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Red Bull go for it: International court of appeal to hear fuel flow row
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Mar 2014   |  2:34 pm GMT  |  310 comments

Red Bull ran close to the deadline for submitting an appeal, but the FIA has confirmed that the team has formally decided to appeal the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from second place in the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday.

The International Court of Appeal will hear the case, this is an independent court, which will draw four or five judges from the panel of judges which is on the panel approved by both the FIA and the F1 teams. It is a different body from the International Tribunal, which heard the Mercedes test case last year, which deals with disciplinary matters.

It is likely that the hearing will be in the next two to three weeks, probably just before or just after the Bahrain GP.

Ricciardo was disqualified after four hours of deliberations by the Stewards in Melbourne, because the fuel flow on the Australian’s car had exceeded the 100kg/hour limit consistently during the Grand Prix. The allegation is that this was performance enhancing.

It emerged that the sensors on several cars during the weekend gave some problematic readings and several teams had to work with the FIA at some point to find a solution, involving changing sensors, working with the back up system or getting an offset programmed in which made the fuel flow compliant.

During the race Red Bull was warned by the FIA’s technical staff monitoring the flow rate and the FIA says that they gave the team the chance to reduce the flow rate. However Red Bull’s representative told the Stewards that the team considered the sensors to be unreliable based on readings from practice and chose to use their own internal flow model, rather than the values provided by the sensor, which is accurate to +/- 0.25%.

The Gill Sensors 2014 F1 Fuel Flow sensor

Red Bull is confident of success at the appeal, which will require them to prove that their readings were accurate – more accurate than the FIA’s.

It is an important moment because it will set the tone for the season with this new technology and we may well see more of this kind of thing in Malaysia. By going into it in great depth and establishing both the accuracy of the measurement and the FIA’s process for enforcing compliance, hopefully this will prove a test case which establishes the baseline understanding and best practice for the season.

Ideally F1 can then avoid getting bogged down in technical arguments which the vast majority of the audience finds a turn-off.

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Can somebody explain how an offset can correct inconsistent readings? Inconsistent means that the accuracy is varying over time in an unpredictable way. An offset can correct for a reading that is consistently wrong by a known amount, but not for one who’s accuracy is variable. A second point is that you can easily calculate an offset on a test bench where the actual flow is known, but how do you calculate it during a race?

kenneth chapman

@ keith….yes, that is what i would also like to know. i have posted my thoughts on this previously and would like to know what is used by the FIA to set the correct limit? what device do they use that is 100% accurate in order to establish the uncontestable benchmark. without this how can they apply an ‘offset’?.

kenneth chapman

james, maybe some time in the near future you might cobble together a thread that deals with the subject of FIA/team inter relationships.

when operational issues are raised and the FIA decides to make changes by way of technical directives why are they kept secret? according to a couple of articles floating around it seems to be that this is the case. for followers of F1 this is frustrating. if changes are made to the published codes then surely any changes should be an open book.

i can imagine you need a request like this…not. just an idea though as we would all like to know the background of change in these challenging times facing F1.



As the appeal hearing is set for after the next two races, will Red Bull continue to use their own fuel flow meter instead of the FIA one for these next two races. If Red Bull are successful will the other teams counter appeal because they could have gone faster also. In which case could the Australian race points earned be void?

kenneth chapman

i would also really appreciate it if someone here could help me understand this issue better. if the FIA acknowledge that the sensor is giving an inaccurate reading where does that information come from? if they decide that the inaccuracy is beyond their FIA/Gill stated tolerances then how do they arrive at and achieve an ‘offset’ that would restore integrity of accuracy? to do this they would have to have some form of benchmark which is beyond question.

what i would also like to know is this, were all offsets the same across all cars/teams or were the inaccuracies different across all fuel flow meters? if this is the case then this would surely be a form of customising by car/team. surely this is totally wrong for a homologated component. it could well lead to unlawful interference and also charges of manipulation of results?

to my way of thinking no one should have the authority to do this. that includes charlie whiting et al. it changes the status from a ‘sensor’ problem to a ‘censor’ problem!

kenneth chapman

if gill manufactures amazingly accurate products as you say then why is it that the FIA have had to replace them numerous times and when that didn’t work apply ‘offsets’ to try and get some kind of consistent accuracy?

IMO red bull are simply stating that at no time did they exceed the FIA fuel flow limit and they are now going to have to back that up in a court of appeal. ego has absolutely nothing to do with it. do you work for gill?


RedBull is coming off of several successful campaigns, this drives the ego of people already known to be strong in that regard. Their actions remind of Ferrari. Time was when Ferrari said they wanted something, they got it done. Success breeds a sense of omniscience.

Gill manufactures amazingly accurate products, this may well be an error rate which is software driven.


I feel really sorry for Daniel Ricciardo, he drove a great race and deserved better.

I think RBR was extremely arrogant, we can’t have every team on the grid using their own sensors. Like it or not it is the FIA sensor that should count, not the team’s and from what’ve read the FIA have backup sensors. I hope RBR don’t win the appeal, I’m not saying this because it is Red Bull, I would say it for any other team. If they win it will undermine FIA’s authority and will open the door for a free for all situation which can’t be good.

kenneth chapman

@ zx6dude….where are these back up sensors? are they Gill sensors? have they had ‘offsets’ applied to ensure their accuracy?

surely you don’t support the fact that the FIA’s authority is being tested because they are the FIA and should be able to enforce the usage of dodgy fuel flow meters and not come up against any appeal?

F1 is supposed to be the ‘pinnacle’ of high tech engineering wizardry being applied and supplied to the motor racing elite. from my understanding [limited] renault are also parties to the appeal. i certainly hope that ricciardo’s results are restored. he has played no part in this.

if red bull are proved to be wrong then so be it. however if they are right then some form of compromise must be worked out between the teams and the FIA until they can get some accurate data measurements that do not vary from each and every installation and race. from what i have read these problems have been bubbling away for months and still the FIA have not come up with a it any wonder that teams have queried the logic of applying offsets to an homologated component. if anything red bull should be congratulated, not denigrated, for bringing this issue into the open.

failure to do this will render the season a failure IMO.


“Red Bull is confident of success at the appeal, which will require them to prove that their readings were accurate – more accurate than the FIA’s.”

It could very well be a win the battle, but lose the war kind of result. I mean, they could very well prove that their readings were better than the official readings, and still lose the case because rather than follow the rules about addressing the problems, they decided to make up their own. I don’t think these sorts of things ever end up well, except for Ferrari, but who knows, RedBull has money and money talks in F1 and in particular in FIA.


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

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

Job done.


There is a gap there. The FIA did not instruct them to switch to a backup system, they instructed them to keep using the system but make an adjustment. Is that a backup system?

Then again, what is the primary measurement – it clearly can include a measurement which the FIA consider then adjust to come up with the right answer.

There might be some wriggle room, but in the end Red Bull have significant form in bending the rules well beyond a fair interpretation (bendy front wings with skids when RB knew that the prime directive was that it was meant to be rigid – they took the proverbial).

I fully expect Red Bull to get a further ban for the petulant way they have both refused to respond to the stewards’ in race instructions.

F1 doesn’t want Red Bull winning again especially with the suspicion that they are being a bit too clever with the rules, and banning the team for a race or two might be on the cards as it is normal for the FIA to increase the penalty if they feel that the appeal is ill-founded.

If Red Bull do it again at the next race then I can see them getting black flagged, and we know what happens to drivers who ignore black flags.

kenneth chapman

@ ian spencer….i would look at the ‘bendy’ front wings from a completely different viewpoint. the wings were made to conform with the FIA’s strict rules re ‘deflection under load’. they did and the FIA then had to change the test load parameters and set a different benchmark. red bull complied. are they to pilloried for doing nothing wrong?

as i have stated many times, i have no love for red bull as a team however their ability to produce superb racing machines should not be criticised. if anything all the other teams should be the ones being criticised for not being able to match them with expertise and peerless engineering solutions.

this season may well be the season where they falter and fall behind and if so then they simply have to do better.


RBR disobeyed the tech regs. They are guilty and have received a fair penalty.

kenneth chapman

you’ve got in one…..delete the entire thread.


I don’t think technical problems like this are a turn off at all, I find it infinitely more boring when the headlines are “Lewis breaks up with girlfriend” or something like that.


I still wonder if Red Bull got away with technical fiddles in the last four years; maybe they are too clever for the FIA, or intimidate it?

I also think F1 needs to be very careful. If driver skill does not quickly become the main subject again, audience numbers will drop, sponsors and TV will offer less money and a slow death spiral will take hold.


I’m not sure why the Gill Sensors would lead to engine reliability problems. I suspect it has to do with computer hardware compatibility.

Maybe there is a lag? Maybe the sensors breaks when combined with other ECU?

I highly doubt that Red Bull intended to cheat after FIA already know they are using a different sensor.

In the end, as long as RB proves they never went over 100kg/hr flow rate. I’m sure they will be let off because they never committed any wrong doing.


Regardless of guilt/innocence, I have two questions:

1. What are RBR likely to do in Malaysia if the same situation arises?

2. By going through this process are they likely to reveal anything about the performance/efficiency characteristics of the Renault engine?


The interesting thing will be if RB win, then what? All the teams disregard the sensor readings if they are disadvantageous? Or go with the approved sensor if the tolerance is advantageous?

FIA really can’t afford to let RB win this one.


Independant from the outcome:

Isn’t a error of 0.5% too much? Imagine they are fighting for milliseconds and they have 2 identical cars, but one sensor reports 99.75 as 100 and the other 100.25?


Regardless of the rights or wrongs (for what it’s worth I believe both RB and FIA to be wrong but RB edge it due to ignoring their governing body) nothing highlights what is wrong with F1 more than this episode.

A new era of F1. The most dramatic changes in years. Phenomenal debut drives and are we talking about the technical innovation and exciting new drivers?

No it’s a technical regulation challenge, unknown result and a bumbling Charlie Whiting looking like he’s out of his depth and begging for retirement.


Not that i want to dive into a new conspiracy..

But i cant imagine they would have taken this risk with Vettel.


It’s not a conspiracy to suggests that a team of RB’s caliber would weigh the risks versus rewards.

If they are going to try something like this, RIC is the logical person for 2 reasons. He’s not Webber with co-equal no. 1 status.

The second reason is that it’s the first race of the season and RB wasn’t expecting points from this race anyway (considering the issues they’ve had). This is the race to do this in.

Better to sacrifice 18 pts now(or 15/12 depending on if they they followed FIA instructions and there was a resulting reduction in performance), then just give up potentially hundreds between the two drivers running their engines at less fuel flow then what is allowed.

That Merc had the same issue and had to sacrifice their fuel flow just shows how much of problem this is. That they had the time in had to do so is irrelevant. Lucky for them. Otherwise, I’m sure they would have been screaming.


I think RBR looses, just due to the classic”wife’s” law:

Rule 1. Your wife is always right

Rule 2. Should your wife be wrong, then Rule 1 autmatically applies.

Just change wife for FIA (due to the “reading” and “FIA will tell if you can exclude the sensor”.

Written with a smile (from somebody who’s married to a Spanish wife)


Ignoring the FIA advice to reduce the fuel flow is irrelevant. Teams do not have to follow this advice and there are plenty of precident cases for this (Belgium 2008).

The key issue will be if the Red Bull flow rate proves they didn’t break the flow limit.


James, would I be right in assuming that it would be a relatively straight forward process to use the weight of fuel that went in, the weight of fuel remaining at the end of the race and the full data of the telemetry through out the race (to measure revs etc) to work out the true fuel usage at any particular moment and confirm if it went over the maximum flow rate at any point based on this telemetry?


Flow rate doesn’t reflect fuel used over the race distance. Fuel flow rate varies over the GP so it isn’t always at it’s maximum limit.


James, I know for a fact that the FIA intl sporting code applicable to all motorsports says that all FIA license holders agree to submit fully and w/o reservation to ALL FIA regulations (sporting and technical), and that a car determined not to conform to the regs is still an offence, even if no performance advantage obtained.

This is clear as day in the opening portion of the Code.

It would be helpful perhaps for you to point this out to the readers and raise the question of what possible appeal RBR can make, since even IF they somehow “proved” their car wasn’t “illegal”/non-compliant, they STILL refused to follow FIA directive during the race and so willfully chose NOT to submit to the int’l federation’s authority!!


It’s obvious why RBR ignored the FIA directive mid race.

They would have run the numbers and the reduced fuel flow would have seen Ricciardo well down the field and perhaps out of the points altogether.

Better to bank the “points” and challenge afterwards rather than get nothing on the day and have no options.


The fuel flow rate was introduced as the reference control point in order to force/direct designers to rely more on those regenerative power systems, as performance enhancers, opposing to a brute engine power outputs. Since Renault power units started on the back foot with regenerative power devices this was the obvious way how to curb those deficiencies in the short term.


What if the same scenario plays out in Malaysia and Bahrain?

How many race results will be provisional for weeks post event?

We finally have some new blood taking it to the established leaders and now this!

I am passionate about my f1, but this has left a sour and most disappointing result … Or lack of one!


I think the word inconsistent is the issue here also. If you had a fuel gauge in your car the was inconsistent and gave you the wrong information and this caused you to run out of fuel, would you be happy to have the manufacturer tell you to just make the metal adjustment or would you demand to have it fixed or replaced?? i know what i would want to happen.

I can understand RB’s argument here and if the FIA themselves have acknowledged there are problems then they are the ones who should be held accountable to supply something that is capable of consistently giving correct readings. This type of “close enough is good enough/make an adjustment” is plain and simply just not good enough for this top level of competition.

Regardless of what team it was, a sensor that is not calibrated equally throughout the field and was proven by multiple teams to not be accurately calibrated is disadvantageous to all teams suffering issues with said technology.

I think the FIA has made too many changes all in one hit, Sure the reduction in overall fuel per race is fine. Allow the teams to use the fuel in what ever way they choose. Have the sensor installed in a testing and development capacity throughout the season and work with the teams on the guise that next year the fuel flow system will become active. Thus giving the FIA and the manufacturer of the sensor time to ensure they get it accurate and consistent.

Just my view on the issue.


Did you noticed one thing. Many of them ( teams) had problems, they cooperated with officials and their results are standing. Only one of them deem to be more equal then the others…..


From what I’ve read elsewhere, it will likely take up to a month for the appeal to happen. What happens until then? I’m assuming that RBR will be ignoring the sensor again in Malaysia and going off their own readings, since they feel they are in the right since they’re appealing? Then what? Disqualified again? If they follow the FIA directions in Malaysia then I don’t see how their appeal has a leg to stand on. It’s all in or nothing with this, no?

And if they then win their appeal, other teams are supposed to accept this after following the FIA’s directions for the first 2 races? I don’t see how they can win the appeal, and either way the next race is going to be an utter mess.


I think it will be sooner. The week after Bahrain I reckon

kenneth chapman

james, i don’t recall any precedent to this situation in the past. any ideas as to the likely outcome if red bull successfully prosecute their case vis-a-vis the other teams?

i would suspect that the topic is rather a hot issue internally.


Ironic that RBR can’t get their mechanical equipment to work properly but still manage to claim their own fuel measurements are more accurate than the FIA sensors that all other teams have accepted.


The FIA should of provided the fuel pump and pipe and this would never of happened. They stipulate the amount of fuel so managing the fuel flow would of been a lot easier this way.


There should be no need to manage fuel flow in any form of motor racing.

kenneth chapman

wholly concur.


Despite the official line, I’d say the real reason for the disqualification was the fact that Red Bull acted in defiance of the FIA’s instructions. Not so much because they exceeded the fuel flow rate.

The FIA is looking to make a clear example out of someone defying it’s will. The FIA should but currently doesn’t have the same level of authority as a referee or umpire in all other sports. Formula 1 is far and away top of the list for ‘legal’ cheating in sport.

I think the FIA is sick and tired of loopholes being used in the sport and I can understand this to an extent. Although it has long been said there is no such thing as the ‘spirit of the rules’, most rules can clearly be understood by everyone in terms of what these rules mean. Searching for and using loopholes in these rules may be technically legal but everyone and his dog know a sly underhanded circumvention of a rule when they see it. Schumacher’s pit lane win is one of the best examples of this. Although it was genius, everyone of good sportsmanship saw it as bad form.

This Red Bull disqualification case is not necessarily an instance of sly use of loopholes but simply an instance of a team acting as if they answer to no one.

Respect and obedience to authority is more likely to gain some lenience whereas defiance will antagonize and result in whatever punishment the authority can impart.


1.3 makes it super clear: ALL FIA license holders MUST submit to FIA authority WITHOUT reservation!

RBR have NO CASE here!!




1.3.1  Toute  personne  ou  groupement,  organisant  une 

Compétition ou y prenant part, est réputé : 

1.3.1 Any person,  or  group  of  persons,  organising  a 

Competition or taking part therein: 


1.3.1.a Connaître les statuts et règlements de la FIA ainsi que 

les règlements nationaux. 

1.3.1.a Shall be deemed to be acquainted with the statutes 

and regulations of the FIA and the national regulations. 


1.3.1.b  Prendre  l’engagement  de  s’y  soumettre  sans 

restriction, ainsi qu’aux décisions de l’autorité sportive et aux 

conséquences qui pourraient en résulter. 

1.3.1.b Shall undertake to submit themselves without reserve 

to the above and to the decisions of the sporting authority 

and to the consequences resulting therefrom. 


1.3.2 A défaut de respecter ces dispositions, toute personne 

ou  groupement  organisant  une  Compétition  ou  y  prenant 

part,  peut  perdre  le  bénéfice  de  la  Licence  qui  lui  a  été 

attribuée,  et  tout  constructeur  peut  être  exclu  à  titre 

temporaire ou définitif des Championnats de la FIA.  La FIA 

1.3.2 In  case of non‐compliance with these provisions, any 

person or group which organises a Competition or takes part 

therein, may have the Licence which has been issued to them 

withdrawn, and any manufacturer may be excluded from the 

FIA Championships on a temporary or permanent basis. The et/ou l’ASN motivera ses décisions.   FIA and/or the ASN will state reasons for its decisions. 


1.3.3  Si  une  Automobile  est  reconnue  non  conforme  au 

règlement  technique  applicable,  l’absence  d’avantage  de 

performance ne sera jamais considérée comme un élément 

de défense. 

1.3.3  If  an  Automobile is  found  not  comply  with  the 

applicable  technical regulations,  it shall  be  no  defence  to 

claim that no performance advantage was obtained. 

kenneth chapman

@ j danek….if that is the case then all the high powered and expensive legal advisors that will be employed by red bull to prosecute their case are ill advised and useless. maybe you should contact red bull and tell them not to waste their money as you have already got it sorted.

kenneth chapman

totally wide of the mark! why should any team accept dodgy parts that fail to operate satisfactorily? this is a fact, not an opinion.

this is not a ‘loophole’ as you suggest. RBR are exposing a fault embedded by the FIA in homologating a sensor which even they admit needs ‘individual’ corrections/offsets to give an accurate result.

i do not support RBR as a team but i certainly respect them for standing up to the FIA and forcing the issue. if this is not resolved then the rest of the season will be one bigger farce than it already is. the FIA is not beyond question and i applaud RB for not rolling over like some of the other teams. one caveat to this is, if it is proved conclusively that RB did in fact frequently use more fuel and that their measurement is fraudulent then the penalty should stand.


I never actually said that this case was to do with a loophole. I was simply making the point that the FIA are clamping down on teams acting in defiant manners. Whether or not Red Bull exceeded the fuel flow rate or the FIA part was inaccurate is not really the issue. By ignoring the FIA’s warnings, Red Bull did the equivalent of a football player giving a rude gesture toward an umpire. The FIA ruled a disqualification and are pursuing this fuel flow thing to show some muscle on their part.

Last year’s Mercedes test and the FIA response to it made the FIA look like Western Europe in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea; WEAK at best. I think they are trying to toughen up and this is the first move they have made, incidentally directed toward the dominating team of recent years.

Maybe the fuel flow sensor was faulty but if the FIA admitted this, applied the required adjustments to the reading and still had Red Bull as exceeding the limit, Red Bull would be obligated to comply and should have done so. However, as I said I do not think this is the true reason behind the FIA’s actions; it is an excuse. If it was happening on the Caterham it would probably have been ignored and addressed privately after the race without any penalty being issued.

kenneth chapman

no matter what spin is applied, the fact remains, as i understand it, that the appeal is based on a simple assertion; at no time during the race did the red bull exceed the max allowed fuel flow rate.

if that can be proved beyond reasonable doubt then surely the FIA would have to concede the point as the ‘flow rate’ forms the whole ‘raison d’etre’ in the first instance.

this is my reading of the problem and subsequent conflict. in regard to the ‘defiance’ point that you raised i would think that it is the inherent responsibility of any team/s to challenge the FIA if the FIA regs are deficient. surely the FIA cannot be allowed to get away with authorising and homologating components that are obviously faulty without being taken to task.

this issue will dog the rest of the season if it is not quickly solved. IMO, curbs on the max/flow rates should never have been introduced in the first instance. F1 has already been overly emasculated by the introduction of other cheap tricks.

again, as i have stated, if red bull did ‘consistently’ use higher rates of flow then the penalty should stand for the team but not for the driver who was an innocent party. this latter fact has already been acknowledged by the FIA.


James, as a fan I find this whole thing distasteful.

For this to overshadow the great results by these young driver’s is unexceptable to the fans.

We should be talking about Williams and force india.

These are great stories, instead we are bogged down talking about high teck sh– that only a few really understand.

I’m a very pi–ed off fan at the moment.


As fan why don’t you find the new rules and regulations distasteful?


Not the rules, the way this controversy has been handle by the stewards and Redbull.


Ah yes, another season of F1 – the pinnacle of “if you can’t beat ’em, litigate ’em!”


So, let me get this straight: RB will argue that their computer *model is more accurate than the *actual readings from the sensors?

How do you prove that? Its a *model!


It’s easy to prove. You know much fuel went into the car. The FIA fuel sensor claims that X amount of fuel was burned in the course of the race while the engine makers own sensors says that Y amount of fuel was burned. You know how much fuel was left at the end of the race, that is, how much fuel was actually burned. So it’s trivial to determine which “model” of fuel flow was correct.

For example, if according to the FIA fuel flow sensor DR’s car should have run out of fuel on the second last lap then it’s obvious the sensor was wildly inaccurate.


well, *model* in this case is basically the ECU controlling the engine, so controlling fuel input to the injectors.

EVERY F1 team has the same ECU and they know REALLY well how accurately they report the injected fuel (but of course, they will not tell it to the FIA and help RB :P)


“It emerged that the sensors on several cars during the weekend gave some problematic readings and several teams had to work with the FIA at some point to find a solution, involving changing sensors, working with the back up system or getting an offset programmed in which made the fuel flow compliant.”

So if I understand that correctly:

Team: This fuel sensor thingo is saying we’re using more fuel than we’re allowed to…

FIA: Don’t worry, let us just fiddle with this widget here…there! Now it’s working correctly! 🙂

Team: Err…thanks FIA! 😀


That’s my take on it too.


From wording above, and your post, could RBR’s appeal be simply because the ruling was to use the offset as a solutuion BEFORE being given the option to use a backup system, namely their method?


I have no idea, but if the FIA acknowledges that their (Gill’s) sensors do not read correctly before the offset is applied and Red Bull can prove that their sensors were reading more accurately then it should make for an interesting result.


Personally I think the fact they’re dicussing if they did or didn’t go over the 100kgs/hour is irrelevant. The fact they removed an official sensor, without seeking approval, is the key point. If they’re found guilty on that count then it’s over, they won’t need/want to give RBR the air time to show they did regulate the fuel as per the regs, it’s the “how” which is against the rules. What I don’t understand is why the sensor is needed? All the ECU’s are the same, they see fuel pressure, revs, injector opening times and the injector size is all that is needed to work out fuel output, what does (or doesn’t) this sensor do that isn’t available already? Can we bin it, please?


“The fact they removed an official sensor, without seeking approval, is the key point.”

They did NOT remove any “official sensor”, with or without approval. And the stewards never claimed that they did, so I don’t have the foggiest where that particular rumor came from.


This is an easy one to answer, and actually the FIA have already answered it. It is about having an agreed method of working so the teams know that each other is not cheating.

Only the FIA can declare what the fuel flow is. As soon as the teams can override this, you have a variety of scenarios to gain advantage:

1. If the FIA sensor under-reads you use it.

2, If it over-reads, you complain and use your own reading.

3. You use sneaky hidden systems to match the FIA sensor to gain their trust and then use hidden systems to make it appear that the fuel flow sensor is wrong.

My understanding is that the sensors either work ok, or they don’t work. If they don’t work the FIA will agree some way that they can be satisfied that the team are reasonably treated.

I believe what was happening was the RBR sensor was a little bit out, and RBR didn’t like the adjustment not giving them 100%, perhaps claiming that they were only getting 99.8% so decided to ignore the FIA.

It may be that McLaren also has a slightly under-reading sensor and decided to go with it, not making a fuss because they accepted the system.

In simple terms, Red Bull are once again at the cheating side of bending the rules.


Why McLaren alone, everyone followed FIA sensor readings, weren’t they ?


It was an example – everyone else was affected, but McLaren were specifically chasing Ricciardo down. We can assume that the offset was significant or else RBR wouldn’t have been arguing, so if there was a significant difference, then it might well have been the difference between McLaren getting 2nd place on the track rather than through disqualification.

The FIA and the teams know it is a game of swings and roundabouts, but the understanding is that the differences are pretty small. Unfortunately, the mindset of the teams tends to be that every 0.1 second counts, so a a 1 in a 1000 variation seems significant to them, though it would be interesting to know for how many seconds on a typical lap is the car running at maximum fuel flow rate.


The rule is not that it must not exceed that amount, the rule is not exceed that amount as measured by the permitted device. There are 11 different systems that the FIA would have to investigate in forensic detail to be certain that the team measurement was legitimate, and they would have to convince themselves of this at every event, taking into account that the teams are able to work on the cars and reload software on the fly and so on. For example, the team’s system could have an innocent mistake in it, or the could be some complexity hiding a fudge that have the appearance of meeting the regs when they don’t.

The engine management systems were standardised in recognition that it was impossible to police teams systems, the logic of this is exactly the same, and the teams know it. Ultimately, it is about having a system that the FIA can police that is accurate enough, not about allowing Red Bull to bully their way out of a rule.

kenneth chapman

it could also be that magnussen was in ‘conserve’ mode which then had the outward appearance of ricciardo speeding up. this a convenient interpretation to back those claims that red bull were in contravention of the ‘fuel flow rate’. until that is proved conclusively it is not possible to form an uncontestable opinion.

hopefully after the appeals court has arrived at a conclusion we will be better informed.

kenneth chapman

again, were all the offsets of the same magnitude between all the teams and cars? if not then how can you have a level playing field?


No, these devices need calibrating, so one may appear to say 100 when 95 is flowing, another may say 100 when 103 is flowing, so when the devices are calibrated, the teas are given the offset to apply.

In RBRs case, there seemed to be a suggestion that on one session, it worked differently, but then the substitute one turned out to be one that didn’t work properly at all. The FIA told them the agreed offset, but they refused to use it.


gives a clear explanation, as does the linked FIA stewards’ report, document 56.

The gist is that these devices need to be calibrated and having been calibrated the FIA and teams can assess the device’s performance. If there is a problem, the FIA can agree an offset to the calibration. The regulations state that only the FIA, not the team, can instruct on what method to use, and there is apparently a different method that can be allowed if the sensor fails.

The important thing is that for fairness to all teams, only the FIA can say what goes. Red Bull refused to follow the rules of the sport and it is well understood that it is the FIA interpretation that rules, not what a team fancies to do at the time.

kenneth chapman

just so that i am clear on this. you state, i presume from an experts view, that all devices are inherently incapable of giving an accurate measurement and need offsets? who decides the offset and where does the offset originate and therefore prove to be accurate?

without seeming to be obdurate i am somewhat confused by the fact that you are suggesting that the FIA are actually customising the flow meters. who within the FIA would actually sign off on the ‘offsets’? are they guaranteed to be impartial or is it gill sensors them selves?

i am intrigued by this whole sideshow and it would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious blow to teams who are caught up unwittingly by suspect regulations.


Everything in f1 is about rule interpretation and pushing,exploiting situations. I think RB saw an opportunity to exploit the faulty sensor on Friday by turning up the flow then blaming, using the sensor problem as an excuse on Sunday.However the FIA are now used to their tricks and double bluffed them by allowing them the opportunity to change knowing they would decline. As mentioned I believe Horner has been found out and is a victim of his own double Standards. RB are a great team but on this occasion not only let themselves down but have let a great result go begging(3rd place).

Martin (England)

James, what is your opinion on the possible success of this appeal, for the good of the sport FIA must uphold their original decision otherwise it will be Red Bull running F1.


That is one way to look at it.

I think it will be for RBR to prove that their equipment was more accurate than FIA’s and that they were not over the 100kg/hr flow rate

Martin (England)

Even if Red Bull prove the FIA sensor was wrong and the Red Bull sensor was correct is now irrelavent in my opinion, the issue is Red Bull disobeying and ignoring mid race instructions from FIA, although a tough decision Ricciardo should have been black flagged when Red Bull chose to ignore FIA mid race, this will open a massive can of worms if RBR win the appeal and will leave the winners of future races to be decided in the court room and not on the track.


Even that, if they could prove to the Court, that would be a favoritism as all other teams were competing following FIA prescribed sensor readings which obviously was allowing a lesser fuel flow.


But James, this doesn’t matter!!

The int’l sporting code (which I cited below) CLEARLY states that “no perf. advantaged gain” is NOT an excuse for non-compliance, let alone refusing to submit w/o reserve to FIA authority/rulings…

RBR should be punished even more severely for abusing the appeals process!


James, I have to desagree with this view. I agree with what Martin says. It doesn’t matter if Red Bull sensors are more accurate and their flow rate was withing the limit. They have to be punished by disobeying the referees, which is the FIA. More so when they had an advantage over the rest of the teams, which were following the rules.

I am sure they will lose the appeal, and they will not get back the points of the Australian Grand Prix. If that is not the case, it would be hard for me to understand the way F1 is arbitrated, and it would be hard to trust it.

kenneth chapman

you can’t say that they,RB, had an advantage over the other teams until it is incontovertibly proved that they xceeded the permissible flow rates.


It isn’t possible to make a 100% accurate fuel sensor. All that is necessary is that the FIA supplies sensors that are sufficiently accurate that there is a more or less level playing field.

It isn’t enough to prove that Red Bull’s measurements are more accurate (and they would say that wouldn’t they) but also that the measurements given by the sensor were way outside the specified tolerances and that conforming would have put them at a gross disadvantage in the race.

For instance, if the FIA sensors were saying that Ricciardo was using 100.5 Kg/hr and Red Bull refused to reduce consumption because their measurements were saying 99.8, not only should the DQ stand, but they should be hit with a massive penalty for unsporting conduct and bringing F1 into disrepute.

For me, if all the teams are using the same imperfect but tolerably accurate sensors then that is fair. It is pot luck whether you get a good one that narrowly favours you or narrowly disadvantages you. As soon as one team decides that they do not have to play by the same rules as all the others, they should be kicked out of the sport.

kenneth chapman

“pot luck’ in what is the ‘pinnacle’ of world hi tech motor sport? really…


I can’t agree more Martin. I was quite angry when I heard Red Bull did not have enough by disobeying the FIA, but it was also going to appeal. I think it’s highly disrespectful to the other teams, which followed the rules and even worked together with the FIA to find solutions. I think Red Bull are being arrogant, mainly with this issue but also with the way they are conducting the Renault situation. They should be hardly punished. And watch out for the upcoming two Grand Prix, because if they see a big performance advantage by doing it, they are capable of continue going their own way untill the hearing takes place.


key word here is narrowly…

i dont think it is so narrow, actually (in F1 terms… don’t forget this is a sport decided by tenths… mercedes adv not withstanding 😉 :P)


DSQ to stand and a further 1 race ban will be the punishment.

This is no different from Honda/BAR and the second fuel tank issue from a few years back. They challenged the authority of the FIA and the FIA hit back.


Todt may not take this track, especially as there may be further fuel flow or other gizmo issues throughout this prototype testing year.

Mosely may well have done, show them who is boss, give them a bit of a public spanking and avoid everyone under the sun appealing.

Balestre may have relegated Red Bull to F2 as he was god and how dare they even question his authority with an appeal! 😉


My reading of the regulations (repeated from an earlier post)

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


Excellent summary.

Really poorly worded regulations from FIA.

For example: It only says the FIA fuel flow sensor will be the PRIMARY (not ONLY) measurement of fuel flow. Then says ” and will be used to check compliance” Again, it does not say it is the ONLY way to check compliance.

Similarly, where they 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”. That does NOT say anything about that being the ONLY procedure to handle a faulty sensor. It is only stating that if the FIA see a problem, they’ll tell you and they will switch to a back up system.

Remember the appeal is not to the FIA, but to Court Judges, who are used to dealing with legal wording. A suburban solicitor could drive a bus through these regulations

kenneth chapman

‘…even a renault engined bus’


I feel certain Red Bull will be able to prove they didn’t exceed the fuel rate, but then the greater question is whether it’s reasonably of them to disobey the FIA. But this is not football; F1 doesn’t have the principle of the referee’s instant decision always being right, even when it’s plainly obvious to all that it isn’t.

This strikes me as the complete opposite to the bendy wing saga of a couple of years ago. Then it was plain to all that the wing was bending, but RB argued that they passed the FIA’s test therefore they weren’t breaking the rule. This time they’re arguing that it’s not passing the FIA’s test that matters, but it’s following the letter of the rule.


It’s not the opposite. The so-called “bendy wings” followed the strict letter of the rules. RB are arguing that DR’s car also followed the strict letter of the rules and did not ever exceed the required fuel flow limit. But there is a similarity in the two cases in that the FIA rules are contradictory and ambiguous. That’s a common feature in most F1 rules controversies of course.

If Hamilton is given a penalty in Malaysia for exceeding the speed limit in the pit lane, and Mercedes can prove that he did not exceed the pit lane speed limit, do you think they would not appeal? That they should not appeal? Or should they just say “Well, the FIA is right even when it’s wrong” and let it go?


Red Bull have to appeal or they admit there guilt, so no suprises there. It’s not arogant.

If the FIA can prove that all the teams sensors where reading the same, weather correct or wrong they will win because it was a level playing feild.

The intresting thing will be the next race, what will Red Bull do? They have to carry on with there own calculation to prove there appeal is right. So we could have both Red Bulls excluded from the next race or there appeal will be thrown out before they get chance to defend them selfes. If both cars are above the FIA limit will they get a black flag or excluded latter?


Also can Mclaren give evidence at the hearing? They could argue if Red Bull had applied the same offset as all the other teams they would of past Ric on track anyway.


Hi James, thanks for the analysis. Two questions:

1. In a situation like this, where the driver had nothing to do with what happened, would it not be fairer to strip the team of their constructors points only? Seems rather harsh after his brilliant performance.

2. Should we read anything into Ricciardo’s performance relative to Vettel or do you expect Vettel to strike back once the car is sorted/

Many thanks in advance!


No because he’s got a result because the car exceeded a key limit

Ricciardo started very confidently but Vettel had issues in quail and I think you have to give it half a season before a true picture emerges. It certainly looks promising for Dan, though! He needs consistency in races and we saw that in Oz


Red Bull have to provide absolute incontrovertible evidence that they didn’t exceed the limit or that their equipment is faulty – but they wouldn’t appeal if they thought they couldn’t put a strong argument either way. Netherless, the omens are not good for them, considering every other car assessed by the scrutineers was passed legal, but, let’s wait and see – I do agree a lot does hang on this subsequent court appearance, and it will have big implications for this year’s championship.


If RBR appeal successfully, I think if I were one of the other teams, I would add my own sensor to the car (making sure I had a way to “prove” my reading is accurate) and burn my 100kg of fuel as fast as I like.

IMHO RBR must lose or it could open all other FIA scrutineering to appeal and hence abuse.

“My rule says my legality plank is fine, did the FIA rule get calibrated correctly?”

“My scale says I’m not underweight, did the FIA scale get calibrated correctly?”


suspecting (in some cases sure) that most of the other checks (maybe all) are very easily calibrated with an accuracy of orders of magnitude better precision than the measurement to be made, hence no wiggle room for what you suggest.


Whilst I respect your feedback, suggesting there is no wiggle room in F1 regulations is naive at best.


Thanks both for the replies. I agree with you both that the calibration of a measuring device can be fairly well locked down. What you are measuring, and how you measure something is where I see the ambiguity coming in. I can recall Ross Brawn holding a ruler up to a Ferrari barge board in front of the press explaining how it could be interpreted as legal depending on how you measure. A more recent example would be the BrawnGP double diffuser which depending on what exactly you are measuring was legal or not depending on your perspective. Leads nicely into a wider debate of spirit versus strict interpretation of the rules, and why I think we all love this sport.

kenneth chapman

@ neil jenney… the problem i see with your response is that those measurements that you have quoted are taken in a static environment and therefore far more easily quantified regarding accuracy.

even when i was a an active marine engineer long ago the ability to precisely calibrate diesel fuel pumps was relatively simple and incredibly accurate. in todays hi tech world it would be far more precise.


not what I wrote… you comment is funny… i’ll try explain better

no wiggle room in measurements… if you have enough precision, the wiggle room doesn’t matter. (wiggle room in regulation interpretation is another matter).supose, for the weight

scale A: accuracy +- 10kg (and imagine there is one scale of this type assigned for each team, not the same for all teams)

Car weight 612 (meaning real weight is from 602 to 622, for a 99.9% probability) – wiggle room that affects performance (any car can be way above of below the scale reading) = performance impact HUGE!

scale B: accuracy +- 0.05kg

car weight: 612 (real weight from 611.95 to 612.05)

wiggle room to “work” with the weight, almost nil, performance impact of this measurement error, ZERO or VERY CLOSE.

Its bad enough its not the same device measuring all cars (but it obviously can’t be, you need a sensor in each car). BUT that its accuracy is not 2 orders of magnitude (at least) of the measurement being taken is beyond belief in a sport of billions…

i hope its clear, cause i can’t explain it better…


Selected Quotations from the Gill FIA homologated Ultrasonic Fuel Flow Meter Spec Sheet. (Thanks to Aaron for the Link)

– ” Cavitation and entrained gas can cause meter damage and spurious measurement results, this must be avoided by appropriate system design and flow meter operation.

– ” 92% of meters are within ± 0.25% accuracy of reading

– “1kHz internal measurement rate

– CAN outputs at 100Hz, With filtering.

Output availability is subject to calibration procedures”

My Speculations and comments

-At Bahrain RBR suffering from vibration problems. If not solved – fuel cavitation?

– Who gets the 8% of meters outside the ± 0.25% accuracy

– Charlie Whiting told the teams to halve the CAN output frequency shortly before the start, suggesting there were worrying variations between successive outputs at the higher frequency.


I’m assuming that there are 2 sensors used. One before the fuel rail and one for returning fuel after the fuel regulator. The actual fuel flow rate is the difference between the 2 sensors.

The accuracy of the 2 sensors together could compound the problem.



No. Only one sensor.

From the FIA regs for F1 2014

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.

See also AdrianP’s post No 37 and go to and get a free copy of ‘Formula 1 2014’ for a description of the sensor from a representative of Gill, the manufacturer (and lots more interesting technical information).


I am SHOCKED about those specs and that they are being used in such a part (which should mean equality to all competitors) in a billion dollar sport!!!

At least the Mclaren sourced FIA controled engine ECU is the same for everyone. And very, very, very rarely (i think 1 case) an ECU gave trouble to a team/car in several years running.

These sensors are CRAP!


It seems as though the issue is about the proven inconsistencies of the flow meters ability to perform reliable.

I’m quite sure RB, even though they will be proven to be correct with their measurements, will loose their appeal and the FIA will end up with egg on their face. However kudos to RB for bring this issue up and trying to get it resolved.

To introduce a homologated part consistently outside of the required specification, (no matter how complex the technology is) reeks of amateurism and incompetence, both by Gill Technologies and the FIA. It is totally unacceptable in a $Billion industry from the manufacturers perspective and from the fans perspective. We expect and deserve better!


Hmmm, I definitely think the ‘fit for purpose’ argument is separate from the ‘unauthorised actions’ argument. But I also think there are governing body actions (or inactions) that are unbecoming to the role of a governing body here as well, regardless of any implied politics

kenneth chapman

@GWD….. don’t you think there is a clear and unambiguous link for the ‘unauthorised actions’ being specifically and directly linked to ‘fit for purpose’?

kenneth chapman

@ GWD…no i was not suggesting any ‘intrigue’ as you pointed out. i was simply drawing together the two elements in an attempt to rationalise the current state of affairs.

around november last year[ i think] i read in racecar engineering, to which i subscribed at the time, an extensive article on the very subject of the ‘gill’ sensors and they highlighted the problems they were having trying to get to the level of accuracy being demanded of them.

this whole issue, as i said earlier, has been bubbling along for some time and it appears that it is nowhere near being resolved satisfactorily for all parties.

i also read yesterday that WEC/porsche were also having problems. looking at the current situation there are those people who just love to diss on red bull and are seizing the moment since melbourne. this is very distracting. i am, by nature, a person who is always ready to question the status quo especially where the FIA are concerned.

the balestre/mosley years confirmed that ‘what you see is not necessarily what you get’. yes, the same can be said about some of the teams as well and it is difficult sometimes to arrive at well balanced appraisal especially when all the relevant data is, most often, withheld.

thanks for your response, maybe as time marches on we will get some more details that will help us arrive at a satisfactory conclusion to this mess. i just hope that ricciardo is not penalised for the fiasco. he drove a great race and his efforts should not be denigrated. based on what red bull are claiming, and the FIA has accepted, that he had absolutely no hand in the ‘purported’ excess fuel flow. it was completely out of his control. some people have argued that he benefited but if red bull can prove that at no time did they exceed the 100K/h limit then how could he benefit? other teams who accepted dodgy meters may have reduced their flow…so what. that is their problem.

anyway, thanks again for your comments.


There’s a link (i.e. causality), but these are 2 separate prongs of different arguments in my mind. Been reading more in relation to ultrasonic sensors in other uses, such as WEC and even Norway’s Meteorological (obviously for it’s a different sensor, but produced by Gill – the article from results is interesting…), and there seems to be very stringent operational limits to these sensors that WEC have adjusted to that maybe F1 can’t replicate. Not easily anyway. I don’t see this specific area as being any sort of unauthorised action. It simply may be that this sensor is not fit for purpose, but is also not inherently faulty. However, if you’re suggesting said sensors were implemented due to unauthorised actions by a particular governing body or even a certain individual within governing body (I got the impression that journalist Kate Walker over at crash was alluding to this), then Hmmm… 😉


+ a billion!


It is an interesting case. If they were not warned during the race there was a possibility to get off lightly. Unfortunately they were also in the breach of a sporting regulation which clearly stipulates that you have to follow and obey orders passed by the Officials, which they didn’t, so they are suppose to be punished. RBR more then ones are yet again starching rules far end beyond…..

kenneth chapman

is ‘starching’ the rules the same as ‘stiffening them up”?


Are you aggressive just because of your personality or you are part of RBR team ? Whichever the case I find quite inappropriate to be so much hasty and intolerant towards other people here. It is just an opinion that we freely share here and the results would come out of the court of appeal, wouldn’t it ?

kenneth chapman

oh, here we go again. how you can come to the conclusion that my comment was aggressive absolutely astounds me? if you have been following the posts in this thread, and some others, you will have noticed that i am on record as saying that i have no allegiance whatsoever to RBR. that would simply not be possible as i was always a staunch supporter of mark webber. now one can’t do both can they?

i think that you are way wide of the mark so please refer back to the last para. in my previous post.


You clearly have no understanding of FIA sporting regulations and necessity to follow them trough, without any argument. You never competed under FIA and their officials in any motor sport category, right ?

kenneth chapman

wow! i think i have a reasonable grasp of the FIA rules and regs, but i am no expert and have never claimed to be.

in answer to your question, no, i have never raced under the R & R of the FIA. however i fail to see what that has to to do with anything that i have said. i have competed in motorsport, a very long time ago, in sports cars and did a bit of rallying in my youth. all done on a ‘fully accredited CAMS racing license. what is you claim to fame?

as for my original comment, it was by way of a TIC comment and not meant to be taken seriously. obviously my attempt at levity has failed. must try harder.


RedBull cheated in the first place and in my opinion, now they are guilty of politicizing the whole issue.

Neither their open defiance of stewards in the race has helped the sport, nor their efforts to challenge their verdict will.

And the “GRAND FARCE” now will be if this ban somehow gets overturned. That will lay a nice precedent.

Imagine from next race onwards, Ferrari is free to use their own model of fuel flow rate calculation, so will the Mercedes and McLaren. And we already know RedBull does not give two hoots to the FIA sensors.

And the fan is “Supposed” to trust the gentleman behaviour of all the teams.

What’s on trial is the writ of the FIA stewards. As RedBull themselves have said fondly in the past, “there is nothing like in the spirit of regulations”. Things have to be clearly defined.

The “standard” here needs to be the FIA’s sensors and NOT RedBull’s own model of fuel flow rate calculations. If they haven’t complied with those sensor readings, they have breached the regulations and should stay disqualified.


“The “standard” here needs to be the FIA’s sensors and NOT RedBull’s own model of fuel flow rate calculations.”

But don’t the FIA’s equipment need to be to a “standard”.


I am pretty sure that there is no problem in those high tech devices as they are all calibrated. The issue is in the interpretation of the rules which I find a bit ambiguous.


That is the manufacturers business to answer and FIA to make sure that they know what they are doing. Out of 20 + cars the only one with the problem was one RBR which was disqualified. Right ?

kenneth chapman

OK kartrace, do you know how they are calibrated? who does the calibration? if the manufacturer cannot supply a compliant sensor then how is it that the FIA can correct the rates? if the FIA can deduce an offset then why aren’t they suplied with an offset by gill?


I am neutral on this and people who say it is an easy case don’t see the big picture.

Without having seen any data, I am sure that RB are sure they have a case to win, so I think they will, otherwise they would not have gone to court with it.

For people who think they are arrogant(???), just imagine yourselfs, having, in your mind, an accurate module saying that the fuel flow is correct, and the FIA one, says something else, after already having exchanged one already. You know that you and other have issues with it, but how can you be sure that all the ones are same, since there obviously has been issues with them. I would go the same way as RB.

Also, regarding the Black Flag which did not show up, is an indication that not even FIA where 100% sure about themselves, if they where, I am sure the Black Flag would have come out during the race.

It took FIA 5 hours, after the race, 5!!!, to convince themselves that the readings which they had, where correct, according to them.

As I said, I except RB to win this one and get there points back.

More important though, is that this won’t happen again.
Maybe FIA would have needed more testing time also, not only the F1 teams.

– I heard you on the radio some week ago, where you said that you don’t believe that RB will be able to catch up Mercedes during the complete year, obviously based on the winter testing. Would you like to revise this after the first race or you still think Mercedes will be unbeatable from RB for the championships?


I didn’t say that

I said I didn’t think RBR would catch Mercedes in time to save the championship.

I still feel it’s likely to be Mercedes’ year and that Red Bull will not beat them to the title, but I’m massively impressed with the recovery job Red Bull has done since the tests


my typing mistake, I meant for the championship of course, thanks for clearing my typing mistake.

I respect you highly and took your comment to me, but I was surprised with your comment as not a race was driven and RedBulls proven development pace, nevertheless, Mercedes are looking terribly strong and everyone else very week, (Williams strong, but not a complete package) and obviously RedBull standing with Ricciardo standing for the biggest surprise but most likely about 1 minute to slow during a complete race, which, is massive.

Keep the awesome job up with this blog, it is truly the best and most interesting F1 read on the web


Are they going to stay on pace after the ruling of the court. Which would only rubber stamp FIA fuel flow reader. When they become fuel flow compliant only then we could understand how much they are really competitive. As we could see other sister car was a total disappointment while most of other Mercedes powered cars were performing well even with FIA controlled fuel flow limit. To me it was silly for RBR to try to prove FIA wrong when all other teams operate within that FIA rule. They should’ve worked towards making themselves fuel flow compliant while staying competitive instead of fighting this rule in the court.


If, as we are led to beleive, other teams reduced their fuel flow to comply with the FIA, an appeal will provide little reward for RBR. If they win their appeal, all the teams will turn up the flow rates and staus quo will be restored. If they lose, they still take away zero points from Australia. I just can’t see what they hope to gain.

kenneth chapman

i somehow think that you have misinterpreted the situation. RBR believe that they haven’t exceeded the flow rates. it is the crux of the entire matter.


They’ll gain their points from Melbourne.


I doubt, because if all other teams used same ultrasonic FIA sensors and completed the race in the known order then there is no place for RBR to remain 2nd. They are the only one who was singled out for excessive fuel flow by the officials while all other teams stayed within. In my view there is 0% chance of winning this case. They are walking on thin ice. But let them walk…


What I meant was, in reply to Phil D, is that they would hope to gain their points back from Melbourne.

They weren’t the only team to exceed the flow rate during the race, others did too, but complied with the FIA directive to offset.

I personally think that they will remain disqualified, but you never know!


I hope Red Bull win the appeal for the sake of F1!!

Fuel flow sensors/Meters and fuel restrictions are bullsh1T!

If the FIA didnt force the teams to use fuel flow meters that dont work!

it shows how unprofessional and incompetent the FIA is!

They force teams to use something thats doesnt even work to enforce a rule and they expect teams to follow the rule.


Generally speaking if you have to change letters in a word to make it acceptable too the filters, you shouldn’t be posting it 😉

My impression is that the sensors work, they are just calibrated differently to those that the teams use. I can’t see how red bull will win this one.


I can understand why RBR wants to appeal, even though I probably would have complied with FIA’s request if I were the team manager of RBR.

Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario. If FIA says the car must weight no more than 600kg, and it must be weighed by the scale provided by FIA. Redbull checked the weight of their car with their own scale and it weighs 599.9kg. FIA checks with its scale and it weighs 605kg. They disqualify Redbull. If Redbull can prove that the FIA scale is inaccurate and their car truly only weighs 599.9kg, should they be disqualified?


Since one rule applies to all competitors then FIA measuring instruments and devices got the final say.


…and when their instruments and devices are inconsistent?


Then one rule apply for all, across the field. Not only one team could do its own interpretations. But above all you have to follow trough the order of the officials. In my view they should’ve followed instruction same like drivers should obey traffic cops orders even when think differently. The order has to be uphold. Anarchist BRB was always acting rebellious and only on that act I would give them a good one.


Yes they should, as all other teams will have also used the FIA scale. They can turn around and say ‘It’s inaccurate, perhaps we should do something about this for future races’, but for that particular meeting, they have to use the designated scales.

Remember Red Bull were not the only team asked to turn the flow down. They were the only team that ignored the FIA request. That in itself, at any level of motorsport, is disqualification.

I race at Kart Club level, and there’s been many times I’ve disagreed with officials (usually in scrutineering), but I’ve never turned around and said, sod it, I’m racing anyway, because you know what – I’d get disqualified…


This isn’t the same at all. Each team has their own fuel flow sensor. It’s more like each individual team weighing in on a separate scale and through the (un)luck of the draw RBR’s scale showed 599.9kg and the FIA scale dedicated to RBR showed 605kg. You don’t know if the RBR car would weigh 599.9, 605, 580, or 620 on the scale that the FIA has allocated to Mercedes or Ferarri. The case they are making is that the measuring device dedicated to them is inaccurate.



FINALLY someone who gets it and puts it very simply. i had the same idea but couldn’t put it so simply 🙂


I see your point, but I disagree that it has any effect on the outcome. At the end of the day, the rule is that you have to use the FIA sensor. You can discuss this after the event, but that is the rule at that meeting – you can’t turn around and say I’m going to just use my own…

Regardless of discrepancy, at a fundamental level the team disobeyed the rules of the day, something that other teams did not. If they win this appeal, then that sets a very worrying precedent.

The best thing to do would have been to do what the FIA ask – it may have cost them a place, but certainly not a finish – then sort it out. This is a flagrant breach of the rules of the meeting, and I don’t see they have a case…


If RB ends up winning the appeal it can be viewed as FIA and its processes are undermined.

Other teams with muscle can start appealing decision unless it is clear black & white.

This would not be good for the sport & its image.



You say “Other teams with muscle can start appealing decision unless it is clear black & white.”

Don’t you want decisions to be based on clear black and white evidence??? The problem we have at the moment is that the FIA know that their sensors are either faulty or inconsistent yet they have enforced there use anyway. Surely it is this that is not a good look for the sport.

It is not Redbull that have created this problem, it is the FIA themselves by not being able to provide an accurate sensor. I hope Redbull win this case, not only for Ricciardo but to shine a light on how ridiculous it is to have an FIA mandated part that is not even accurate being forced upon the teams.


And who would you blame for undermining, Red Bull, or FIA which established monitoring of something (fuel flow) they are incapable to precisely monitor?


“This would not be good for the sport & its image.”

And fuel flow management is?


The fuel flow management is?

Yes it is. So far it is only the RB fans that are against this rule for obvious reasons. None of the teams have come out to say they oppose fuel flow management because they know how important it is to the success of this formula. Don’t give me that crap about there already being a maximum fuel load in the rules and it’s up to the teams to decide how best to use it, we saw how one of the teams used their 100kg of fuel against Magnussen and it was boring to watch.

kenneth chapman

well that is just plain wrong. i am not a red bull fan whatsoever but i am backing them in this appeal as i believe that F1 is being wrecked by being over regulated.

IMO the reason other teams are not coming out publicly and being seen to support red bull is quite simple. any disqualification moves them all one step further up the ladder. simple really and not indicative of the complex issues at stake.


Fuel Management is a separate issue not linked to this appeal / situation.

kenneth chapman

@ shri… really. have you read the official FIA stewards report? obviously not if you think that the ‘fuel issue’ is irrelevant and not in any way linked to the appeal.


Really?… so it doesn’t affect the image of F1 in any way?


Seems like Montezemolo’s warnings came true rather quickly.

As RBR are right and the FIA are wrong, apparently, I assume that RBR will be running their cars at their own version of the 100kg/hr limit in Malaysia too.


Maybe then RBR should override FIA and run F1 to their own liking and accord.

kenneth chapman

that sounds about right.


In that case they should name it Red Bull F1 Extravagance and leave F1 alone so we could enjoy it in peace.


Or perhaps the FIA will take this as an incentive to finally get the sensors fixed before the GP in Malaysia?


Maybe it was all Marko’s idea to appeal, then perhaps Dan Ric will get a further penalty therefore helping goldenboy get ahead. We can’t have Dan ahead of him when they call multi13. 😉


Daniel’s Engineer (is it Simon Rennie???): Daniel, Sebastian is more deserving than you, do you understand?

Daniel: …


I hope RBR wins. They are in their full right. Because of faulty sensors, it is subjective to the FIA who might be above 100kg/h. That is not fair. Be glad that RBR does this, this fuel sensor hypocrisy is ruining F1, not RBR. RBR just wants real equal rules for everybody, not luck of the draw on a fuel sensor.


It doesn’t matter that the sensor was giving erroneous readings, RBR have to get permission to use a secondary system to measure the fuel rate. This they failed to do.

Case closed, RBR are guilty.

And as previously stated Ricciardo deserved better than this.


Red Bull have lodged an appeal on that logic I suspect.


I cannot see how they are going to win this, if the referee says your in the wrong, then shut up get back to your side of the pitch and get on with the game.

The ref could have made a spectacular error, but at the end of the day the refs word is law!


The ref gave Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul a red card during a recent match with Chelsea.

That red card was rescinded on appeal. The refs word is not quite as final as many of you seem to imagine.


@SteveS ”my point is that refs make mistakes and get overruled”. Not sure you got that bit right mate. I think there’s a rule that says a ref’s decision can only be rescinded if the ref admitted to a mistake in the first place. It’s wrong to think an appeal panel will just sit, take another view of the incident and come up with: RESCINDED. The ref will still have the final say.


However on that basis, did that bloke play any further part in the game and was the result changed due to the ruling?

As mentioned above perhaps a black flag during the race would have been better than leaving it till after.


In order for your analogy to work Whiting would have to have black-flagged DR’s car during the race. Of course RB would still appeal and we’d still be exactly where we are now.

My point is that refs make mistakes and get overruled. And Whiting makes mistakes and gets overruled. He himself broke the rules last year when he told Merc they could conduct an illegal test. He’s been wrong numerous other times in the past. He’s not the infallible god of the rulebook some here are making him out to be.


no, that wouldn’t make it any more correct; maybe even the opposite.

the black flag is rarely used. Usually only when the FIA/Stewards are 200% sure.

Last time I remember a black flag was shum 94 at silverstone. Even so he continued to the end of the race (by team instructions); yes, they were very penalized for that (DQ from race and 2 race ban). But even then, and it was much more clear than now, they thought it was worth the chance…

Sometimes you take your risks and your chances…


It seems to me the new power unit rules introduced this year have been more for the benefit of the engine manufacturers, and to stop them pulling out, than for the actual sport of F1.

Even Honda want be a part of it again, and understandably so, since the potential bonanza for them if/when the technology feeds down to the consumer car market will be enormous.

Perhaps Red Bull, as a soft drinks company, don’t quite buy into the philosophy! Whereas Mercedes and Ferrari happily consented to reduce their fuel flows during the race, Red Bull were reluctant to follow suit.


They’re going to bring in more engine manufacturers, Honda and VW to a formula that no one wants to watch.


If the appeal is rejected, will they be given a worse punishment (i.e. suspended race ban?).

This whole thing has really damaged the F1 name, despite the excitement over the season starting again.


No, I think those were different times under a different president 😉


Ha! It is very interesting how Todt is almost the complete opposite of Mosley…Stays away from the media and out of controversy 😉


So does this mean if any other teams have fuel flow meter issues and potentially gain an advantage that RBR will not be banging on Charlie Whitings door?

I just think if the shoe was on the other foot RBR would be the first ones complaining.


Sounds to me like all teams have the issue.

None have the balls to challange the rule.


Exactly. And perhaps Red Bull is more confident in its own data.


Amazing, is this really the sort of thing the International Court of appeal should be wasting their time on?

I am sick of RedBull’s Attitude.


What attitude is that? Winning attitude? 🙂

So basically you’re saying RBR should not have the right to explain and defend their actions?

You know, I wonder what the attitude would be if Mercedes had this issue on Hamilton’s car. I bet you would also think that if such a thing happened Mercedes should keep it’s attitude in check and not try to explain and defend their actions? Like they did with the super-not-secret test, in white suits, with lock-down secured track and black helmets never before seen on any of their drivers under any circumstances? Right.


What I am sick of is the fact RBR think they are above the law.

They were warned and ignored it.

They have history of bending the rules.

Hole in the floor, bending wings, the alleged traction control.

I am all for winners but fair winners, and ones that hold their hands up when they are at fault.

The fact is that RBR are not winning so rather than concentrate on fixing their car they are looking at an unfair advantage over the other cars.

I didn’t agree with MaClarans f-duct or Brawns double diffuser as it gives us, the viewer, an poor spectacle.


And yet if Red Bull can prove they didn’t exceed 100kg/h, effectively the FIA is setting up an unfair competition where every car has its own max fuel flow rate depending on what their particular sensor says, and where the FIA feel they can penalise a driver/team over a rule about a specific measurement using an inaccurate measuring tool.

If Red Bull are wrong on the technical side of things, it’s not really a big deal. If Red Bull are right on the technical side, it’s a much bigger deal.

Jose Sanchez kowalsky

I hope they give them hell in the court of the fia used to do. Keep the exclusion of ricciardo, plus an economic penalty on top of it.

Red bull, you are not above the law.


well if FIA is in breach of their own rules and their sensors are not accurate and the Redbull’s sensors are more accurate, then RedBull surelly have some solid legal ground…


Alright. At least we’ll hear the full story. It’s been a bit one sided with only facts presented by FIA so far. I’m quite interested to hear the defence.

On another note, for all you Pireli bashers, I found this little tidbit in a McLaren P1 article. Seems they can make fine rubber, well, just fine. Man, I wish we kept that rubber all season long last year. I wonder how much different/closer the season would have been.


Which brings me to what I judge to be the P1’s third, transformational technology and the unsung hero in this drama: tires. The McLaren’s custom-built Pirelli P Zero Corsa (45/35ZR19 front/315/30ZR20 rear) must endure lateral acceleration (2Gs), top speed, heat and downforce comparable to a race car, but also be reasonably road-able. This is astonishing rubber. For me the “P” will always stand for Pirelli.


I’m assuming by appealing red bull have proof the car never used fuel at a rate over 100kg per hour during the race. The outcome of this is going to be interesting, why should red bull have listened to the fia and taken a hit in performance when they were told to fit a known faulty part back to the car? I think they were right to carry on, I can see ricciardo being awarded his points back.


‘why should red bull have listened to the fia and taken a hit’ – because it’s FIA’s job to do the policing, not the teams. A football team cannot say a referee is wrong to award a penalty, we are not accepting it, can they? The referee may be wrong but his decision stands, yes or no? For me this can be regarded as bringing the sport in dispute and RBR is lucky I am not on this appeal court – I would punish them much harder, specially considering that on top if it all they are cheeky enough to appeal. I still think that stewards should have black-flagged the car 10-15 laps into the race, rather than allowing all this farce.


I doubt any of the teams agreed to use sensors that differ in readings depending which one you get given and an offset needs to be applied, accuracy will always be in doubt unless they are identical. That’s exactly why I can’t stand football, a match can be wrongly lost on one man’s mistake, now it seems an f1 race can be decided by luck of the draw if you have an accurate fuel flow sensor or not. I agree that the FIAs decision should be final they are the governing body, but the FIA should be using technology that is fit for F1, the teams spend millions on technical perfection and then get a part fitted to the car that is far from technical perfection and potentially gives a disadvantage in performance?! Madness! Back to my original comment, I’m assuming by appealing red bull must have some evidence to make a case i.e the sensor readings went out further than the offset they were told to apply? We will soon find out, but in my opinion it’s not red bull bringing the sport into disrepute over this matter, it is the FIA themselves.


it’s not red bull bringing the sport into disrepute over this matter, it is the FIA themselves….

I was watching Sky F1 show the other night and it’s fair to say the ex-drivers and Graeme Lowdon, who were on the show wouldn’t agree with you. They were pretty clear, they thought Red Bull had gone too far in challenging the Stewards decision in this instance. GL even said that Marussia had turned their fuel flow down resulting in a performance deficit – hardly something they can afford to do.


Doesn’t really matter if they have proof or not. The sensor, which everyone (including them) agreed to abide by, says they were exceeding the fuel rate.

They weren’t even the only team to have the problem.

They were just the only team to completely disregard the FIA during the race.


Emotionally I agree with RBR 100%. Not being sure what the language of all the applicable rules are though makes me unsure of whether they have a case. Throw in the crazy ruling for Merc last year and who knows.


Emotionally I disagree with RBR 100%.

When there were questions about their bendy wings RBR’s position was: it passed the test it is legal, no matter how much the wings bend while racing on track.

Well , this is the same, no matter how little fuel you used, it failed the test so it is illegal.


The small part about the rules being the rules as we have been linked too above. If the court follows the rules it is pretty clear as JA says above the RBR case comes down to whether there measurement method was accurate. We already know the FIA approved sensor was not accurate, the question is whether the offset they used was correctly calculated or not.

I fear the Court will not go by facts.

As far as the Black Flag issue posted above it would seem to me that the fact RBR had already notified the FIA of its intent to challenge any ruling and therefore it would have really opened up a can of worms if RBR was proven correct. I look forward to what James Can find out for us.


‘If the court follows the rules it is pretty clear as JA says above the RBR case comes down to whether their measurement method was accurate.’ – I absolutely disagree. How accurate RBR measurement method is totally irrelevant, there should be no RBR measurement method and from what I have seen it’s pretty clear, it is up to FIA to measure this, not teams. Joe Saward’s take on the issue is probably the best I have seen.


Spot on, it couldn’t have been said better…


They broke the rules, were given an advice, broke the rules again and were disqualyfied. It would be a big farce if now they are given the position back, and it would open the door fot everyone to go over the 100kg/h limit without fear. I feel sorry for Ricciardo, but the rules are rules.



No, it would not be an open door to go over the 100…

RB still has to prove they stayed below and FIA measuring was wrong.

If they prove this, even if they still don’t get reinstated, something will need to change for the future anyhow.

RB is looking at this from the other point of view, which is, they were complying with the rules. The FIA was asking them to reduce performance. They didn’t want to give it up.

If they succeed proving it, even without reinstating past result, how can you accept the FIA has a device in the cars which can influence performance (even if its 1% or less, for F1 its huge). Its like saying every car is weighted with a different scale or whatever other measuring device you choose (like the standards for wings, car size, etc…).


They can’t prove it. FIA says their flow meters are the good ones (its in the rules), and thats something Red Bull can’t fight against.


…and if the flow meters provided by the FIA aren’t accurate?

kenneth chapman

so you’ve already proved that an appeal is not worth running? as i have said earlier, how can the FIA approve a device that has been homologated and then need to have ‘offsets’ applied in order to set a flow level that was supposed to be integral in the first instance?

were the same offsets applied to each and every sensor running on each and every car?

i do seriously look forward to you supplying me with the details as without these you cannot form a conclusive opinion.


Red Bull go* for it

Should be an interesting case.


Well, you know what – it is ridiculous.

For a very long time I have doubts in Courts… if somehow RBR is found NOT guilty, it will clearly show there’s no fair play in F1… or at least that “fairness” is different to different teams.


BTW, appeal clearly shows how arrogant RBR is.

When everyone complied with FIA, they decided that they are bove everyone else and can do whatever they want.

Hope they get slapped down a bit.


Come on Dmitry,

Every unfair law challange has started with civil disobedience. Are those cases arrogant too?

You don’t agree with something and want your case to be heard, you first have to break the law perhaps.

You don’t think they have the right to defend their actions? Is that the point you’re making? Right or wrong, a team should have the right to explain themselves. Let’s hear the explanation, then perhaps we can make a more definitive comment on the issue.



C’mon Sebee don’t try and kid us that Red Bull decided on their particular course of action in some kind of selfless pursuit to improve the common good – civil disobedience, lol!. They did what they did to gain a performance advantage. Plain and simple. Graeme Lowdon was on Sky last night and he admitted they had turned down the fuel flow and it had cost them performance, and it’s not as if they have performance to waste, yet they still complied. Interestingly, there was a general discussion between the studio guests and, reading between the lines, they expect the FIA to take a dump on Red Bull. Be interesting to see if that turns out to be the case.


Well said Martin Davies.

FIA is a Arbiter of the Governance to the sport that it represent and in most cases their ruling is “FINAL”,however perhaps to show the transparency within FIA will be in a good stead, because they could easily denied the appeal.One must bear in mind that rest of a grid coped sweet, with attitude of Red Bull Its us against Them,it’s rather sad the continuation of exploring gray aria beyond the spirit of the sport it taints brilliance of the man they call a “Guru” of F1 namely

Adrian Newey.

It seem Mr L.d Montezemolo red the mail.


Sorry Sebee, but simply put, there is no case to answer here. Red Bull have ignored the ruling body – the referee.

This sets a very dangerous precedent. If Red Bull win this appeal, it then tells the other teams that essentially they do not need to listen to the FIA advice, they can just ignore them and continue.

Remember Red Bull weren’t the only team to be asked to do this during the race, other were too, and others did. We don’t see them hanging their dirty washing out in public.

Joe Saward, one of the most respected and knowledgeable F1 Journalists (along with JA, obviously 😉 ) summed it up nicely with this:

‘I feel very sorry for Dan Ricciardo because I think he did an exceptional job but the team clearly tried to gain advantage and they deserved what they got. Everyone knew that the flow sensors were a bit delicate but there was no need to draw this to the attention of the public. These things happen sometimes and it would have been nicer if everyone had simply played along and not tried to exploit the situation it would have been wiser. The bottom line is that there are some who do not value the sport beyond the value it can give them and so will do anything to try to gain an advantage. Ricciardo deserved better.’


Do Red Bull really expect to win this appeal or is it just arrogant bravado from a team that feels because they are the reigning 4 times double world champions the can play by their own rules, regardless of faulty sensor or not the they repeatedly ignored instructions from both the technical delegate of the FIA and race director Charlie Whiting to run to an FIA approved offset or be in breach of technical regulations on fuel flow. The FIA set the rules Technical delegates, Charlie Whiting and the Race Stewards enforce them to use a Football metaphor the FIA are like FIFA: Technical delegates, Charlie Whiting and the Race Stewards are like match day officials and the teams are the players. If a referee approached a footballer and told them to stop holding an an opponent’s shirt at corners or he’ll award a penalty should the player continue to do if he should expect to concede a penalty, Sorry any RBR fas but that’s just they way I see it Christian Horner should be holding his hands up here saying we ignored the instructions and deserve what we got, remember when Williams had David Coulthard disqualified for using an illegal fuel they held the hands up and admitted they were wrong.


Actually, that was contaminated fuel for williams… they said they made a mistake. its not the same as admitting to breaking the rules.

RB is saying they didn’t brake the rules.

F1 cars have a minimum weight of 692kg. If the FIA scale is off-check and reports it as 685, should every team run 7kg heavier (when they know it for a fact due to much better weight check) because the FIA isn’t up to scratch in the measurement?

I think RB did well even if they loose just to seek clarification.

I would rather that EVERY TEAM would have sought clarification in due time, because this problem has been known for 2 months apparently.

But probably, all the teams were told that the “problems” would be solved and come Melbourne the sensors would be top spec very high precision devices… they chose to believe it…

And yes, 4 WDC AND WCC put you in a certain mind set also, that you are right most often than not… I wouldn’t bet against RB being right more often than they are wrong…


To use your weight analogy correctly, it would go something along these lines: F1 cars have a minimum weight of 692kg. The FIA scale is off-check and reports it as 685, and FIA instructs

every team to run 7kg heavier. All teams but one comply with FIA instructions, thus one team gaining advantage over all other competitors by running lighter.



There, you are using the same SCALE for every car.

Its not the same sensor, each car has its own sensor.

Imagine that each car had its own weight? how do you compare car weights weighted on different scales? right, calibration and measurement accuracy and precision…

that’s the problem… sensor calibration, accuracy, precision…


You are making a mistake with the weight example. Fuel flow meters have a calibration that gives an error margin, so you can actually use a bit more fuel and not get caught, but you can’t be using a legal amount of fuel and look like you are over the limit.


Considering that they have an accuracy of +/- 0.25%, then you could definitely have both examples you gave. you could be using 100.25kg/hour but the sensor shows as 100kg/hour, or you could be using 100kg/hour but the sensor shows 100.25kg/hour. That’s what the +/- part of it refers to…


I really like this weight example.

I suspect RBR was compliant, and that they actually have better data (and can prove it).

The fact is, though, the FIA can still hang them for not using the spec component. Absurd technicality – not sure its worth a DQ. A fine and a slap on the wrist perhaps, but not a DQ IMO.


The appeal will most likely be decided on the interpretation of regulations 5.1.4 (Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h) and 5.2.10 (Cars must be fitted with homologated sensors which provide all necessary signals to the FIA data logger in order to verify the requirements above are being respected).

Although Red Bull will argue that the first of these regulations was never breached, through their own independent measurements, the second regulation is unambiguous; it is for the FIA approved sensors to assess compliance. Whether it is possible for Red Bull to demonstrate that since this ‘verification’ was supposedly faulty 5.2.10 does not apply in this case is an open question.


Good point. However, were they disqualified because they breached 5.1.4 or because they breached 5.2.10? If the first, and they can prove that they actually did not exceed 100 kg/hour, then they have a case. Whether they broke 5.2.10 or not doesn’t matter if they were not disqualified based on that.


They were disqualified because of 5.1.4 , at least that’s my understanding of the stewards ruling.

of course, because in the hearings RB said the sensor was wrong, the FIA pointed to the other article.

In all honesty, the second point seems much like an FIA defense for incompetence. Its like saying, IF we screw up the measurement, its up to US to decide if you can ignore it or not; that is, its up to the FIA to decide if the competitor takes a performance hit because of a FIA standardized, regulated part which is apparently not working as it should…


The second point is a valid point. Imagine the FIA saying: “okay teams we don’t trust our sensors so you can use your own methods to measure fuel flow, you only need to prove to us at the end of the race that you didn’t exceed the limit and we ‘ll be fine”. Ridiculous! the teams would concentrate on finding a way to prove they didn’t exceed the fuel flow limit instead of finding the correct measurement.


we will see.

They might be successful provided they prove that the fuel flow was not higher than required

as for 5.2.5 (it’s not 5.2.10)

technically they complied.

the cars were fitted with the sensor.


Yes its officially 5.2.5; I was looking at the 2011 preliminary version of the regulations.

On the first point, the regulations are explicit in regard to who it is to assess whether the fuel flow was or was not in compliance with 5.1.4. The FIA will argue that it is not for the teams to prove or disprove anything. If this were about weighing the car after the race in parc ferme, for example, clearly the FIA can only rely on their own measurements as required by regulations.

On the second point, 5.2.5 clearly is not simply about fitting sensors for no purpose. They are equipped to perform a function, namely to assess compliance with the relevant regulations:

“Cars must be fitted with homologated sensors…in order to verify the requirements above are being respected.”


what if the weight scale at the end was not one scale, but 11 different scales (or even 22), one for each team, one for each car…

Cause with the sensors, it IS like that… and its now becoming obvious (the teams knew for a while, which surprises me how they accepted it like this) that they are not so great… (meaning, it seems like bolting a 2bit part onto a high tech kit) 😉

Dimitar Kadrinski

Even though an additional info has come out these last few days, that all the teams had almost identical problems to the one RB had with the sensors. How come all the rest of the teams obeyed the rules, but RB decided to go their own way.

Now in the light of all this, someone please tell me they are not arrogant…!

kenneth chapman

they are not arrogant.


They are weird and cunning


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. RBR have less to lose by pushing it to the edge. Imagine Mercedes or Ferrari had done this. Would it not look like their engines need it? Would it not get directly associated to their brand?

RBR doesn’t care about that point really. Note how it’s mostly their name that’s in the news, not Renault. RBR don’t make cars, so when they push it to far, they’re not dragging and entire car brand with them by association. Renault have a layer of seperation here. In fact, I’d argue that the press is good for visibility of the RB brand. Red Bull photos in every article, right? Not everyone will read the text, but many will see the car.

And also consider the possibility that there are real flaws in this fuel flow rule. Many are taking it at face value not seeing the potential for issues. It’s only been battle tested one time, and many teams have issues but chose to shut up and sit down instead of stand up and speak up.

If RBR happen to prove that there are issues here that need to be addressed and resolved, will you eat your words?

dimitar kadrinski

It is still arrogant though… all your points are valid, but they are arrogant ( that was my only point)


So it is arrogant to demand your rights are protected?


Please show me a team who’s had success in F1 without arrogance.

BTW you call it arrogance, some may call it swagger.

Please remind me, was “arrogance” in the room with Ross Brawn in Schumi and Ferrari era?

Many took 1998 British GP to be an arrogant move. I thought it was genius myself.

Point is – we see things often as we choose. Key is to try to challange your point of view to see if it’s really as you see it.


If you are indeed right (and most of the time they have been, you don’t get such success by being wrong), is it really arrogance? Or are they in the right?

Yes, they didn’t follow procedure… so i think they will loose.

What they all should have done was press the FIA earlier to come up with a suitable solution.

this has happened before, the FIA arround turn of the century disqualified both ferraris (malasia 99m if i am not wrong) because of barge board measurements.

Ferrari proved the measuring equipment of the FIA was substandard, and showed that in fact the measurements were within spec (allowing for tolerances in the rule books).

For me its simply unacceptable that the teams can get better measurement than the FIA… especially when there is a FIA spec and FIA regulated/controled/inspected ECU already in the car running the engine…

Someone wanted to award that contract for the sensors to one particular company, if you ask me… whether they had the best equipment for the job or not…

dimitar kadrinski

Like Sebee mentioned bellow, they have simply been arrogant to break the rules, knowing they will not loose that much. (And again if DR finished in the points with the offset to the FIA sensor, which might have been possible, then they are still big losers..)

Whether the sensor is accurate or not, REMEMBER, it is the same for all teams. It was inaccurate for the others too, but they stuck to the rules. They are also working with the FIA to resolve this very issue. Not RB though.

Also i guess it is possible (as the sensor belong to the teams, and they are installing it/managing it) for a team to deliberately mess up this sensor and then use their own measurement (nobody will know how was it calibrated) for the race and gain significant advantage. Rules are rules to be followed.


i’d like to see the look on your face when rb get the penalty overturned.


A whole lotta assumptions you make.

How about we hear what RBR actually have to say, then we put it to the court of public opinion. Deal?


there are 2 separate parts here:

– following the rules (which RB says they did)

– enforcing/controlling the rule: here they screwed up cause they don’t even have the right to

HOW do you know the other teams are working with the FIA in the matter? For all we know FIA gave the teams sensors at random and that’s it. Furthermore, there is a history behind this sensor, with problems already in free practice. The replacement sensor was even worse.

I don’t think this is acceptable at the highest levels of technology, not for a standard mandatory part which shouldn’t influence performance.

You say its the same for all teams… well, all teams are weight checked at the same scale. The sensor is not the same in all cars (obviously). How about the FIA had 11 scales, one per team? How do you assure that all weight checks are equivalent?

The sensor problem is similar. How do you assure its the same for all teams? By making it outstandingly reliable and accurate, way beyond the needs of the teams/FIA. Say, like for the stop watch, would the FIA accept a timing system with errors of 0.005s ?? Worse, would they accept transponders which could have an error which is slightly different from car to car (say, one car 0.0005, other 0.0008, etc…). NO WAY! This is not acceptable, would never be accepted by anyone in the sport. If all transponders are within 0.000001s (orders of magnitude below what is measured) then it is correct, nobody will care.

No one will convince me there is no technology to make a very very accurate flow measuring device. Someone screwed up big time on this (perhaps because there were undue considerations when awarding the contract i’d say…).

When the sensor is orders of magnitude beyond what is being measured (precision wise and accuracy also), then nobody will care. That’s how its done.

Imagine your company used a payment system which had a rounding error of 1 or 2 % of your salary. Would you accept this? (especially if that “error” was attributed at random and different for all the employees?


if you are not pushing to (or over) the limit, you will never win any championship

dimitar kadrinski

Pushing over the limit is for example the way they mounted to front nose camera (and btw it will be changed for the next GP… i hope) this however is simply WRONG.


and how do you know they will change the camera? And it’s not pushing over the limit, because it complies with the rules. And this is not wrong. Get a grip whiner.


I really hope this gets cleared up before the next race, otherwise we will be left with a difficult situation in Bahrain where Red Bull are using one Fuel Flow measurement and everyone else another.


I would suspect that Charlie will exclude them again from the results for consistency and they will add that to the appeal. If RBR are smart they wont push the issue and will do as they are told. Not sure they are smart, arrogant maybe…Time will tell.


Where have all these ‘arrogant’ claims come from, it’s like we’ve stumbled into the Welsh Rugby Union forum.


Arrogance is defined as a way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people. As in a team that ignores the FIA’s warnings and does not heed the advice accepted by the other teams. I think that my use of the term was correct for the facts as we currently know them. I alluded to the facts as we currently know them by using the word MAYBE right afterwards. That signifies that I may not know every fact that will come out in a hearing. But as it stands the behavior of Horner\RBR is arrogant! Not a claim, not associated with Rugby in any way and simply based on the facts stated by the FIA and Horner himself and careful use of the English language to convey what those facts mean to me.


Eddie Jordan for one


Thanks to the FIA we’re already in the situation where every car on the grid is using a different fuel flow measurement. That’s what the fuel flow sensors not being accurate boils down to.


Hi, JA, hope you’re well. Simple question; why didn’t DR receive a black flag after being warned that they were doing something wrong. Surely a mechanical black flag should have been waved for car 3 if it wasn’t complying to the rules? Confused.


Answer: there were too many solid objects in easy reach of fans and only two gates out of dodge for the circus.


A bit off Topic, but does anyone remember the last time a Driver was shown the Black Flag? Schumacher Silverstone 94 springs to mind, but there must have been another since then.


Google suggests Massa & Fisichella, Canada 2007


Probably for the same reason it took the stewards four hours to come to a decision after the race. It’s not at all clear that they they exceeded the fuel flow limits.

“Red Bull is confident of success at the appeal, which will require them to prove that their readings were accurate. More accurate than the FIA’s.”

That should not be hard to prove or disprove. It’s a simple piece of maths.


If all that was required was to apply some simple maths, why didn’t Red Bull do this when they met the stewards after the race?


I’m not sure, but I think black flag is usually given for Sporting violations. Things like dangerous driving, not adhering to track limits or even the white line exiting pit lane etc.

Personally, I can not recall any black flag incident involving technical infringements.

Things like fuel samples, scrutineering, measurements are done after the race and hence cars breaching technical guidelines are penalised after the race.

Having said that, I’m of the opinion, if they RedBull was not complying during the race, a black flag would have better dealt with the situation.


Not good PR to Black Flag local favourite, could you imagine the up roar if JB or LH got Black flagged at Silverstone or FA at Barcalona or Monza, empty grandstand don’t sell next years tickets


That is a good question which I will bring up


For some reason the incident that comes to mind from my 20 years of watching F1 was in 1994 (I think?) where Schumacher was given a stop-go for some offence. I don’t remember the offence, but Schumacher chose not to server his penalty and was black-flagged. The black flag was also ignored and a 2 race ban was imposed.

The point is, by not issuing Ricciardo with a drive-through (as stop-go’s are rarely issued these days) on the spot, the FIA kind of left themselves open to this situation occuring. They could have even warned Red-Bull first that a drive through would be issued, which might have made them think a bit harder about what they were doing(comply or get a drive through–>drive through–>black flag–>2 race ban)


You are right, it should’ve happen that way instead waiting till the end of the race. But that speaks about the pressure that FIA officials are going through especially when the local driver is involved.


Yes you are right, MS didn’t wait long enough on formation lap for pole man D. Hill to take lead on formation lap and MS was banned for 2 races. That was the reason for DH to close in the championship standings. Then in Australia happen that electrifying finish and famous collision between the two. That is something for the harshness of the penalties, never happen before nor after. It was a weird punishment, draconian one.


Didn’t MSC overtake Damon Hill on the warm up lap, Hill was in pole I think, and get into trouble, or was that another occasion?


Can the FIA issue a black flag to a team for the failure of an FIA supplied part?

Seems a bit… harsh.


I believe that the stewards sent one or emails advising them that the flow rate was too high, ignoring this cannot be allowed

as in any sport.


It’s not for failure of the part, it’s for defying the FIA’s rules and instructions.

Besides, how do you know it’s a failure of the meter and not a failure of the fuel injectors, fuel pressure sensor or regulator, or anything else that could make Red Bull’s calculations even less accurate than the Flow Meter?


I’m guessing that if the stewards/FIA had had a meeting with all the teams prior to FP1 and advised that offsets are to be used in instances of compromised fuel flow sensor readings, and stated to the teams at the meeting that a wrtten advice to this affect was to be issued to all teams directly after said meeting, and having received said written advice RBR still followed their course of action during the race, they would have been black flagged. It seems all governing parties were aware of a problem with the sensor from testing and made no attempt to make uneqivocal written advice on how to address it. That should be a worry in regards to their level of application to the process of governing the sport. As F’d up as the governing bodies of MotoGP are right now, they at least provided written advice (hap-hazardly) to all teams at Phillip Island on how to use the deemed faulty tyres in the race last year. HRC just tried to ‘game’ the written advice on points of grammar and actual wording, and subsequently lost.


If possible, can you mention it would have made the race more exciting if this potential issue had been presented to the viewers during the race.

Heck, if it came up on TV with the message “Red Bull #3 is under investigation over fuel flow and requested reduced flow rate” – I bet Horner would’ve reacted!

More interesting for viewers than the no-brainer “Kobayashi v Massa incident will be investigated after the race”!



Because Charlie was letting them dig a deep hole for RBR to fall into would be my guess. Black flag means no right of appeal and this way Charlie gets the tribunal to back him up and force RBR to back down and affirm his authority.


No black flag because it was not a breach of sporting regulations – rather technical one. They also gave RBR a chance to make the correction and continue racing, especially having in mind it was Ricciardo’s car in Australia. RBR thought they would get away with it and that stewards would not be brave enough to disqualify Ricciardo in Australia in his first race for a WC winning team.



But this is a useful process as my post says, because it will establish best practice for the rest of the season

Trouble is we could have three GPs behind us before the judgement is made


Isn’t that FIA warning equivalent to a black and orange flag? It should be, in my view. Ignoring these flags means a black flag.

Matthew Cheshire

“4 hours of deliberation” probably should read 53 laps AND four hours of deliberation.


Because they’re afraid of having something done to them like what happened to Moseley.

If it had been a team that’s never scored a point, they wouldn’t have taken so long.


I’m think there were 2 possibilities here why the flag wasn’t throgn as the RBR was quick and not danger to anyone on track.

1. FIA thought that by leaving the RBR on-track it gave them options on type of panalty, in case they simply chose to add time to DR’s finishing time for example.

2. RBR thought that since they don’t agree with the suggestion during the race, it’s better to finish the race to be exactly sure what is at stake, and then discuss the matter in court if needed.

I really want to hear the full explanation from RBR. At least we’ll get that.


I agree – not using the black flag is probably an indication that the stewards were unsure of their position with regard to enforcing a verbal instruction to apply an offset. Once you issue a penalty, such as a drive-through or immediate disqualification, you destroy the race for the driver/team and they have no recourse (other than to sue for financial recompense). By applying a post-race penalty you have the option to discuss, appeal, review and clarify the rules.



I stand corrected.

Yes, that wasn’t well worded. You’re right, 1st reason only it is – to leave the punishment choices open.

And in deed the FIA may be so ahead on the play that they picked RBR to play this out in court and close the interpretation. That will be impressive, but selective. While I would prefer RBR not be the ones made example of, as WDCs they are the reference – so it very well may be case.

Could also be that RBR did this with Daniel’s car specifically in Melbourne to make FIA look bad.

Soon perhaps we will find out if it was gamesmanship or real valid reasons are behind it.



How does it matter what RBR thought? Thought black flags were the the domain of the race stewards or Charlie Whiting ?

As for why the black flags weren’t issued for RIC, I guess there were conversations with multiple teams re the fuel flow issue during the race. Every team other than RBR eventually agreed to regulate their fuel flows according to the FIA approved norms. Maybe they simply decided to make an example of RBR to avoid any future misdemeanors from the teams


Even if Red Bull can prove the sensor is faulty I don’t see how they get this overturned. The FIA are saying they are responsible for applying the rules and Red Bull would have to get their approval for using a different method of measurement for fuel flow. Red Bull failed to gain approval- this is the key point, whether they are morally right on the fuel flow point would seem irrelevant. Understand RB’s frustration but when the FIA tell you to do something you probably ought to do it. They were lucky not to get black flagged.


Also agree, the rules are clear, if you want to use the alternate method FIA has to approve.

But people have gotten away with breaking the rules and then arguing the rule is wrong. For example, there was a rule requiring maximum 5 car lengths following distance behind the safety car. Hamilton broke that bigtime which caused Vettel to hit Webber, but FIA forgave Hamilton and changed the rule to 10 lengths.


It has been funny to me to hear RBR throw the sensor company under the bus, complaining about one faulty sensor or a margin of error of 0.25%.

All the while they are Red Bull Racing, a company that makes race cars but couldn’t get a car that would do a single lap some days during testing and had a failure rate of 50% during the first race. (And so did Mercedes).

This is a prototype series. You can’t expect all of the technology or components to work flawlessly for the first race and that goes for engines, cars, ERS-H, sensors.

The only things that did work flawlessly across the board were the Pirelli tires… but no one wants to talk about them anymore.


A very concise, very logical set of deductions. Glad you posted your thoughts.


I somewhat agree. Even if they’re, technically correct, they’re not going to get away without punishment.

That said, even if they can’t have the DSQ overturned, proving themselves to be right and the sensor to be inadequate could still be important for the sport.


There were problems with the sensors, noone is denying that. Red bull were disqualified for ignoring the FIA directive to lower their fuel rates, several teams complied with the directive but Red Bull ignored it and gained an advantage in doing so.


agree completely with that. They need this sorting asap though- really before the next GP because it could be chaos. Hopefully a degree of pragmatism breaks out when everyone gets to Malaysia


I have to agree with Andy. The Rules spell out the maximum fuel flow, and HOW it is calculated. Red Bull simply cannot use their own calculations, IMHO, as those calculations are not specified within the rules.


And the correction factor is in the rules?


However, on the reverse side of this coin, the FIA cannot be free to determine how they change their approach to implementing the rules on any given day. That opens them up to allegations of manipulating the race results and favouring one team over another. That is why the rules are written down and interpretations clarified over time, when unforseen circumstances open up these grey areas. So as it stands, it is probably a 50/50 bet on whether Red Bull get their result reinstated and depends on the evidence they present and clarification of the way the FIA approached the issue across the race weekend.


I presume that if Red Bull are successful, then the other teams who *did* turn their engines down will all be fairly aggrieved!

Would also set a precedent that in future teams won’t need to pay attention to the sensor nor the FIA’s requests?


Dear All. It’s important in this debate to understand measurement standard measurement uncertainty and what an accredited measurement is.

So far no one in the FIA website or in the blogs has pointed out that the only legally valid measurement is one that is traceable to a primary standard for that quantity and is calibrated by a body that is accredited by a national accreditation body like UKAS.

Unfortunately for the FIA the calibration authority listed on thier website is not accredited by the appropriate authority for the country it is registered in the UK.

If redbulls sensor is calibrated by an accredited body and reads within its uncertainty at less than 100kg/hr. Then they might have a good case?

Please always consider the accredited uncertainty of a measurement instrument. Because non accredited measurements are worse than useless. Speaking as an authority in measurement accreditation.


your confusing a court of law with the FIA hearing. Red Bull decided to enter the FIA formula one world championship, and agreed in doing so to abide by the rules the FIA have set. They have broken the rules and have been punished, Red Bull dclearly seem to think that they should be able to measure thir own fuel rates and ignore directives from the FIA, they can’t and the appeal will fail.


they are rules and regulations, not laws. The problem isn’t that Red Bull went over the flow rate, or if the sensors are accurate or not, the problem is Red Bull think they should be allowed to police themselves and the FIA think that is their job. Ultimately it is the FIA’s party and if they say “you should lower your flow rate” then that is what you should do. Other teams did this, Red Bull gained an advantage by not doing it.

I would iamgine the appeal hearing will be quite brief, no doubt Red Bull will produce lots of data to prove they didn’t exceed 100 KG/HR and the FIA will listen and then say “that’s very interesting but you are here to defend yourselves against an allegation that you ignored an FIA directive” case closed.


TimW you are of course correct on that legal point. I was just sad to think that the law might be based on a non accredited measurement. If this was the case, and I would love to see the FIA try to defend themselves on this point, then the law would be an ass.!

The whole of the F1 industry depends on measurements of many quantities being valid and fit for purpose and many industries like the domestic automotive suppliers stick to international standards like ISO17025 to prove thier measurements and compete fairly. And F1 is supposed to be about fair competition.


Daniel WILL get his points\position back no doubt why because the precedence is already there, no ifs no buts…look at 20079 championships Lewis\Alonso deemed not to blame by FIA same as Daniel this was a Team decision not the drivers.


I bet you ten English pounds he doesn’t!


I would say to everyone that is claiming that RedBull broke the rules – have a think about it before you go off on one!

First of all, I’m a McLaren and Jenson Button fan, so the RedBull disqualification does nothing but elevate my team and driver, so this is not an emotional post.

The teams are NOT required to follow the verbal direction of the FIA or anyone else – they are only required to abide by the written regulations.

The regulations state 5.1.4 (Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h) and 5.2.10 (Cars must be fitted with homologated sensors which provide all necessary signals to the FIA data logger in order to verify the requirements above are being respected).

If the sensor is proven faulty (which it was and agreed to by the FIA) then as long as RedBull can prove that they didn’t use more than 100kg/hour then I believe they should get away with it.

The teams are required to abide by the regulations, but at the same time the FIA are required to ensure that the regulations are accurately governed. They have admitted that the sensor in question and many others were faulty. I really don’t see how they have a leg to stand on. How can they admit that their equipment is faulty and then penalise a team based on information gained from said dodgy sensor???

The next thing you know they’ll admit their weigh scales are wrong and reading under weight and then issue fines etc. to teams for being under weight after being weighed on said scales.

Honestly, have a think about it.

If you were pulled over while driving 30mph and given a speeding fine for 100mph after the policeman admitted to you that the radar gun was faulty, would you just accept it? I sure as hell wouldn’t!

Yes, all the other teams ‘did what they were told’ but as far as I’m concerned, that was their fault. Why should anyone have to run under power simply because the FIA is too disorganised to properly govern the sport?

Dear teams,

You are allowed to use 100kg/hour of fuel as stated in the written regulations, but all of our sensors are dodgy and inaccurate. Therefore, just to be on the safe side, we’d really appreciated it if you could run at 90-95kg/hour, just to be safe.

King regards,

The ever efficient FIA


RBR will take the strict legal interpretation of the written regulations.

Basically, if they can show that their system did not squirt fuel into the engine at more than 100Kg/h at any point, they have not breached the regulations.


Yes, but do you expect this Red Bull mass flowmeter or calculating model is actually 100% right ?

And can you trust any teams own flow measuring device then ?

I think any ‘proof’ from any team is worthless, so the answer to both questions is no.

It only gets tricky when this FIA device gives totally wrong readings. In such a case it is easy to proof this device is wrong and with that the teams device is the only proof that they didn’t go above 100kg/h.

But I wouldn’t expect the FIA asking RB to lower the fuel consumption while knowing their flowmeter is totally wrong.

kenneth chapman

surely the fact that the FIA had to issue ‘offsets’ only serves to confirm that the sensors were faulty.

another point is this, were the offsets all exactly the same for each and every team that registered inexact readings?

how exactly did the FIA/teams know that the sensors were faulty in the first instance?

what did they, the FIA, use to benchmark the flow?

maybe someone can enlighten me.


Not exactly. Much like your radar gun analogy, the sensors are calibrated, and have a certain amount of “off”. The gun might read 30.5, when you’re going 30, so the calibration that the officer would have to apply would be either to say you were going “30 mph +/- 0.5 mph”, or just subtract 0.5 mph from any reading.

Red Bull was instructed to reduce their fuel flow by “X” because the corrected value from the FIA sensor was consistently “X” below what it should be.

Most of the units are accurate to within 1%, so chances are, RBR was told to reduce the fuel rate by around 1 kg/h, and they weren’t the only team given a “correction factor”– they were just the only team to completely disregard the FIA.


Quite few comments use the analogy of radar speed guns used by the police. On occasion the police, in the UK, will allow a speeding motorist to attend a speed awareness course and thus avoid prosecution. Do you think the FIA might offer Red Bull the opportunity to attend a cheating awareness course in order to avoid disqualification? 🙂


So every sensor had a different correction factor? Sounds dodgy to me. I dont see the point, 100kg is 100kg.


If a sensor is giving inconsistent readings, how can it tell you if you are consistently x below what it should be? Surely inconsistency is the worst type of fault?


Can anyone show me where in the sporting regs it says to “use a correction factor” in conjunction with the meter?


The point he makes and I agree with is that if the sensor and the offset were still incorrect as RBR claims you have an issue here right?



I just checked the Autosport article and it seems the sensor gave inconsistent readings on Friday and it was changed. The new sensor was faulty and FIA asked RBR to use the Friday sensor with an ofset to fix those inconsistencies.

Bottom line, no faulty sensor on RBR car for the race.


If the sensor was wrong on Friday who can say that it’s sunday result plus the FIA’s offset gave the correct picture. It might be reasonable to accept the result in the absence of other data, but if Red Bull really have something obviously more definitive then surely that should be accepted. It will be interesting to analyse their defence.


Something that’s supposed to be accurately measuring something but is giving inconsistent readings… that in my books is for it’s purpose, faulty.

I’m not saying Red Bull were in the right or anything, but why would they cheat, hoping to just somehow get away with it? That is, despite the sensor issue coming up earlier in the weekend, and despite being told during the race to turn it down. It wasn’t just somewhat likely that someone might look at the fuel numbers, they were looking at them in the race and saying, “You’re over the 100kg/h, fix it.” They would have made their decision knowing there’d be a big fight about it afterwards, and there’d be no point of them going into that unless they felt they were equipped to come out of it on top.


Very good point.

It is an issue of interpretation of the rule that it will come down to probably, as well as facts related to flow.

Hey, remember my all time favorite Schumi serves the drive-through on last lap, while tripping the beam and collecting P1 upon entry to the pit lante story?

Everone forgets that rules can be interpreted in various ways. Did Schumi keep that win? Did Ross interpret the rule correctly? Did FIA reps at the track agree at the time? Exactly.


Hi Sebee, I got the impression from your first response that you were shouting at me but, to be fair, you have turned the volume down in your second reply, for which I thank you. I have done a bit of digging and this is a link to the best article I could find (explaining the sensors), you can also download a more detailed explanation from the article. I warn you now it’s complicated!

If I understand it correctly, the sensor fires an ultrasonic pulse backwards and forwards across a known distance as the fuel flows through it. The pulse that is travelling in the same direction as the fuel is accelerated and conversely the pulse travelling in the opposite direction is slowed. The density of the fuel is known (as it has a fingerprint)and because they know the weight of each molecule of fuel combined with knowing how much the ultrasonic pulse is accelerated and decelerated, an algorithm calculates the fuel mass. Incidentally the ultrasonic pulses are fired 2000/second and the accuracy is better than +/- .25% – according to the manufacturers, which was an FIA mandate. If you read the article, you will see the manufacturers and the FIA have given this matter a great deal more thought than a lot of posters have given them credit for. Personally I don’t think Red Bull have snowballs chance of winning the appeal. However, never say never 🙂



Of course it measure mass fuel flow, but key is how? How does it do that when the car is subject to forces and moving? The fuel is pressurized and so volume is best method I would think. But are all brands of fuel same? And if not, how different are they?

And if they are different then there is potential for other issues related to how blindly the sensors are handed out. And that’s a whole other bag I don’t want to get into right now. As everything in F1, it’s complicated.