flow is necessary when there is a limit on total fuel used. The teams should be able to use their limited fuel however they see fit to get to the end of the race in the quickest possible time.

    Surely, even if a car does momentarily exceed the limit then it has to counterbalance by using a lower rate at another point in the race. There is no suggestion that RBR used more than 100kg of fuel. As far as I can see, this seems to be an unnecessary rule that is causing a complicated and pointless retrospective change to a race result. How is a casual viewer meant to understand why the result is now not what he saw on TV?

    Is anyone able to explain the rationale behind this rule?

    Feel sorry for RIC. He drove a good race and deserved to stand on the podium in his home race.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Makes perfect sense. No wonder it wasn’t implemented by the FIA.

  106. KARTRACE says:

    Did RBR ever had anything clean without something ‘attached’. It is wrong to let it go as other teams got to chase a non existent pace. I support FIA decision, whoever is in the breach has to pay for the infringements.

  107. Craig says:

    It’s bad enough watching artificial passing with DRS and other artificially induced variables, but now the fuel sensors. They operate within a ‘range’ of accuracy. So in other words it’s likely that some teams would have had sensors that would be over-reading within that range. Therefore their fuel flows would be less than the actual maximum fuel flow allowed. Therefore they would be lagging behind what their real pace should be, for no reason whatsoever. Why doesn’t the FIA just cut slot grooves in the track, extend the new little pointy noses to fit into the grooves, run the cars like a home race set, let the drivers run the race with control boxes from the pit wall. And to top it off, the cars’ traditional F1 sounds are now replaced with a variety of groaning noises like they’re driving with the parking brake set. IndyCar just got a whole lot more appealing. And this new artificial F1 style will never cut it in the USA. I wouldn’t be surprised if New Jersey just walks away from it. My old MGB had a bigger engine and sounded way better. Fastest race lap was 132.478 versus 129.274 for 2013, 3.2 seconds slower, and about 8 seconds slower than Schumacher’s record. Eight seconds translates to about 1600 feet on track or in other words the 2014 cars would be almost a third of a mile behind after 1 lap. This is what the FIA has built.

  108. mtm says:

    Interesting. They obviously strongly believe they are right about their fuel flow and think they can prove it if they ignored warnings during the race. It’s not like they were trying to go under the radar.

  109. Mohan says:

    Could it be that Red Bull deliberately failed to comply in race so that Vettel will finally get an equal footing?

    1. SteveS says:

      It seems rather more likely that you’re mentally ill.

  110. Matthew M says:

    James is there any gain in saving fuel during a safety car phase? Could fuel saving have put Ricciardo’s fuel flow rate over the limit?

    Loved the race, Sadly Red Bull up to thier usual Rule breaking tricks. Hopefully the punishment fits the crime.

    Red Bull really need to be chewed up for all these continuos rule breaches.

  111. Ian H says:

    Absolutely gutted for Ricciardo after a Great drive.

    Is there no way the FIA/stewards can complete more of the scrutineering checks before the race starts on Sunday morning – this way any team/car found to be illegal can be given a grid penalty or excluded from the race.

    It’s ridiculous that often several hours after a Grand Prix the result is changed (which is usually appealed resulting in further delay to find out the final results)

    With regards to red bull & ricciardo if the FIA advised red bull to change this setting during the race and this wasn’t done – why could they not have given a drive through/stop go penalty during the race or even have announced directly at the end of the race the result was in doubt.

  112. Robert N says:

    Weren’t there some issues about the accuracy of these sensors before the season started?

    It seems they have not all been resolved satisfactorily.

    What a farce ….

  113. fausta says:

    I really think they should just give them a minimum amount of fuel to burn as the teams see fit.

    I would like to see a technical explanation as to why the FIA imposes a fuel flow meter. I am not a tech-savvy individual so this would be most interesting to learn about.

    There was always the potential of something like this happening with such a huge change in the regs. Hopefully the FIA will handle it in a clear way going forward. Us fans should be patient and not jump to conclusions so quickly as things will iron themselves out over the next several races.

  114. Timmay says:

    Formula Dumb

  115. Racing Fan says:

    James. I´d like to make you a question. Do the rules say that FIA gives an order that have to be obeyed immediately or do they say that FIA gives an instruction to change the sensors, but the obligation is not exactly writen there?

  116. Anthony says:

    Presumably Red Bull’s prospects of winning their appeal depend on whether they can prove that the sensor was faulty.

    The fact that it took the stewards four hours to decide the matter suggests that RB have already tried to do this, and didn’t succeed in proving it. But on the other hand, RB aren’t by any means stupid, so their decision to ignore the FIA instructions must indicate that they were confident that the sensor was indeed faulty, and that they could prove it in due course.

    All will be revealed in the result of the appeal. Either the sensor will be found to have been faulty, in which case DR’s second place should be reinstated, or it will be found to have been correct, in which case RB were wrong and DR’s drive wasn’t as good as we thought, as he had an unfair advantage – in which case, he was rightly disqualified. We shall have to wait and see.

    1. Mohan says:

      I read that various sensors were tried before the race. So if the sensor is faulty, it could also be argued that Red Bull deliberately opted for a faulty sensor to gain an advantage. Since they knew beforehand and opted to use it, Red Bull have no option but to accept the reading. In failing to do so, they have breached the rule in its spirit as well.

  117. DanW says:

    The stewards/FIA seem to rely on two independent claims.

    First, does the FIA control remedies to any suspected breach of the equipment rules. In other words, did Red Bull’s refusal to follow the FIA’s demand to reduce the cars fuel consumption rate itself stand as a rule violation.

    Second, and where I think the appeal by RB may succeed is similar to the calibration defense when police use and approved radar or lidar gun to judge speed. At least in the USA, one may simply demand that the police certify that the office not only used a device properly calibrated but was properly trained in its operation. The device may be shown to be non-compliant even though it was the official device.

    Here, if RB can show that the actual FIA sending units supplied to the team were unreliable it may prevail on the accusation that the fuel rate was too high. Importantly, RB may also prevail the first point that Race Stewards may not demand that a team take any steps to correct a fuel consumption issue when the order to turn it down was based on a bad sensor. Frankly, the consumption issue is more akin to an emissions violation rather than an important safety concern. My car may fail, but the police cannot demand I replace a certain part, only that the car pass the emissions test. Why would the FIA have any authority to correct a fuel flow rate mid race? Would doing so even speak to the underlying violation before RB might have reduced the flow? After all, the point isn’t merely ecological “damage” but a performance advantage if the higher boost pressure can be maintained for proper air/fuel mix.

  118. franed says:

    There was an article on the flow sensor in Racecar engineering magazine a few weeks ago. It works using ultrasound, with which one can, by means of the doppler effect, measure the speed of something.
    Now to measure flow you need to know how much liquid passes through an orifice at a given speed. An orifice (hole) has certain characteristics which (if I remember from my hydrodynamics 45 years ago) is not linear, this is because different speeds of fluid motion produce different degrees of friction and eddies as the centre speeds up and the outside of the flow is slowed touching the edges of the hole. Thus each flow meter must be calibrated so that it can provide meaningful readings. (ie the measured speed can be converted into flow)

  119. Strattos says:

    The FIA continues in its attempts to ruin this great sport, in this case with rules that appear to double up.

    On one hand they introduce the 100kg fuel limit, then on the other they limit how quickly it can be used. Why not just have one or the other?

    To my basic understanding, even if you’ve got 200kg of fuel, if you’re limited to a certain flow rate you can only use a certain amount of fuel. Why have both measures?

    They introduce rules to promote more economical power plants, and then penalise teams for succeeding. If the Red Bull’s Renault was using too much fuel, why did DR seem to have less fuel concerns near the end of the race than Magnusson?

    Having said all that, if Red Bull blatantly ignored an FIA directive (regardless of how stupid the rules are) during a race they should be penalised, but I feel so sorry for DR. I’ll hop off my soap box now!

  120. I think we should all keep in mind the fact that the drivers were required to do an additional formation lap, which counted as a lap toward the race, and the safety car was deployed. These are laps where the drivers are indeed using less fuel. Being that the drivers fuel consumption is pre calculated before hand , ( to a certain accuracy, many variables involved such as changing winds, drafting , clean air, dirty air etc) the engineers already have an avg consumption rate, depending on what engine mapping they use. With the extra formation lap and safety car, you suddenly are burning less fuel that you thought, which means you will have more fuel left over at the end of the race than you normally would if you went a full race distance uninterrupted. With this “extra fuel” you can then increase your fuel flow rate and gain a performance advantage and still finish the race. If other teams aren’t doing the same then red bull clearly gained a performance advantage. So actually in this case, do to the circumstances of the race, red bull had a clear advantage.

    1. What do you think James ? ^^^^

  121. ian says:

    redbull are always pushing the rules to the limit (remember flexable front wings)this time they pushed to far.
    every body knows that renault lacks the power and torque of the Merc unit so it look like redbull were trying to turn it up a bit to catch up.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      …and of course no one else pushes the rules to limit at all, do they?

      1. marc says:

        Yes they all do push the envelope but if the headmaster tells you that you are breaking the rules then you comply and then argue your case, to not do that is just chaos

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        You do?

  122. MistressofSpeed says:

    Clarification on the part of Horner’s statement that interests me:
    “… There have been discrepancies in them, even unreliable, and I think some cars may well have run without them during the race itself…”

  123. Momo says:

    Am I too simple minded, I understood this year the cars were to have 100kgs of fuel for the race, if they consume the allowable amount they finish, if they consume more they don’t.

    These problematic flow meters would NOT even be an issue if say, an official from the FIA were to confirm the amount of fuel poured into each and every car before the race, then tag and seal the tank.

    Seems simple to me

    1. Ash says:

      I think it is a shame James didn’t explain the reason for the rule and how it can come to pass that RBR were over the limit.

      100kg/h is the maximum flow with foot flat to the floor on the most aggressive PU map. When the driver is off the throttle, it might be that as little as 5kg/h is used. When on half throttle, perhaps 45kg/h, and when on a fuel save, perhaps 85kg/h at full throttle.

      So you could easily crank up to 140kg/h or higher for two to fifteen seconds on every single lap but still use under 100kg of fuel over the 90odd minute race.

      Why is this rule important? Well the bigger fuel flow rate will produce significantly increased power. A 50% higher fuel rate may well produce 15-20% more horsepower with these units (perhaps 100hp). This will make a big difference under acceleration.

      This is particularly significant in qualifying where if there is no rule as to fuel flow, these cars might become 1500hp monsters with all the safety concerns that could bring.

      1. Phil says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve never heard of a max fuel flow rule in F1 before and it’s never been a problem so why is it necessary now?

      2. Robert says:

        I believe they used to use turbo boost limiting in the previous turbo era – had same effect of limiting peak power. They are AFAIK just two similar routes to the same endpoint.

        I believe that back in those days the engineering wasn’t good enough to build a terribly accurate, non-interfering flow gauge of the type built now using ultrasound. A vacuum boost gauge was probably easier to monitor, or easier to enforce mechanically.

  124. Hudson says:

    I was at this race yesterday; in fact went for the whole 3 days since Friday. After the race, we all celebrated how Ricciardo and Magnussen (sp) were. Got home tired so slept early. On the radio this morning on my way to work that’s when I heard the news, that what I saw yesterday doesn’t count. As a fan of course you feel robbed. But hey, it’s Formula 1, not football. I was already gutted within the first 5 laps when Hamilton, Massa and Vettel all went out, but I stayed on. It would be better for the FIA to try and make such huge rulings during the race rather than several hours after. RBR have no case here in my opinion. Sorry Daniel, you were brilliant today.

  125. Nathan Skelly says:

    Just to put it out there, the reason for the 100kg/h fuel flow limit is to limit power.

    Without that limit, during qually and overtaking we would be back to the 80′s with stupendous amounts of power as they use 6 garden hoses to put the fuel into the engine.

    Personally, I would put faith in Red Bulls measurement of the fuel, the injection of fuel into the engine has to be incredibly accurate to ensure the reliability of the engine. So they would know exactly how much went into the engine over the entire race.

    1. Timmay says:

      Good! Let them do that. Jeez

  126. F Zero says:

    A Grand Farce it is. Makes a mockery of the entire weekend. Dan did a great job and now all those fans at the track have been left with a bitter taste in their mouth.

    The last 3 years have been pure tedium, I stopped watching after Suzuka last year and was only watching for the new tech and rules. I think this is the final straw.

    I’m done with F1. What’s the point.

  127. Leo says:

    It is a bloody joke! What a let down.
    Let them race fIA!!!!!!!!!!!

  128. ChrisL81 says:

    The race went for an hour and a half and they started with no more than 100KG of fuel. Therefore they used less than 100KG per hour.
    When I calculate the fuel rate in my own car it is worked out on distance travelled by litres used.
    Lets get rid of these sensors and keep it simple.

  129. Guybrush says:

    James, does this mean that the outcome of a race could be decided by the variance between one FIA fuel flow sensor in one car and a different sensor with more/less error in another car?

    1. Timmay says:



    2. Robert says:

      No more and no less than the variances in the FIA-mandated ECU that McLaren makes for all teams to use. Which has been the case for years.

  130. AdamJ says:

    I bet they have a complex software mapping that dynamically gives boosts at key points in a lap, and runs low in other parts.

    1. AdamJ says:

      Therefore it could be an ‘over boost’ that is breaking the limit. Wasn’t Vettels lack of speed blamed on a software issue..?

  131. Derek Lorimer says:

    Glad I did not pay money to watch the “Wacky Races” this year. I thought the point of the 100 kilos fuel restriction was to allow teams to use the fuel in any way they saw fit. Totally incomprehensible to the average fan.

  132. Erik says:

    Could explain why they put Seb on a different map on Sat/Sun? If they knew their fuel rate was high they have probably hedged their bets – leave Dan’s car with the high fuel rate and see if it gets picked up, and try something else with Seb’s car and hope it works. Looks like the gamble didn’t pay off either way.

  133. viv says:

    I agree, they’re already limiting the teams to 100kg for the whole race so why what’s the point in limiting fuel flow? Stupid rule…

  134. kenneth chapman says:

    i would expect that there are extremely rigid controls into the actual amount of fuel being put into the car from the very outset. surely no one would load more into the tank as that would be far too blatant.

    then again, if say 105 kg’s were loaded and the fuel rate was set above the FIA limits then this could lead to an almost empty tank at the flag. attempting this would be foolish in the extreme as getting caught would no doubt see a team actually being banned.

  135. AK says:

    A good opportunity for Ricciardo to toughen up a little, if he wants to be a consistent title challenger he needs to deal with dissapointments too. You can´t grinn yourself to the WDC afterall.

    James, just a few days ago Whiting said these kinds of infringements will be severely punished, no biased excuses ala homeboy robbed or angry local newspaper headlines please, that´s completely irrelevant. Ricciardo still has a headstart over Vettel, who hasnt raced one lap yet this year compared with a full race distance for the Aussie. He should make the most of it.

  136. Kyle says:

    Redbull are a joke! They were told by the FIA that the fuel rate was too high and even given a chance to reduce it and they refused!?!? Who do they think they are !?!?

    They did not believe the FIA would shoot them down, home boy, new season etc etc. its a stunt the red cars used to pull. I’m glad the fia handled it properly. Can you imagine if one of the cars at the back told the fia they were wrong? Ha! They are mental. No chance the fia will back down. Redbull threw away the young lads hard work.

  137. Bullish says:

    Hi James,

    Throughout the race, Redbull kept telling Daniel that they had no issues with Fuel consumption. Wouldn’t that infer that they were not using significant amounts of fuel?

    Do you know what percentage the sensors recorded above the acceptable level?

    Such a shame.


  138. Erik says:

    The flow meters have the accuracy of 0.1%. When they measure for a full minute and the flow is constant.

    In F1 they measure for 0.2 seconds. The period is 300 times smaller and the flow is not constant. Anyone noticing a problem with the above?

    Lol, FIA. The most important part in F1 this year is how to trick the fuel flow meter. Something that Mercedes have mastered. Good one M.

  139. Pete Fourtzis says:

    We all need to understand the issues, they ignored the FIA/Stewards on a calibration correction factor on the sensor. They have said themselves if they listened they would have to drop too much power. So if they did listen they would not be in 2nd anyway and we wouldnt be complaining about stripping a podium finish.

    Listen to race radio for Magnusson McLaren told him to use lest fuel for 2 laps so he could then have a bit more for the last 2. If you have a max limit of 100kg/hr you can manage the engine during the race so you still only use 100kg of fuel total. Red Bulls Renault was down on power anyway (see 19kmh speed trap difference) Imagine where they finish if he drops the fuel flow rate hence even less power.

  140. Leo says:

    Here is a suggested solution.
    Instead of penalising the driver ( who only drove the car)
    Fine RBR 500,000 Euros
    Strip all constructors points off them.

    would this be a fairer solution for the driver.???

    1. Elie says:

      No because he got his position in an illegal car- not his fault but still he may have finishe 2 places back otherwise

  141. john says:

    I think its sad that some of those posting comments on this are focused on Dan Ricciardo and the result being taken from him being ‘unfair’. The issue has to do with the team and in turn the car.
    Fuel flow is just as important in increasing fuel economy as is the amount of fuel used, why the rule is there makes sense, the fact that there are ‘issues’ is interesting.
    The real issue is not the sensor or the rule about flow, it’s that they ignored the stewards multiple times. It’s defiantly not ok to ignore the stewards and do whatever you want. Other sports don’t get away with ignoring the reff, why should teams be allowed to in F1. They were warned more than once, they ignored the decision and opted to do their own thing. The decision is fair – though i would like to see the team heavily penalised for this (i.e. exclusion in points for this and a future race) and not the driver following the appeal.

  142. Nator says:

    I feel like shedding a tear for Dan. But once all the emotion clears, this will go down in Australian sporting history as the most memorable Aus GP. We all have seen, the paddock has seen Dan talents now. He will have plenty of podiums, we will look back on his career in 10 years & say oh and remember he had that 2nd place taken away from him also, to go with the double world championships.

    I cant help but feel RBR are in the wrong. I feel they required the extra fuel to keep up the pace to hang onto the pdoium. Once they got past a few “low fuel laps” they get to the end with a higher rate. Im sure if the FIA sensor was that inaccurrate all the teams would be whinging. Sounds like not so well thought out plan. By no means am i saying Dan is involved.

    Should just give em all 100kg and say go for it. Stuff the fuel flow rates. Let the teams do as they like. Add another variable in the mix.

    1. Nator says:

      Oh, and good luck getting the trophy out of Australia.

  143. variable says:

    James, I’m very confused. can you spell out the fuel restrictions for me?

    I thought there was no more than 100L or Kg of fuel for the entire race but now its said that it must not exceed 100Kg/Hr which means they could potentially use 200Kg if a race latest 2hrs which is more than the fuel allocation from last year – what is going on here! I

    ‘m very confused!

    1. Neil says:

      100kg per hour is not equal to 100kg over the course of an hour.

      The engine will not consume fuel at this rate 100% of the team.

      This meter governs the peak flow rate, i.e. at 100% throttle, at peak revs.

      Thus, the actual fuel used in an hour might be 75kg but the highest rate at which it would get used should not exceed 100kg/hr (or 1.6kg per min, or 27ml/sec).

      The manufacturers wanted to innovate in ways that produce more fuel efficient engines. So they agreed that each engine would have a peak fuel flow limit, and they agreed that the mechanism for this was a passive sensor that everyone had to use, to play umpire on fuel flow.

      1. variable says:

        this is one of the best explanations I’ve read.


  144. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    I’m not sure why everyone is so suprised that the fuel flow regulator is proving to be such a grey area. Motorsport has had air restrictors in multiple categories for years and that has always had its controversies. Remember Toyota in WRC?

    Red Bull have gone from no where to suddenly having the second fastest car. Yes Adrian is a genius, but even RB surely didn’t have the ability to turn the car around so quickly? Perhaps the fuel flow regulator was the way to take a calculated gamble to improve their pace. Perhaps they thought they had sufficient power to argue their position after the race, based on their success last year in getting the tyres changed?

    1. SteveS says:

      “.. their success last year in getting the tyres changed?”

      Good grief, are you still repeating this nonsense? Red Bull did not “get the tyres changed” last year. Nor did the tyre change have any impact on the title race.

  145. Yak says:

    So basically, the sensors are inconsistent and yet the FIA issued one broad “offset” to all the teams to cover it? So if the offset means you’re at a loss compared to someone else whose sensors aren’t quite as dodgy, bad luck. Less fuel flow for you.

    Sure, seems like a fair way to go racing.

    Personally I think Red Bull SHOULD be challenging this. Not just so Ricciardo can have his trophy back, but because this sounds like an absolute joke of a situation for the sport.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Inaccurate fuel flow sensors brought to you by the people who brought you $100M after selling F1 commercial rights for 99 years… rocket scientists the lot of them.

  146. MrF1 says:

    Red Bull would be of the opinion that the fuel flow rate as measured by the FIA specified flow meters were Inconsistant and unreliable.
    please remember that there are alot of sharp knives working at IRBR. These outcomes are calculated and allowed for. IRBR have appealed. They CLEARLY feel they have a leg to stand on. Lets see what happens

  147. John R says:

    In every other sport on the planet the referee’s decision is final.

    When you’re told by the ref. not to do something and you still do it you get what’s coming to you.

    Appeal all you like RBR but if they told you not to do it and you chose to ignore them what do you really expect!!

    1. SteveS says:

      I can think of all kinds of sports in which the referee’s decision is not final. Football, for instance.

      There’s plenty of precedent in F1 for rulings being reversed on further review.

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      “In every other sport on the planet the referee’s decision is final.”

      Doesn’t make it right.

  148. jpinx says:

    F1 has a serious problem now. They have made an unpopular engine change coupled to a bunch of “approved” parts that MUST be used, and a raft of highly technical regulations which leaves the sport difficult to follow. Now, to compound the problem, they admit that one of their approved parts is unreliable but the regulations merely state that the FIA is the judge, jury and executioner. I hope RBR take the FIA to a court outside of FIA influence and not in France for their appeal. Ricciardo did nothing wrong, but he suffers most — some sport,,,,,,,,, ???

  149. Lindsay says:

    So my question is, using the FIA sensor fuel rates for the entire race, what was the calculated fuel consumption for the race. How did this compare to actual fuel consumed. If these figures match RB is disqualified, if they dont RB continue with FIA your sensor did not work, what to we tell our driver to do stop racing because we have a sensor failure.

  150. Mike84 says:

    If it’s so hard to make an accurate fuel flow sensor, how often are we being overcharged when filling up our own cars at the pump?

    1. Alex Ward says:

      They measure volume, not mass, and we get overcharged A LOT!

  151. Ciao says:

    FIA has made this rod in their back. They should never have allowed active or even circuit programmed systems for engine management by engineers.

    So we have a multiple world champion out of the race because of the very same poor “drive-ability” that set him above his competitors in that period he won his multiple world championships. Nobody knows how good Vettel is and the F1 audience has little confidence that the FIA are preventing brand merchants from determining the pecking order within teams for driver championships.

    And we have Daniel excluded through now fault of his own because the FIA and the software jockey engineers were fighting over active control of flow rates with neither agreeing on what flow was happening at the time. A farce…

    Do you want to control the fuel flow? Choke the line and lock down the pump. Get the money wasted on 100s of nerds per car out of the sport. They can drive the most complex of systems but that system shouldn’t be in control of engineers beyond the pit lane or pre-programmed for different effects based upon track position.

    1. SteveS says:

      “Nobody knows how good Vettel is”

      True, there some debate as to whether he’s as good as Senna, or better.

      “the F1 audience has little confidence that the FIA are preventing brand merchants from determining the pecking order within teams for driver championships”

      You might want to loosen your tinfoil hat, it seems a little too tight.

      1. ciao says:

        Maybe you’re one of those last true believers in the world to have faith in the Warren Commission. You know the one? That whose cover-up operative birthed the term “conspiracy theory”? There’s not enough tin in the world for the hats to fit out all those that have rejected that psy-op narrative.

        The F1 fan base has drawn their own conclusions on Vettel and the Senna analogy in the real world is proved by the collective thought judgement in the real world which make that analogy not much better than your tin hat line.

        But we’ll get past your outlier posture and indulge you….

        Perhaps you missed his comment in Melbourne was that his problem was derived of the last software update they brought in there? So in other words RBR had intended for the two cars to run with different “drive-ability” software in Melbourne with Vettel to get the latest update while Daniel drove on the old one. It backfired this time, that’s the irony – so too once or twice in the past vs Webber and we observed him throwing a hissy fit at the team on track.

        Perhaps the crowd also noticed the clear vision last year of how Vettel’s blown diffuser had him on the gas so much earlier than Webber. The other drivers did, and scoffed when asked whether it was his skill versus his software enabled machine. The last few years we’ve heard about Renault’s “drive-ability” but never about locking down software between team cars. The rules might allow them to bring different bits between cars but brand owners arrogance in screwing fans over is having its payback. Its the same with the engine tech. Their interests come first – fans and sport come last.

        We trust that true believers are not quite as needy as FOM PR operatives though so when the former finally see through the issue the latter might admit defeat to their masters who might do something about the fatal course the “sport” is on.

    2. Robert says:

      It is hard to take your point when even everyday cars now have complex ECUs that take much of their technology from race cars of the past. The same integration of the “drivability” of petrol engine power and battery power that cost Vettel so dearly is the same engineering challenge faced by the designers of the Prius. And the McLaren P1. They just had more time to test it and fix it…

      Formula 1 is about pioneering new auto technology, while still allowing more than a handful of teams to be able to compete financially. Any other option is boring…

      1. ciao says:

        Prius has no engineer/s sitting at their screens collaborating to take active control of engine settings. Prius is yet to employ google maps to map the roadway and programme the engine accordingly. When they do – I won’t be watching their drivers as sport.

  152. Martin says:

    At least two months ago there were complaints that the manufacturer of the FIA fuel flow meters COULD NOT make them accurate /consistent.
    I am sure James can confirm this.

    And, as lot’s of people already pointed out,
    NO ONE can run anywhere near the flow rate of 100kg/h for any length of time, since they have to average 62.5kg/h to finish the race !

    Clearly the flow meters are rubbish, AND not at all necessary.
    Just scrap them, and the rule.
    Keep it simple STUPID !

  153. Martin Place says:

    What is the rationale behind the fuel flow rate limit? Why not just let the teams use fuel at whatever rate they like within the lights to flag 100kg total fuel limit?

  154. Lachlan Mackinnon says:

    Sport can be bloody cruel sometimes! Great effort by Dan – he had an empeccable weekend and didn’t put a foot wrong. What a moment for him! Then 4 hours later he is contemplating FIA disqualification :-( On a positive note, I have no doubt he will focus on the bits he can control and move on pretty quickly from this.
    In relation to the appeal…..good luck. It appears the primary homologated sensor was playing up, FIA applies an offset to compensate, Redbull not happy and chooses to use their own internal fuel flow model during race (their back up). This is OK if FIA approves which they didn’t. FIA then gives Redbull the opportunity during the race to wind back fuel flow consumption which they chose not to. I’m sorry but I just can’t see how Redbull can appeal this one…..move on!
    With regard to the sport becoming too complicated……yes it has become more challenging for the average punter but isn’t that what F1 is about? If you want something simpler then choose another race category. We are one race into some big changes which will mature. Telecasting stations will need to find ways to bring the audience along for the journey i.e. how much charge a car has, when they are using boost, etc.
    Re the new V6 engines – like the sound just wish it was 20 decibels louder. On a positive note – how good is it to watch these cars moving about the way they do. The drivers are certainly busier having to drive the cars through every corner and not simply looking down the road!!
    My early prediction – WDC between Lewis and Nico……I’ll give it to Nico.
    In closing – well done Melbourne! It puts on a good show every year with the stands always full of people…….why wouldn’t you want to come visit us??

  155. build says:

    James, there seems to be some confusion in the comments above. As I understand it there are two separate rules. 1). The 100KG (at 15? degrees) of fuel for the entire race … and 2). The flow rate of 100KG/hour.

    Would you please explain these in layman terms and perhaps explain why the flow rate is difficult to regulate and why an additional offset is required.

    Thanks in anticipation

  156. SydneyFan says:

    Can I suggest this is unlikely to not be quite as simple as “RB knew that the flow rate was too high, were warned, and decided to ignore it in the hope that the Aussie podium factor would and give them sufficient momentum to get it accepted”.

    The team has won 4 WC’s. has the best and brightest and has the data at their finger tips, so its likely they have some justification for their call.

    Just saying….

  157. dan says:

    I really feel for Daniel, but Red Bull were told more than once that there were problems with the flow readings. They were warned to address the problem, but ignored the instruction.
    Whether they intentionally tried to cheat, only they know. Observers like us can only speculate, but rules are rules.
    James, if I am correct, don’t the regulations have a specific formula to follow should a sensor fail? If they didn’t apply it, then they broke the rules. Period.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes there is a back up system

      1. Alex Ward says:

        The FIA never imposed the backup, the FIA simply tried to enforce the sensors readings. Given that the sensor was known to be faulty the FIA has surely failed in it’s obligation to impose the backup system?

    2. Vic Weir says:

      Warned at least twice, so were others who appear to have complied with instructions, they didn’t comply, they’ve been penalised.
      It has nothing to do with Ricciardo’s drive, he did well and you have to feel sorry for him but his team’s “we know best” attitude let him down. End of story.
      RBR is going to have more problems like this over 2014 if it continues to think that that it’s above the rules.

    3. Grant says:

      You’ve summed it up very nicely.

      The decision is not shocking, but rather RBR disobedience.

  158. Boris says:

    sounds fair enough . The FIA try and think of a way to police fuel flow but its so complicated that the fans are left behind.
    Red Bull being big time charlie 4x WC winners decide to tough it out and present their own case on why the are right and everyone else is wrong.
    Majority of the rest of the teams stick rigidly to the rules and are at a disadvantage struggling to keep up in the race.
    Welcome to F1 2014

  159. John K. says:

    What I don’t get is how the heck to you accurately measure fuel flow in kg/h? To get that sort of measurement you need to weigh the fuel left in the tank – not sure how you can do that with a fuel flow sensor that more than likely measures the flow in ml/sec, or litres/hour.
    Sounds like it’s setup to fail.

  160. kc says:

    Hi James, I’m trying to understand the rationale behind the flow rate rule. If each car is limited to 100kg of fuel, surely it won’t matter how fast it flows. if they exceeded the maximum means they risk running out of fuel before the end.does that mean if they saved fuel early on, they can’t turn the engine up later to use up the fuel if it means exceeding the maximum flow rate?

  161. rob says:

    Methinks I smell the whiff of politics here! Before the race, the boffins were wringing their hands, and worrying that most of the field would run out of fuel before the race finished. As it turned out this did not happen. One should ask how much fuel was left in Riccardo”s tank at the end of the race. Was the flow rate only measured as the cars went past the pits, as in flat out on the main straight, or was it measured overall? This appears to me to be an unnecessary technical complication, rather than a legitimate regulation.

  162. Feral says:

    James, is there any reason why in this “green era of F1″ they don’t publish the amount of fuel left in a car at the end like they do about the fastest lap times etc. It would give a better picture of who was pushing or how close they were fighting at the end.

  163. gpfan says:

    For those that say: ‘Just give them 100kg of fuel’, upcoming is one’s answer.

    Okay, now stop talking and think.
    What would this end up as?
    Right. Stop. Think it through.
    (Hint: mid-80′s qualie turbos).

    Okay. We have engines that must compete
    over a race distance using a set amount
    of fuel. Even with the rpm limit, a
    greater fuel-flow may make a huge
    difference in power with hybrid units.

    Without fuel-flow restrictions, every
    time a follower opened the old DRS, a
    leader could just add a couple of hundred
    more horsepower.

    Now, it is back to the old “think” thing.
    Who makes the engines (power-units)?
    What interest do they have in engines
    with temporarily huge power boosts?
    How is any of this useful in a road car?

    1. Random 79 says:

      But couldn’t the follower also do the same, just add a couple of hundred more horsepower plus the DRS?

      As long as it’s same for everyone it should be allowed.

      Personally I think if your idea works as you say it would I’d rather see a temporary horsepower boost replace DRS.

      Think about it: With DRS, the first car overtakes the second car, and then in the next DRS zone the second car can re-overtake the first car, ad infinitum because they can use DRS over and over again as many times as they like.

      But with the fuel boost, there would be a bit more strategy because there would be a limit to how many times they could use it during the race – do they sacrifice a little fuel to get the pass done or defend now, or do they play the waiting game?

      I’m not against DRS in itself, but I think once the drivers can have a good race without it then it should go.

      1. Kev says:

        So how do you control the couple of hundred horse that drag you suddenly? BBW is already causing issues, you need to have a control over the racing.

        I don’t think this is Need for Speed racing on the roads over night.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Same way you handle an extra 80 horses you get suddenly when using KERS or the extra speed and loss of downforce you get suddenly when using DRS: By being a professional F1 driver.

        Push a button to pass Need For Speed style is not new in F1 – we’ve had for a few years now – it’s just the implementation that would be new(ish).

        Besides, it was just an idea and a counterpoint to gpfan’s comment.

    2. Timmay says:

      Worthless post pretending to be important.

    3. SteveS says:

      There was no such fuel flow limit last season, yet there were not any 1500HP monster motors ravaging the race ways with their “temporarily huge power boosts”.

    4. Phil says:

      Rather patronising post.

      So what if the guy in front could increase fuel flow to counter DRS? That’s sounds like a good thing. The guy operating the DRS could equally increase fuel flow to equalise it. Both would be doing it in the knowledge that they are compromising speed later on in the race.

    5. Voodoopunk says:

      …and if they run out of fuel by having the wick turned up too high too often they rut out of fuel, just like in the 80s.

      What’s the problem with that?

      1. Robert says:

        As I’ve stated above, having a 1500hp missile slamming into the post-tunnel chicane at Monaco will not be a good image for the sport…

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        And being disqualified for a fuel flow issue is?

  164. El Mago says:

    Red Bull started the championship cheating. The rulling of the stewards was very clear. Red Bull did not follow up the order to reduce the consumption and decided to continue running the car thinking that they could get away with it. Now I start to understand the letter from Mr. Montezemolo to the FIA, in which encouranged it to strictly follow the Regulations. Tis decision is a good start from the FIA which clearly demostrated that they are not going to be afreid to stand up against Red Bull.

  165. JRay says:

    Hi Allen
    Can you please tell us why F1 would have this fuel limit. I found the race to be processional at best. The excitement came from seeing two young bloods up there and they managed themselves like absolute pro’s. However I’m saying that the fuel limit is ridiculous, we want to see these cars going flat out and truly racing, you could see throughout the race that cars were just sitting and waiting, its not F1 to have 5 laps out of 50 say be the only time that racers actually race! And for Daniel to be penalised because of these fuel issues is such a detriment to the idea of the sport it’s just a turn off!

    What your are thought please?
    Concerned fan

    1. James Allen says:

      They turn them up and down as needed, but need to finish on 100kg.

      You have to set a max rate which all competitors can work to but as teams always look for an edge this is another place to look..

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Then why limit the fuel to 100Kg total?

  166. Shaun F says:

    Soon we will see the podium of the previous race presented at the next race. After the officials have waded through masses of irregularities. In the end, the fans lose out. Daniel was still P2 in my book. Brilliant drive fuel flow or no fuel flow!

    1. Random 79 says:


      Dan is still P2 in my book also, but if would be nice if he could get his 18 points back…

  167. GeoffV says:

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

    To me the reasonableness of the FIA request comes down to one of HOW MUCH they wanted to turn down the maximum flow rate. It may be that the requested reduction was such that it would have immediately ended any chance of a points finish and RB new the sensor was faulty. Under these circumstances I can understand the decision to ignore the FIA and take a chance with a fit in court.

    It would seem that this mess highlights the situation that the FIA need to get their act together with regard to accuracy and reliability of these fuel flow sensors. If they cannot be made 100% reliable and accurate they should dump them and just use the 100kg fuel limit.

    The design of these sensors may be quite complex because fuel may sometimes be recirculated and not burned immediately giving a simple sensor an incorrect measure of peak flow rates. I think this is an area (max flow) they (FIA) should not be trying to regulate as this case may ultimately show.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Put simply if you can’t effectively regulate a rule then it shouldn’t be a rule.

  168. GWD says:

    I’m wondering: Is fuel homologated? Could this be a fuel viscosity issue specific the fuel being individually used by teams or even fuel quality, and not a sensor/flow regulator issue?

  169. MIke Hart says:

    This is a good decision for the sport. A thinking team manager would have turned down the maximum fuel rate and adjusted strategy, running a higher average fuel rate to compensate. Horner is attempting to use his close relationship with the corrupt Ecclestone to avoid the rules instead.
    This is a decision FOR racing and against politics.

    1. kenneth chapman says:


    2. Voodoopunk says:

      …not if the sensor was duff…

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        horner/ecclestone? wrong

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        Possibly, but if they had to change a sensor because it was duff for another that was duff, then it seems to me that Red Bull should have the benefit of the doubt.

        Admittedly, that puts me in a minority.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ voodoopunk. i agree with you 100%. my comment was in response to the previous post by mike hart.

  170. Mikeboy0001 says:

    I love F1, I really do.
    Love the engineering, the teams, the drivers and the passion, but it seems to me many of you just seem to love to hate F1.
    The amount of that disgraceful feeling in F1 at the moment, is unbearable. It’s even worse than hate for a football referee in a latin Country
    Hate for Vettel, Red Bull, Stewards, FIA, rules, engines, cars, Kers, DRS, tyres, Qualifying and Race
    What’s going on with you people??
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but does having an opinion these days, only counts if it’s a hateful one?
    Are there only Facebook kids here?
    It sure looks that way!

    1. Scott says:

      Don’t despair! People have always had stupid ill-informed opinions and an ability to manipulate and cherry-pick facts to suit themselves. It’s probably no worse now than it ever was.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        It’s just that now they can plaster their stupid ill-informed opinions all over the internet.

        We couldn’t do it way back when.

  171. Stephen Taylor says:

    Imagine if every car that finished a race broke the fuel flow limit.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Imagine if every car could use their 100Kg total fuel load as they saw fit?

  172. Geoff Z says:

    So, the FIA shoots F1 in the leg again! Nothing will kill this great sport quicker than unnecessary rules interfering with the primary purpose; which is RACING. Who cares about fuel flow rate? All cars have a maximum amount they’re allowed to use for a whole race. Let them burn it as they seem fit. If they burn it too quickly, they’ll run out. Simple! It’s a team management issue. Leave it to them.

  173. Chris Campbell says:

    Good on RedBull for standing up to the bureaucrats. I would trust Adrian Newey’s call on what is within the rules against some petty official in front of a laptop.

    This sport is not about software. Just because technology lets you measure more things these days doesnt mean they should be allowed to take over the sport.

    Specify the fuel load by all means, but whether its used in the first 5 mins and they run out by the side of the track or use it frugally over 2 hours, who cares.

  174. Cory says:

    Think the FIA & RB will learn alot from this. I tottally agree that FIA fuel flow regualtions should be dropped completely and let the teams manage it. Just stick with 100kg’s per race, forget about peak flow rates! simple as that, easy to measure and easy (for the layman) to understand.

    Question: what are the benefits of limiting fuel flow, why have this regulations?

  175. JRay says:

    Hi James
    Can you please tell us why F1 would have this fuel limit. I found the race to be processional at best. The excitement came from seeing two young bloods up there and they managed themselves like absolute pro’s. However I’m saying that the fuel limit is ridiculous, we want to see these cars going flat out and truly racing, you could see throughout the race that cars were just sitting and waiting, its not F1 to have 5 laps out of 50 say be the only time that racers actually race! And for Daniel to be penalised because of these fuel issues is such a detriment to the idea of the sport it’s just a turn off!

    What your are thought please?
    Concerned fan

    1. Steven says:

      Processional? Did you turn off after the two formation laps or something!? Did you miss Bottas overtaking his way through the field… twice… to finish 5th from 15th on the grid? or Jenson’s 3rd place from 10th? What race were you watching?

      1. Timmay says:

        Well I fell asleep so it can’t have been that exciting.

        Don’t you kindof expect a front running car to overtake a car >1.5 sec per lap slower than it for 14th place?



      2. Timmay says:

        And Jenson passed cars in the pits…. Dude, it was one of the worst Melbourne races ever and I’ve seen all of them.

    2. Steven says:

      “And for Daniel to be penalised because of these fuel issues is such a detriment to the idea of the sport…”
      Yes, being penalised for cheating, sounds so unfair

      Because sport is all about ignoring the rules (i.e. cheating) for your own advantage?
      What’s your definition of “sport”?

    3. Mohan says:

      Why have regulations in the first place?

    4. Robert says:

      If you are a “concerned fan”, then I assume that you know F1 history, or at least watched “RUSH”. Let’s say at least the latter…then you heard the opening when they said that one third of all racers back then died while racing.

      When was the last death you remember in F1, during a race weekend?

      Senna’s, wasn’t it? How long ago?

      And THAT is why there is a peak fuel (and peak POWER) limit on these turbo cars, that could easily develop 1500hp or more without a limit.

      What is not to understand? How many drivers should die each year so you can say you are watching “all out racing?”. Just wondering…would one be enough? Three? Five perhaps? Let us know, we’ll inform the FIA…

  176. Bring back V12's !!! says:

    The question needs to be asked: Why on earth is there a fuel limit in FORMULA 1 anyway? It is just ridiculous I can’t stand the way the sport is turning it’s losing all its passion and credibility :(

    1. Neil says:

      The teams (read: the manufacturers) asked for it. They want to see who can produce the best engine, under such a limit. The goal of such a limit is to encourage innovation that produces leaner engines instead of increasingly more thirsty engines.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        “They want to see who can produce the best engine, under such a limit.”

        By limiting fuel flow!


      2. Neil says:

        I don’t think it’s Crazy, but It may eventually turn out to be so!

        It’s like pit lane speed limit though. The team has to be under the limit, and the FIA will measure and enforce the limit. If they disagree about the speed they were doing, tough!

        But the fuel flow limit… well i guess the engine guys thought it was a good sporting reg to encourage lower fuel innovation.

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        “If they disagree about the speed they were doing, tough!”

        Not if they’re right!

    2. Mike84 says:

      Because they’re trying to make it efficient, and allowing them to run in Rocket Ship mode for part of the race and Honda Civic mode for the rest is not accomplishing the image they want — which is power and efficiency AT THE SAME TIME.

      It also rewards the smart — if you can make your car a screamer at low fuel rate and the other guy can only go so fast by throwing more fuel at the problem, then you’re better and should win.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Even if the guy who throws more fuel at it runs out?

    3. quattro says:

      You hit the nail on the head (is that how it is said?).
      Limiting the amount of fuel the cars are allowed to carry, and the fuel flow, are probably the worst decisions ever taken in history of this “sport”. It directly goes against the most basic attributes of the spirit of the sport, hence we have ended up with a flawed Formula 1.6, and not the F1 it should be.

  177. Bullish says:

    Instead of monitoring fuel flow, why don’t they standardise a fuel regulator that will restrict the fuel flows? F1 Cars already use a number of standardised components. This would remove the grey areas.

    Unfortunately the FIA will now be too busy defending their decision rather than trying to solve the apparent problem.

    When will the appeal be held? Are we likely to face the same farce in Malaysia?

  178. Scuderia McLaren says:

    I wonder if there is scope, under the appeal process, where the team may to lose the 18pts but Ricciardo retains them. This sort of thing happened to McLaren/Hakkinen I think in 2000. There was some technical breach, but Hakkinen kept WDC pts whilst McLaren lost the WCC pts. Fair enough I would think if the team made a relatively minor, innocuous and explainable tech breach. I don’t feel this was a major sporting breach, Daniel should lose the pts here.

  179. Random 79 says:

    I know I’ve already had a moan, but take a look at this:


    Note points 2 and 10:

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

    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.

    So I ask again: Why is the driver being punished instead of just the team when it is clearly the team that is at fault?

  180. Mike J says:

    So james, am I possibly correct in suggesting that the two criteria for fuel which is being discussed was originally for two different reasons. The 100kg fuel limit is for the race whilst the 100kg/hr was initially designed for qualifying so that we didnt get back to the hugh horsepower being produced in quali. However then some thought in the fia to make both rules for the race?
    I can understand why the second rule was developed but with the inaccuracies of meters, different power units and different software this was always going to be a problem
    It leaves a bad taste for everyone.
    Another over engineered problem.

  181. Barge says:

    Considering the massive technological and mechanical changes to the cars this year, there still seems to be vast grey areas in the regulations. If the cars are only to us 100kg of fuel per race why do you need a peak flow rate as well? Surely it is enough of a challenge for the teams to manage a total fuel consumption rather than fiddling with how much you can use at any given moment.

  182. Michael says:

    So we have a situation where not one but two flow rate sensors exhibited fault symptoms on the #3 car over the weekend.

    The first sensor failed early in the weekend and was replaced by the second for P3 and qualy. The 2nd sensor was removed at the FIA team rep’s instruction and the team was instructed to refit the first sensor (suspect).

    The FIA then used the sensor data from a suspect device to measure fuel rate on the #3 car during the race, full well knowing its reliability concern.

    The FIA then exludes the #3 car due to consistently exceeding the 100kg/h limit, based on questionable data from a suspect sensor (#1).

    IMO, RBR is only accountable as they ignored the bad sensor and used the fuel rate data derived from the ECM algorithm without FIA approval.

    Tough call FIA!

  183. Racyboy says:

    Shame for Dan on what would otherwise have been an amazing debut in his new team. Ironically he’s lucky he didn’t win as that’d be much harder to have taken away.
    I imagine RBR had an inkling there might be an issue with the FIA before the race finished.

    What this incident has highlighted for me is my ignorance of the flow meter. (Article 5.1.4 of the Formula 1 Technical Regulations, ‘Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h’.)
    I didn’t realise there was a per hour element.

    I was under the assumption that the teams were limited to 100kgs per race to manage as they saw fit and the amount of fuel was to be balanced with the energy recovery units to get them to the end of the race as 100kgs of fuel alone won’t do it. I just assumed that was part of the strategy.

    Dan now needs to remind himself that the Honeybadger doesn’t give a sh!*.

    1. Random 79 says:

      What get’s me is that it can’t exceed 100kg/h, but most races last about an hour and a half.

      So unless my maths is off, if a team ran with the maximum allowed fuel flow for the entire race they’d only make it to about 2/3rds distance, which would be stupid.

      So cheating or not and one way or another no team is going to be able to run more than 100kg/h for very long and still be able to finish the race, so what’s the FIA fussing about?

      1. Random 79 says:

        But if you insist on fussing about it FIA then at the very least get yourselves some fuel flow meters that actually work like they’re supposed to.

      2. Kev says:

        They work alright. Only not 100% accurate. But they are consistent in their reading. So an offset has to be applied to show that they are only using upto 100kg/hr of fuel.

        Any instrument cannot be 100% accurate.

        I got this info from another site and it seems reasonable.

      3. Random 79 says:


        A ruler is 100% accurate.

        A fuel flow meter that has to have the results adjusted to make it seem like it’s working alright is not working alright.

        If I was was paying you back a loan at $50 a week, but consistently only giving you $20 a week, would you say we’ll just pretend it’s $50 a week, that’s alright?

        If so could I borrow $5000, ta :)

  184. Bruno says:

    So sad Massa didnt ride his car, hope next race he “run over” Alonso e show the nice work Williams has done for this year, considering what Bottas done already!

  185. Nigel W says:

    There seems to be lots of comments relating fuel flow to increased performance and that’s not always the case.

    The key aspect is the fuel injector itself. It only has a specific amount it can flow. If the injectors are operating at 100% duty cycle with the fuel pressure/flow at 100kg/h then increasing the fuel flow to 150kg/h has no effect on performance because even though there’s more fuel available to the injectors they simply can’t use it.

    So if the FIA want to do anything relating to limit maximum fuel consumption rate then they should just have defined the maximum flow rate of the injectors in the engine specs. That way it’s irrelevant how much fuel flow is in the fuel system at any one time.

    Just like Nascar use to do with their restrictor plate so the CFM of the carbies was regulated to a fixed volume. Limit the amount of air intake, limits your air fuel ratio.

    However limiting the pressure in the fuel system I think is beneficial in the event of a problem and to help increase component life.

    Just like a road car if you have your EFI system running at 60psi, that’s much more work for your fuel pumps than if you run your EFI system at 30psi. If at 30psi and you’re at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and your injectors hit 100% duty then 30psi is fine, because any increase in PSI has no effect on performance but does increase the load on the fuel system.

    It has nothing to do with top speed (that is governed by gear ratios / rev limit and aerodynamics). Injector duty is only proportional to throttle position. How well that throttle position is used is down to tuning and timing.

    *note* some after market injectors require a minimum pressure in order to operate. (such as 43psi).

    So if the F1 engines at 100kg/h have injector data stating (as an example) that they are only operating at 50% duty cycle, then that indicates A) the injectors are too big or B) fuel flow/pressure is too low, but if they are at 100% duty cycle at 90kg/h then they are undersized.

    Why the FIA chose the more complicated method of monitoring fuel flow is strange. Monitoring fuel pressure is much easier and/or regulating injector size is even easier.

  186. Zachary's Disease says:

    I’ve been a fan of F1 since 1986. I believe over time you can tell when a team believes they are above the law. Ferrari had that arrogance in the 2000 era and since 2010 red bull have had that same swagger. A swagger that comes when you know even if the illegal parts get discovered, there will be no big consequences. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that teams that never had the FIA in their corner, like McLaren, or teams that currently are not favoured by the FIA, design their cars more conservatively or at the very least are not as blatant in their rule bending……This latest slap in the face to the sport and fans is just another example of red bulls arrogance.

    1. Voodoopunk says:


  187. Timmay says:

    Hands up all fans who like the FIA deciding & regulate how much petrol the cars can use at any moment in time.

    Regardless of what driver you support – this is complete nonsense!

  188. Jake says:

    I wonder how much fuss would all this be if it was Vettel who just lost his podium instead of Ricciardo. There might be a few changes of tune then.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I was a supporter of Webber and I am an ardent supporter of Ricciardo and I hope he grinds Vettel into the dust, but if it had been Vettel that was disqualified instead of Ricciardo for the teams bull**** I’d be saying the same exact thing: Punish the team, not the driver.

  189. Neil says:

    The manufacturers requested this limit. It is a sporting limit, and an important one.

    The whole point of this regulation sensor is to be an ‘umpire’ on fuel usage.

    Other series use restricter plates etc, which restrict fuel or air flow an effort to prevent innovation (and therefore cost savings).

    This is not a restricter device. It measures the flow rate, but doesn’t restrict. Consequently, the team needs to design the engine to deliver a fuel usage up to, but not over the max flow rate. They argued the point, because their engine reported consumption different to the flow rate. However, it was foolish to continue to ignore this discrepancy, if they could not prove the sensor was faulty.

  190. Shaboopi says:

    I have a solution. Let’s reinstate Ricciardo’s points and just transfer the disqualification to Sen in Malaysia. Sounds like a win win to me.

  191. marcus says:

    The FIA should be under as much scrutiny at this point as Red Bull.

    Are the FIA stating that a homologated sensor originally removed from the vehicle due to alleged discrepancies in reading had been working correctly during practice and if so was this confirmed by the FIA and agree to by Red Bull before re-installed it to the vehicle prior the race.

    Given the clear discrepancy in the reliability of the sensor prior the race it would appear reasonable to conclude that it should have been considered as an unreliable. Hence not used and the regulation at that time deemed as unenforcable.

  192. Ben says:

    If the FIA wants to control fuel delivery rates then why don’t they enforce an FIA homologated fuel pump instead of an obviously unreliable sensor?

    That way it doesn’t matter if the fuel pumps aren’t exactly 100kg/hr peak delivery. As long as they are all the same specification they’ll deliver largely the same amount of fuel.

    1. Ben says:

      A further point. The fact that teams are limited to 5 engines for the year makes the whole point of a fuel consumption limit pointless in any case. Sure you could change your mapping for qualifying to get some more power out of the engine, but without being able to change parts, how much head room would there be in the power unit to run at significantly higher power without adversely affecting the life of the power unit? ie. The line that says you need a fuel delivery limit to prevent quali engines doesn’t hold together with a limited supply of engines before attracting a penalty.

      So what exactly is the point of the peak fuel delivery constraint?

  193. AlexD says:

    This disqualification is the one that I cannot understand. I knew that the rules are 100 kg of fuel for the race and what I do not understand is the fuel flow. Why is this important and why so complex? Teams should get 100 kg of fuel and that is it, they can either make it or they will need to drive slowly to make it to the finish.
    I really hope that FIA understands how complex this is becoming for fans. I was trying to explain it to my friends last night why Ricciardo was disqualified…..try explain to yours

  194. Richard says:

    I feel like everyone for DR. However it is interesting SV was booed ans Horner is on the back foot with more bad publicity I wonder if RB racing are going to be victims of their own success? This weekends racing has been overlooked by blatant, arrogant cheating. Someone needs to stand up and be counted. Throw the book at them. If it was Mercedes Horner would be going bananas!

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “This weekends racing has been overlooked by blatant, arrogant cheating.”


  195. giorgio says:

    Average density of F1 fuel is ~750 gr/l, i.e. 100 kg makes roughly ~133 liter.
    current F1 max consumption rate is 100 kg/h,
    in calculation it makes:
    ~ 133 l per 100 km at 100 km/h;
    ~ 66 l per 100 km at 200 km/h;
    ~ 44 l per 100 km at 300 km/h.
    (p.s. in funny comparison my bmw525 as per gauge, used to do some 22 l/100 km at speed 230 km/h :)

    1. Nigel W says:

      I’m not following your calculations?

      How do you make the assumption on fuel rate vs speed based on the maximum amount of fuel allocated per car per race?

      How can a car doing 100kmph use 3 times more fuel than one at 300kmph over a distance of 100km.

      You have to also remember the aero of these cars adds a massive amount of weight (downforce) as the car increases speed. That weight has to be pushed around by the engine, so the engine has to work MUCH harder at 300kmph than it does at 100kmph, so fuel consumption can’t be lower.

      Just look at the Veyron as an example

      EPA city driving 29 L/100 km
      EPA highway driving 17 L/100 km
      Top speed fuel economy 78 L/100 km

      By your calculations the F1 cars would use MORE fuel when following the safety car because they would be at lower speed (~100kmph)

      Your BMW has no where near the aero downforce, but what would be more relevant to you is to also look at what your fuel consumption is at 100kmph. It should be substantially less than 22lt / 100km. I know mine is.

      Also to reiterate 100kg/h is not consumption it’s flow rate within the fuel system.

      1. giorgio says:

        Here is the point:
        Fuel consumption, i.e. mileage is a different measurement to fuel flow rate, like “X” and “1/X”
        So that car’s fuel consumption rate goes to infinity when is’t idling on place. like 1/0=^,
        fuel is burning and no distance gain.
        But when I point fuel consumption at 100km/h is 3 times more than at 300km/m i mean when it’s on full (i.e. more than 95%) throttle, it will perhaps match 2nd or 3rd gear, and that’s instantaneous fuel consumption. (and the car is under huge acceleration)
        Other ways when it’s cruising at 100 km/h perhaps it will not consume more than normal road cars (may be with no Monaco aero package) supposedly 6-7 l/100km(or may be this is a bit wrong for f1).
        Similar case is under safety car, where cruising with low revs.

        Certainly at 300-350km/h all the powertrain force balances drag resistance, if no air M16 rifle bullet would fly as high as 45 km in top.

        And what concerns to this matter, You can compare Monaco and Monza, in Monaco speed is much lower but fuel consumption higher,

        And the lowest fuel consumption at full throttle would by at Monza on the stright, speed ~ 350 km/h, as long as flow rate is 100kg/h max, at that very point you easily compute consumption: ~28.5 Kg/100km, that’s ~ 38 L/100km.

      2. Nigel W says:

        Thanks for your reply and expanding on your initial comments.

        Yes fuel consumption and throttle usage will vary considerably between different track designs. There’s no doubt about it, but your initial post made no mention or reference to that and it’s irrelevant to the current issue.

        You stated AT 100kmph and AT 300kmph. AT means sustaining that speed. So based on the information you provided, those values don’t compute. AT 300kmph more energy/power/throttle is required to sustain that speed due to drag and downforce. It’s just not possible to use less fuel at 300kmph than it is a 100kmph

        Yes the more a car is on and off the throttle the less efficient it will be and therefore track design and track average speed plays a huge part with fuel consumption but that’s a completely separate issue.

        But the other aspect still relating to your fuel consumption rates is that a F1 car will reach 100kmph in 2 seconds or less, yet it will take up to 9 seconds to reach 300kmph. There is just no way that running up to and at 300kmph will use less fuel than running up to and at 100kmph.

        I don’t believe fuel consumption is relational to speed which is the basis you used for your calculations. Fuel consumption is relational to throttle position, duration of throttle usage, engine load, injector flow rate and duty cycle. Speed is governed by gear ratios, maximum engine power and aero efficiency (plus available traction/grip).

        So theoretically if you are at 2000rpm at 100kmph and you go Wide Open Throttle (WOT) for 4 seconds. you’ll use X quantity of fuel. if you are now at 2000rpm at 200kmph (due to longer gearing but using same car and engine) and you go WOT for 4 seconds, you’ll still only use X quantity of fuel.

        The difference will be that due to aero/drag and engine power you would have different levels of acceleration but fuel consumption for those 4 second bursts will be identical.

  196. janis1207 says:

    fuel flow measurement IS a very tricky thing in this kind of environment.
    Not so difficult under stationary conditions, but in a F1 car, with all the vibrations and accelerations, it’s a daunting task.
    I would guess they use some heavy averaging (somewhat like the software used in scales in veterinary clinics – where it has to compensate for the fact your pet can’t sit still).
    Depending on just how these averages are calculated, one may find himself over the established fuel flow limit. Even if the overall consumption doesn’t support this view.
    I suspect that’s what the appellation could be all about: if the momentary flow really was that high, Ricciardo should have consumed more fuel altogether – which he didn’t.

  197. D Grant says:

    Have to say I am incredibly underwhelmed by the season opener.
    Second place being taken off Dan Ricciardo aside, the cars sound like crap and the unnecessary rules regarding fuel seems to have been designed by a team of bureaucrats.
    If you have 100kg of fuel, let teams use it how they want. They won’t want to run out before the end of the race.
    And another thing, why worry about fuel conservation anyway?
    It’s motor racing, get it. Noisy high-pitched engines add to exhileration. In Australia we used to run a formula made up of V6 Commodore engines. It has about as much excitement as that for me.

  198. Sash says:

    If other teams exceeded the max flow, why weren’t they all excluded? There was zero tolerance on this we were told, but by not excluding the other teams and simply telling teams to lower the fuel flow the FIA itself was already in breach of its own regulations.

    Also, if RB can prove that the injection fuel flow was within the regulations and the measured drop in fuel in the tank is consistent with that, then what? They could prove that the fuel flow sensors stink and that the results of the first GP as a whole are based on bad fuel flow measurements impacting individual performance. IMHO they should be ditched before the next GP has started.

    1. marcus says:

      Perhaps these sensors were working incorrectly, however i doubt very much that those teams will be raising their hands to protest.

    2. Neil says:

      The other teams appear to have agreed to bring their fuelflow in line with the FIA when the discrepancy was noted, and I believe they came in line during practice.

  199. Olivier says:

    F1 really should simplify the rules. Why not taking the Le Mans series as an example?

    All FIA has to do is set the parameters. E.g. 100kg of fuel, minimum weight, etc. Let the manufacturers decide what kind of engine to use. In Le Mans we have a Porsche V4 battling it out against a Toyota V8 and an Audi V6.

    This way you create innovation in a positive way. The teams are encouraged in being innovative instead of trying to circumvent the rules. All that matters is intelligent performance: doing more with less.

    I don’t think there is something like a fuel flow meter in Le Mans?

  200. seifenkistler says:

    Couldn’t see the race life because a car crashed into a horde of boars and we had to do the cleanup.
    I had one question right away: I don’t know the paragraphs, but wasn’t Jenson Button’s front higher after loosing the front cap. Was it still in the limits ?

  201. Sergio says:

    First of all: this is not Formula 1 anymore. “Thank you” Jean todt. But if the stupid rules are the same for every one, the punishment is clear. The car broke the rules and Ricciardo benefited from it.

  202. Tony Hetherington says:

    The question no-one has asked is to what extent RB exceeded the flow rate.

    It could be that the sensors are accurate to withing 1-2% i.e they could show 101/2 kg/hr when if fact the correct reading is 100, but if RB were warned when using say 110 kg/hr on multiple occasions and then chose to ignore the instruction, then they have no grounds for appeal.

    The other teams complied with the instructions to reduce flow rate even of they believed it was erroneous… this would have put them at a disadvantage, so should they appeal the race result also, based on what there own sensors say ???

    Either way unless the RB official sensor was way out compared to the others, it gave RB an advantage in the race compared to the others that complied with the instruction.

    Will exact figures be available anywhere James

  203. KMag Groton says:

    More fuel in = potentially a bigger bang = more performance. If this is what they’ve done, they’ve cheated and if they’ve cheated they should be disqualified. Simple as that.

    Expect to see more of this behaviour from Red Bull as they desperately try and keep their beloved Vettel at the front of the grid.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Then instead of Ricciardo’s car they might have been better off doing it to their beloved Vettel’s car…

      1. KMag Groton says:

        I have no doubt that they did, but as he was a DNF, it didn’t matter.

  204. Elie says:

    Its absolutely farcical that Red Bull racing even consider an appeal against the penalty.They broke a few rules and whilst they may have an argument about the sensors- they have No argument whatsoever about the process and the adjustment that is also in the regulations- something which the FIA policed and asked Red Bull to follow during the race.

    It was abundantly obvious that Ricciardos car was on another level to Sebs car ( even when Sebs was running) so clearly he had an unfair advantage – regardless of him being faultless of the matter he cannot be allowed 2nd place!!- Im Australian and I want him to do well but- not this way- not by an arrogant team dictating the rules to the referrees – if they want to question the rules they cant take it up with all the teams & the FIA before/ after they race Whilst many teams had issues with the sensors , they complied with the FIA rules and advise on the matter. End of Story!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Dan had the advantage because Seb had a software issue – How much of an advantage Dan has when Seb does not have a software issue remains to be seen.

      Besides, we’re talking about Red Bull here: If they are going to give an advantage to one driver to shaft another who is it likely to be? ;)

      1. KMag Groton says:

        There is every chance that if the German had finished he would also have been disqualified.

      2. Random 79 says:

        That’s almost certainly true.

        Well, I guess if nothing else they’re still even stevens so bring on Malaysia…and if at any point and you hear “multi 21″ on your radio Dan then you know what to do ;)

  205. Dan says:

    So the RB sensor was showing high flow. How do we know ther Merc sensor wasnt readling low? They are faster my a country mile and no one is suspicious?

    1. KMag Groton says:

      Hardly faster “by a country mile”. 26 second win driving in clean air almost all the time.

  206. Retired Aussie says:

    So the FIA is running an F1 race for only midgets, who can starve themselves down to a ridiculous weight, in F1 cars that sound like sewing machines, and it looks like F1 is not about “Racing” any more, the FIA have made it an economy car test

    What a bunch of Wankers the FIA are – they set a limit of100Kg fuel, if the teams use it up they don’t finish – this is not racing, it is high level economy car run

    F1 is no longer about the best racers in the world driving the best cars in the world at the maximum.

    It is just a bunch of FIA Greenie Wimps destroying F1

    1. KMag Groton says:

      That’s rubbish. I for one enjoy being able to hear turbos wizzing up, tyre squeal and not being made deaf by overly noisy engines.

      I enjoyed the race and can’t wait for the rest of the season.

    2. oddball says:

      +1long slow clap of hands…well said sir

  207. hank says:

    I wonder if FIA/RB can actually figure out whether or not RB did exceed the limit by using other data, such as the amount of fuel before and after the race? From what I’m reading, it sounds like the offset was systematic rather than random (the discrepancy was fixed to an extent), so couldn’t one look at before and after fuel amounts, and deduce who was correct?

  208. Frank says:


    Just keen to understand why the FIA waited so long to penalise Red Bull. If they could read the sensor during the race and Red Bull did not respond to their warnings, why not black flag the car?

    It seems unfair to put DR through all if that


    1. James Allen says:

      Because they had to go through all the evidence, hear from all parties and examine the equipment. Took 4 hours

  209. Revox says:

    For me the questions are:
    1. Did Redbull used more than 100kg of fuel in the race which could only happen if the fuel tank is larger than that. How big is the fuel tank?
    2. Most flow measurement devices have an error margin of between +/-2 to +/-5%. Is the sensor result accuracy an issue?
    3. When the rule of 100kg/hour was created, did they actually mean no more than 2.78grams of fuel per second (which works out at 100kg/hr)? If that was the case then the rule should have stated that.

    1. Revox says:


      Got my conversion wrong, the flow rate is 27.78 grams per second.

    2. rafe says:

      1. the total amount of fuel allowed during a race is 100kg. The rule is weight because the fuel expands and contracts depending on temperature and humidity so they cannot measure volume (galls)
      2. nothing can be perfect, all measuring devices have a tolerance and all items are calibrated to a given range, therefore every team is subject to the same rules. A team cannot agree to rules then decide that the measuring device is giving them the wrong side of an agreed tolerance so they will not use it!
      3.It is 100kg per race Not per hr. the car may only use a max flow of 100kg/hr. This will probably be for relatively short periods of high acceleration. during other periods it may be as low as 2kg/hr. If the car can accelerate faster than the other teams because they break the rules and use more fuel than allowed for short periods rather than better design then they cannot be allowed to.

  210. Peter Maslen says:

    Given the sensors and the fuel rate are the rules surely if there is doubt about the technical accuracy of the unit then any protest should be upheld. The FIA needs to get the sensor to perform corectly before it can penalise teams.

    1. Stickymart says:

      A valid point but it was noted beforehand that the sensor may not be working correctly and the FIA then gave Red Bull an offset to use. Red Bull chose to ignore this despite several warnings. If the reports of Ferrari and Merc being warned are correct (and that they subsequently adhered to the FIA warning) then this is just a sign that Red Bull are being, well frankly, a bit egotistical. If they had changed the offset as warned at least there would have been consistency across all teams.

  211. AdamJ says:

    Renault are being strangely quiet over the whole affair… Wouldn’t it be their components which had been overclocked?

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      renault have publicly stated that they are supporting red bull in their appeal.

  212. Robsart says:

    Is “the fuel that the injectors are providing to the engine” referred to by Christian Horner necessarily the same as the fuel measured by the fuel flow sensor? Could Red Bull have developed some cunning scheme involving diverting/recycling the fuel, using it for cooling, but not supplying it all to the engine?

  213. Paul says:

    Long time reader, first time poster,
    As an Aussie who has followed F1 since Alan Jones won his WC, I can say that the sport took a MASSIVE PR hit yesterday.
    Australians are avid motor racing fans(as you could tell from DR’s reception on the podium)
    and the entire country was behind him, but the question asked today was (rightly or wrongly)was WTF?
    To the hard core F1 fan we can understand “tech issues” but to the people seeing it for the first time or wondering if it was worth following, all they saw was DR being disqualified, one radio station even said ” please Red Bull, stop hiring Aussies cos we are getting sick of the bulls#$%t”, the world is about “perception” and in a lot of fans minds that is reality.

    1. Shaun F says:

      I agree! We were all set to purchase our 2015 Melbourne GP Tickets after a brilliant race and weekend on Sunday. We were all on such a high after the race. Monday morning I awoke to the DR disqualification in disbelief. I know the rules are there to keep the play fair, but these new rules are like fitting governors to race cars, what’s the point? Stop calling it Formula 1 and Call it Formula Fuel Endurance! As a long term F1 Fan I am severely disappointed by this ruling. Especially where there is a complex and difficult new formula to abide by. They could at least let Red Bull demonstrate that they had or had not exceeded their fuel flow limit through their own fuel metering model. The technical point is whether or not they did exceed the 100Kg/Hr during the race. The fans don’t give a flying toot what device, reliable or otherwise, is used to measure it! I feel sorry for DR but even more sorry for F1 fans and the huge Australian following that was at Albert Park. A great weekend and a great Race totally marred by bureaucracy. I will hold a review of the FIA decision myself in the coming weeks, and the outcome of their appeal decision will determine whether we invest a substantial amount of our time and money to attend next years race! Great work to all of the drivers especially the three that appeared to finish 1,2 and 3 on the podium !

  214. AdrianP says:

    It’s not quite as straightforward as it might appear – so far as I read the regulations.

    Regulation 5.1.4 of the Technical Regulations reads simply ‘Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h’. At first blush, that’s a question of fact irrespective of what data is available to the FIA – i.e. if Red Bull can demonstrate that the fuel mass flow never exceeded 100kg/h (whatever the homologated sensor may say), there is no breach of Regulation 5.1.4.

    Then one has Regulations 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 which provide for the mandatory fitting of homologated sensors.

    5.10.3 Homologated sensors must be fitted which directly measure the pressure, the temperature and the flow of the fuel supplied to the injectors, these signals must be supplied to the FIA data logger.
    5.10.4 Only one homologated FIA fuel flow sensor may be fitted to the car which must be placed wholly within the fuel tank.

    On a narrow reading, this provides no more than that there is such a homologated sensor fitted. I.e. there is not necessarily a breach of the rule in a situation where (i) the fuel flow *in fact* never exceeded 100kg/h; notwithstanding (ii) that the homologated sensor recorded (wrongly) that it did.

    The decision then refers to a ‘Technical Directive’ which apparently provides as follows:

    “The homologated fuel flow sensor will be the primary measurement of the fuel flow and will be used to check compliance with Articles 5.1.4 and 5.1.5 of the F1 Technical Regulations…” This
    is in conformity with Articles 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 of the Technical Regulations.
    b.         The Technical Directive goes on to state: “If at any time WE consider that
    the sensor has an issue which has not been detected by the system WE will
    communicate this to the team concerned and switch to a backup system”

    So the question is really – what is the effect of the Technical Directive? Does it have the effect that, unless the Technical Representative directs otherwise, the fuel flow is deemed to be that which the homologated device records? Or to put it another way, if the car complies with the Technical (and Sporting) *Regulations* read alone, can a Technical Directive change the interpretation of that?

    Of course, the question only arises if Red Bull can demonstrate, in fact, that the fuel flow never exceeded 100kg/h notwithstanding what was recorded by the sensor.

    NB too that the FIA’s reasons do *not* rely on any breach of the sporting/technical regulations occasioned by simply ‘disobeying’ an ‘instruction(s)’ given by the technical representative during the race: the most that seems to be made of that point is that Red Bull repeatedly passed up an opportunity to bring themselves (safely) within the Technical Regulations, according to the Technical Representative’s information provided by the sensor; it is not said that they were disqualified for not obeying the instruction, rather they were disqualified for alleged breach of the regulations.

    [PS – it was interesting to see in passing that there is a regulation to prevent obvious gaming of these Regulations: ’5.10.5 Any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate after the measurement point is prohibited’ – prohibiting a mechanism to pool fuel after the sensor and then use it at whatever fuel flow rate they like.

  215. Muk says:

    Am i the only one that thinks the FIA will have to back down?

    If horner is right and other teams did not even run a sensor, why on earth does the FIA have the right to bully DR when the FIA might not even have all the fuel flow data for every team.

    Disqualify more teams maybe?

    I see an potentially egg faced FIA here. I’m glad RBR have done this and look forward to the outcome.

  216. Stickymart says:

    I don’t want to take too much away from Daniel as he drove a good race and qualified well, but it would be good to know how much of a potential advantage (or gain) Red Bull got from making their own calcs rather than turning the flow down as the FIA asked. Towards the end of teh race Magnusson had caught up to Ricciardo and was within DRS but then dropped away, was this a fuel saving exercise on the McLaren side or linked. James, are you able to explain how much of an advantage this may have given Red Bull please?

  217. John Bond says:

    RB felt that the corrections provided by the FIA for the sensor, which apparently did not perform well, were wrong and they would have been penalized in the race if they followed the instructions, though the sensor was not their fault. Hence, they decided to make their own estimate on the flow rate. FIA on the other hand cannot penalize RB for using higher flow rate in the race as FIA cannot prove that Ricciardo’s car has used higher flow rate than 100kg/h at any moment, because their sensor is not working properly. However, they have penalized RB for not following the instructions, which possibly would have resulted in lower flow rate in the car than the allowed one. I don’t think that RB can fight this back as it is not about the flow rate but about not following the rules/instructions.

    1. Robert says:

      Exactly…especially as it appears other teams had to correct their sensors and take a hit as well, and complied.

      No regulation will ever be perfect – all that you can ask is that it be consistently applied. The teams run mandated ECUs that also probably have a small variance in them (and their sensors) as well…and have for years. All you can hope for is that it is close enough so that other factors tend to outweigh any discrepancies, such as the driver, set-ups, etc.

  218. Ravi says:

    So RB cheated , I don’t think I feel bad for DR – cause he won;t have been in the 2nd place if RB had not cheated ! So its not right to say that DR would still have been 2nd had the flow been correct !

  219. Matt W says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the FIA advice to turn down the fuel flow is just advice and not enforcable. In the same way that Charlie Whiting’s direction at Belgium 2008 that Lewis didn’t need to hand back the position to Kimi was irrelevant.

    So if Red Bull can prove their data and show the fuel flow was fine, they will be re-instated.

    1. Timmay says:

      I hope so

  220. David Howard says:

    I keep hearing quite a few people complaining about the fuel requirements, ers, etc and how it doesn’t resemble motorsport anymore.

    It’s my impression that F1 has no choice but to go in this direction because of outside pressures. Climate change groups and lobbies against fossil fuels have become very powerful and I believe that these moves are an attempt by the FIA to stay relevant and not fall foul of a very powerful lobby. (Indycars PR move to ethanol also comes to mind)

    Like it or not the landscape for motorsport is changing. Imagine the difficulty in securing new races, permits, etc should F1 be labeled as eco unfriendly. I would be curious what you think James as you are more privy to inside information like this.

  221. BM says:

    A couple of facts: Red Bull was doubting the FIA’s flow meter results, but expects every other team to trust the readout of their own sensors? They can’t be serious about that.

    Isn’t it far more likely, that they were desperate to use every bit of power they could wring out of that Renault engine, one that was reported to have not enough power beforehand, and were relying on the strategy that the reports about the inaccuracy of the flow-meter would provide enough arguments to circumvent it?

    For the ones who don’t understand why fuel flow must be limited: It’s the only method to limit power as the boost is not limited. If you took the flow-limit away, you could easily pass the car ahead with one giant short boost – easy overtaking being what people already were criticising with DRS.

  222. Neil Jenney says:

    I have no problem with the disqualification after the fact, what I am struggling to understand is why the FIA communication to Red Bull was not shared with the public during the race? It’s easier to accept if you see it coming during the race and are not blindsided when you read the race reports next day.

  223. Neil Jenney says:

    I think this is a great example of where FIA transparency could greatly improve the fan experience.

    I have no problem with the disqualification after the fact, what I am struggling to understand is why the FIA communication to Red Bull was not shared with the public during the race? It’s easier to accept if you see it coming during the race and are not blindsided when you read the race reports next day.

  224. James McNulty says:

    If Red Bull did ignore the FIA and go against their advice they deserve more than their disqualification. Smacks of their arrogance. They are poor loosers and do not like it if things dont go their way. End of!

    Look at it this way, if the shoe was on the other foot and RBR got even a whif of Mercedes or Mclaren exceeding their flow rates they would be the first ones banging down Charlie Whitings door!

  225. Smeghead says:

    Perhaps this is a dumb engineer’s point of view, but as far as the appeal is concerned, surely it’s the simplest thing in the world to pull the sensor from the car and verify its accuracy?

    Stick it on a bench and plumb it up to a fuel pump along with a couple of other independent sensors to correlate flow rates, and then run the pump at rates from zero to something well beyond 100kg/hr. Grab measurements from all the sensors at all flow rates and compare.

    If the sensor in question measures the same thing as the others in the test, then the disqualifcation stands. If the sensor deviates by more than a fraction of a percent, then its opinion is chucked in the bin and Ricciardo gets reinstated.

    Also, if this is an area that warrants disqualification, then that sensor better have quadruple redundancy. This may or may not be the case, but it’s sure sounding as if there’s a single unit that if it’s faulty, could really screw over a team.

  226. STIGG says:

    James, if there’s a limit on the amount of fuel used in a GP, what is the point in a fuel flow limit?

    Why not just say, “You may use 100kg, use it how you like”?

    I really don’t get why there’s a flow rate restriction.

  227. CJD says:

    come on, flow control is not that difficult

    100KG/H = 100000g/H = 1666,66g/min = 27,7g/sec fuel that is allowed to be used by the engine at MAX.
    divided by 6 cyl. = 4,6g per sec per piston. now you can play with this numbers and take the rpm into account (max 15.000/min ;) 1666,66/15.000/60/6 … )

    maybe all of you understand now what is meant by this rule and just why they introduced it.

    take THIS amount of liquidenergy – NOT MORE per sec/min/h and show us how much kinetic you get out of this … everthing else is allowed – regenerating heat, breakingengergy, turbo, boost, intercooler ….


  228. Nic Maennling says:

    It is unfathomable to me that the driver has to suffer the consequences of RBR’s cock up.

    1. ed says:

      so if red bull had put a 3.5 v10 in ricardo’s car without telling him he should be allowed to keep his points then?

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yep :D

        Besides, it’s not like anyone would have noticed that his engine was a little louder than the others ;)

  229. Bru72 says:

    I feel sorry for Ricciardo. His Austrian Red Bull team has really let him down.

  230. Darren says:

    They fuel flow rate issue is irrelevant, the real issue is that RBR have chosen to become their own umpire.
    The rule is
    5.10.4 b “If at any time WE consider that
    the sensor has an issue which has not been detected by the system WE will
    communicate this to the team concerned and switch to a backup system”

    and for this reason only the appeal won’t succeed.

    RBR should have lodged a protest with the stewards that they believe the FIA fuel flow sensor to be faulty, providing other data as evidence. Some laps later a decision would have been made, if in their favor then the would have been authorised to make the change away from the Primary sensor and this situation never would have happened.

    RBR should never had made this decision themselves and certainly followed instructions to correct it when given fair opportunity to do so.

    It’s all RBR fault.

    1. Darren says:

      The only hope that RBR can have is that they prove the sensor was faulty and have the disqualification for the breach changed to a team fine.

      This also should have been dealt with during the race, but as usually the stewards sit back and leave it ’til after the race.

    2. SteveS says:

      “The fuel flow rate issue is irrelevant”

      Reality is irrelevant? If a policeman clocks you on his radar gun as exceeding the speed limit, is it irrelevant whether his radar gun is reading accurately or not?

  231. Neil Mc says:

    When a driver on a public road breaks a rule and is issued a fine captured via a speeding camera, the driver has the right to appeal. If they can prove they were not speeding via GPS data etc and the camera is proven as faulty, the driver has their points reinstated and the fine is revoked even though the rules state the speeding camera is the designated equipment for measuring the speed. Pretty sure this is the law in most countries.

    Is this not the same situation as Red Bull and Dan face?

    1. Random 79 says:

      If after the appeal process Red Bull are found to have been in the right then yes, Dan should get his 2nd place and 18 points reinstated.

      But by the sounds of it that’s a big if…

  232. SteveS says:

    “This parameter (fuel flow rate) is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Riccardo.”

    That’s a peculiar statement by the stewards. By definition this parameter is outside the control of Red Bull. The rules prohibit the teams from being able to make adjustments to the cars via radio signals. The only possible ways Ricciardo could have lowered his fuel flow rate was to lift his foot or use some different engine mapping, and that is under the drivers control. The fuel flow is ultimately under the control of the driver and his throttle foot.

    “The team used a different sensor on Saturday but did not get readings that were satisfactory to them or the FIA”

    If the fuel flow readings from Riccardo’s car during qualifying were not satisfactory, why were his qualifying times allowed to stand? And if the readings were satisfactory enough to allow his qualifying time to stand, why was the fuel flow sensor changed at all?

    These are questions journalists should be asking of the FIA.

    1. Darren says:

      They can lean the engine to reduce fuel consumption so it is in control of the driver who will be told by the team which setting to use.

      The team also access to other engine telemetry which is what Red Bull was following, which is in breach of the rules.
      From what I gather the sensor only monitors the flow rate it does not control or restrict it.

      Only the stewards/technical regulators can give permission to make that change from the Primary sensor (the FIA one) to another, it’s not up to the team to decide for themselves.

      This is basically the team umpiring themselves which in sport does not work.

      Red Bull should have sought a ruling on the sensor, if authorised they could ignore the FIA sensor and go by their alternate method. They would then been in the clear.
      At worst they would have lost some time on a number of laps while the decision was made (assuming they proved it was faulty).

  233. It seems to me that the whole point of this fuel limitation & flow & hybrid KERS is to pay lip service to being seen as ‘green’, i.e. making attempts to reduce emissions and reduce fossil fuel usage. The ultimate conclusion to draw is that racing ends altogether! Night races at certain venues use hundreds of 1000 watt lights; so much for being green. There doesn’t seem to be any other logical reason for this fuel restriction. The designers/constructors should be allowed to build their cars to produce as much power as possible within the constraints of engine capacity, surely that is what racing is all about and how it used to be, not going slower than last year’s cars, as these latest ones are. That is ludicrous!

    1. Random 79 says:

      They’ve been slowing down the cars for years one way or another – check out the various lap records from the current circuits; there are several recent ones, but most are from around ten years ago.

      As for being green, that’s the image F1 is going for and as far as the actual cars are concerned they are greener than they were, but you’re right; it’s mostly a big farce.

  234. Matthew Taylor says:

    What I am interested to know is can RBR’s behaviour in the next few races affect the appeal? If they adhere to the FIA sensor readings from now on, is that almost an acceptance that their approach in Australia was wrong?

    I am also struggling to reconcile the gap between this being described by the FIA as an absolute limit, yet teams were given warnings during the race and an opportunity to reduce their flow rates. Surely the time for warnings is during free practice and once qualifying starts, exceeding that limit once is a slam-dunk exclusion from the session?


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