F1 Winter Break
Red Bull’s Horner “confident” that team will get Melbourne points back at appeal
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2014   |  7:33 pm GMT  |  502 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the stewards’ statement spelled out in Melbourne, “Although the sensor showed a difference in readings… it remains the homologated and required sensor against which the team is obliged to measure their fuel flow, unless given permission by the FIA to do otherwise….it is not within their discretion to run a different fuel flow measurement method without the permission of the FIA.”

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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



The legal status of “Technical Directives” is very unclear..

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


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


Keep up!

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

hence the you want arrogance example:


Whats your point Tomo?


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


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

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

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


Why would you waste your time watching a fixed event?


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


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


They cannot.


This is an excellent point and the crux of the matter; just because of it Red Bull will surely not get the points back.

Still, it does sound silly that teams should be forced to use a faulty device - it could translate into the FIA not being able to make a decision to disqualify transgressors or decide to penalize innocent teams.


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


Exactly. I think a lot of teams could counter protest


Well they didn't within the specified time period because they were chicken. Or did they?

RB should be commended regardless of their achievements for bringing up this arbitrary, potentially manipulative issue.


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


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


No-- this isn't a technical appeal.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


come back bernie all is forgiven


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

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

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

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


Hmm, so it's alright to blatantly break the rules? At the end of the day, the key word in Formula 1 is "Formula", ie a set of rules and regulations that defines the design of the cars that the teams must adhere to.

Without rules, F1 would end with some V16 rocket car with space thrusters. While that might be appealing to some, it would be totally out of step with the automotive world, which it is supposed to represent.

By the way, I feel sorry for Daniel, I thought he was superb all weekend, but at the end of the day he is a salaried employee of Bull (albeit a very significant one), and must face the consequences like the rest of his salaried colleagues.


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

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


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


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


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


Nothing to reconsider Grant, it is exactley what would happen, there will always be times when the predicted fuel consumption will be wrong and you will get one driver with an excess and another with a deficit. Another problem with un regulated fuel flow would be in qualifying, all the teams would be running as much fuel (and therefore power)as possible. This would cause the cars to be running at too high a speed for the gravel traps at the end of the straights and would also cause the teams to spend a fortune on engine development to make their units robust enough to cope with the power.

You might not like the fuel flow being regulated but it is a crucial safety and cost cutting measure that the teams all voted for.


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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



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


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



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


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


Couldn't agree more.

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

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

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


He can still employ those people giving away cans of RB at holiday resorts.

I'm sure the brand will still get a good exposure.


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


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


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


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

Personally I hate Red Bull Racing for over the past years the difference between pretended image - sportmanship among others - and truth has become too evident too often.


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

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

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


I agree this rule doesn't make sense.

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Those questions have already been adressed...


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

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


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

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


It's sounds like a strategic thing to use, until you realise the engine limitations each team has and the propensity to detonate an engine using 'turning up the wick' options. I would say the merc would probably fail the least, but teams using other engines would see the need to compete, and would turn up the wick and risk engine failures, then taking numerous engine penalties havin gone through their 5 allocateds earlier than anticipated in the season. Not a cost reducing measure really.

@Rob Newman: I think there was no black flag because no alteration to the specific wording of the rules were issued to all teams prior to beginning the weekend. Had that happened, and RB followed their 'defiant' stance and committed those actions, they would have been blackflagged. I have heard that RB were issued an email as well as some form of verbal communication, but this doesn't appear to qualify as a field-wide directive very clearly overriding the absolute wording of the rules on this specific occasion and circumstances. Hopefully it's 'Mistakes were made by everyone, we'll all do better next time because we all learned something, and we all need to move on...'. As to the court/tribual ruling, I'll guess that the decision will be in the best interest of the sport going forward, and less on the issue of fact or proveable compliance to the rules


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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


Perhaps they are trying to avoid a situation similar to what has become of Moto GP, where strict fuel limits brought on clever fuel management that delivered enormous power from the engines, but has made the bikes increasingly vicious and expensive, with a corresponding increase in serious injuries and teams/manufacturers abandoning the sport.


Unlimited fuel flow could be taken to it's logical extreme, with the car getting enormous power on throttle and then running purely electrically the rest of the time. It's interesting technically but would be even more expensive than the engines already are to make them drivable and reliable.


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


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

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

topo dipericolo

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

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

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


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


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


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


It's all a tax deduction.


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


Is that the Ferrari special ink?


No, interestingly these days it's more of a Ferrari black 😉


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


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

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

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

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

I could have misunderstood myself of course.


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

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


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


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

Dimitar Kadrinski

So then it is FIA to blame and not RB?

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


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

kenneth chapman

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


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

Boo hoo Red B*llocks.


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

John in San Diego

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

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

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


When it comes to that tyre change, people seem very eager to ignore Silverstone and a great big chunk of steel tyre belt flying inches past Alonso's head at great speed. Before that the desire for a tyre change was ignored, after that several teams were openly threatening not to race without new tyres, which they got.


As for Mateschitz's threats, F1 has survived without BMW, Toyota, Honda, Renault, Mercedes, Porsche, Ford, Brabham, Matra, Alpha Romeo and many more as they decide they do or don't want to be in F1 as the years progress. Some come back, some don't, if Red Bull abandon Formula 1 it will be met with a shrug and racing will continue.


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


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

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

The tires changed for everyone not just RBR.

Dimitar Kadrinski

Sadly you are right.

It is the way the sport was governed that made it like this.

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


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


Well said sir.

I too like Daniel, he is potential WDC, but Red Bull perpetrated an illegal act, and should be punished accordingly.

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


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

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


Yes I did mean hasn't been suspended - type error.

You're right - let's wait for the Court Case, and see how impressed/unimpressed the FIA are with Red Bull's presentation and evidence.


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


I will predict it first:

Red Bull Team - Loose their points

Daniel R - Keeps his points

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

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

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


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


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


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


So like I wrote.

RedBull feels wrongly disqualified, due to the inability from FIA to make working homologated measurement products....

I hope justice will be served and I hope that RedBull gets there points and also that Mateschitz won't pull the plug.


Other teams had the good sense to obey the FIA.

RB are guilty as charged.

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


As you said, "homologated"...and as in any other sport, if you don't use "homologated" equipment you are desquilified.

It's the only way, specially with Red Bull, and maybe from now on they'll start obeying and following the rules like everybody else. Maybe...


Homologated does not ensure that the part works properly...

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


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

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


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


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

They're not that big so go on Newey, fit that in your tight packaging...



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

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


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


Whos ball joint.. jean todt??


I always wanted a worn ball joint 🙂

I will start looking immediately...


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


Is it FIA approved?


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


how can red bull prove that they didn't exceed the fuel flow limit

stating that their equipment is accurate doesn't exactly do it , does it !


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


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


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

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


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


There are some news from Red Bull on how they plan to appeal: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/113091

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

There has to be an arbitor.

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


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



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

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


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

That is what the DSQ is for.


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


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


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

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


Incorrect. You, too, are an idiot.


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

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


Could be the beginning of the end for Red Bull!

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

4 German Fingers


George Debenham

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


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

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


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


I agree with Dietrich on the sound, the volume is way too low and they rarely rev to 15,000rpm so it's dull.

problem for me is if they make them louder it would be done in an artificial way and I'd rather hear it's natural sound. it's a bit like some cars today that play a different noise through the speakers, a stupid gimmick in my view.


Unfortunately, these engines will never sound like the V10s.

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


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

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

Anyone have a handle on the odds on this one?


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


In 2006 (at German Grand Prix) the stewards agreed that the Renault mass damper was legal, after teams questioned the legality of the dampers.

Then, the FIA itself (!) appealed against the stewards’ verdict. The FIA International Court of Appeal later ruled the mass dampers illegal...

In that case, Renault were wise enough not to run the mass dampers until further notice...what will Greedy Bull do?


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I know I may get derided for saying this, but what about teams being allowed to buy an "off the shelf" chassis being re-instated like F1 used to be?

The rule that all constructors have to build their own chassis is what limits competitiveness in my opinion. When that rule was brought in, most cars were made from aluminium, which is relatively cheap and easy to make, as well as easy to repair. The introduction of carbon fibre has saved many lives, but it is very costly and time consuming to make, and it is literally a black art to create a brand new F1 chassis.

That rule of teams building their own cars has not changed with the technology.


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


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


...and Red Bull is no Ferrari.

kenneth chapman

are you absolutely sure about that?


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

My heart would bleed if Redbull left.



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


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


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


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

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



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

1. The system (car) has been tested, in a race-simulation environment, against another, more precise calibration device (i.e. not FIA's flow sensor, and to avoid cheating, not the team's data either).

2. This test has revealed that a particular sensor consistently and repeatable reads less/more than it should, in a predictable way, under all race conditions.

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

@ Jonathon,

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

@ All,

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



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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

Does Gill run the calibration and homologation procedure for all sensors, or is FIA personnel directly involved, I wonder ?


At eight grand a pop?


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

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


Reinstate Dan's points.

Remove Red Bull's Constructor's Championship points.

Issue resolved.


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

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


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


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


I like that


Insane. Cheat and get rewarded for it because you personally happen to like the driver.

I think all drivers Brian likes should be able to run to whatever rules they like but they only can win the drivers championship, not the constructors.


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


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


Agreed + 1


+1, if only it was that easy...

kenneth chapman

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


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


This is going to be good! If they do win then let's be prepared for Sunday evening F1 news to state that the entire grid has been disqualified.

I also wonder what the other teams will think or say if it turns out they were all using inferior equipment in Melbourne and RBR had a proven technical advantage. Interesting times ahead.

Oh and my prediction for the race is that IRS wide open but Maximilian Chilton will finish!


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


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


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


Then make another rule 😉

The car which runs out of fuel is banned for the next race.

So nobody will "pouring gallons of petrol into their donks" but can push for a few laps if he wants to.


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


James, has Christian Horner been asked what will Red Bull do if the situation recurs in the two races before the appeal is heard.

Also would like to hear your insights on whether Red Bull may be forced into running their sensors, because the FIA imposed limits make their cars uncompetitive.


Yes and he ducked it

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


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

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


It's in the works for this year, yes


What time is that show James?


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

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

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


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

Thank You.


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


I think you could bet that the FIA has spent the last week checking & recalibrating the accuracy of their homologated sensors before the next race so that there is no repeat of Melb.

Don't be surprised if the margin for error is increased too!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

kenneth chapman

some very valid points there.


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


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

Sometimes the opinions given are incorrect too ... Such as Mercs tyre test last year.

(Which RBR protested against)


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

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


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

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


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

(and if they do, are they then so certain in their case as they claim?)


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


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


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


My thoughts exactly.


Red Bull isn't Ferrari. Bye bye!


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

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


It's like speeding in the pit lane.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


No, you are dead set wrong ... RBR fitted the FIA sensor but I gave inaccurate readings. the FIA admitted so and gave the team some mathematical formula to give a more accurate reading.

RBR's own computer system calculated a fuel flow less than 100kg/hr.

So faced with a sensor that the FIA knew was faulty, they chose to stay with-in the rules by using their own figures.

At all times was an FIA supplied sensor fitted.

From Saturday thru Sunday the FIA knew that the sensors were not accurate and not just on the Red Bulls


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


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


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


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

kenneth chapman

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

kenneth chapman

why is DM not allowed to voice an opinion?


Kenneth, who said he couldn't?

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


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


@Kevin - you commend RBR for cheating?

Okay then......

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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



PS Good speeding and speedometer analogy!


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

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

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


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


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

Fact 1 the FIA sensors were inaccurate and even worse inconsistent, therefore a simple offset did not solve the issue.

Fact 2 the FIA supplies those sensors and forced RBR to reinstall a sensor from the previous day despite knowing it was faulty. And that was after qualifying in which RBR used a sensor that read, (what was the word?) "unsatisfactory" according to the FIA.(which can only mean it read too low in the FIA's eyes)

If I were RBR I would not like having to rely on a FIA lottery on a very important performance control item, especially knowing that Renault is down on power and they need to go as close to the limit of the rules as possible.

Knowing that the FIA sensor didn't accurately read in many other teams cars and even other series, I hope RBR win that appeal and as a result the FIA either changes the rules or come up with a better way of monitoring in the interest of fair play.


Very well said


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


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


You can


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

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


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


Hence the "probably lose" bit 😉


Random, if I remember correctly on an episode of the Simpsons Mr Burns paid a "down-payment" to Chief Wiggum for letting him continue his journey despite breaking the law.

Wonder if that sort of thing happens in the real world - South America or Africa for example eh?


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

kenneth chapman

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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


Good Analogy, clearly stated. Thank You.

Stephen Charlesworth

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


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

Stephen Charlesworth

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


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

Fernando "150%" Alonso



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


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


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

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

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


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


If they don't.....http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula-one/26721387

Pretty pathetic but what do you expect from a fizzy drinks manufacturer?


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

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


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

ie obey the FIA like the other teams did.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


http://www.emailguardian.net/wallpaper/gallery/eight/waterwheel800.jpg" rel="nofollow">Image

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


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

http://bradgsmithphotos.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/vacation-2004-059.jpg" rel="nofollow">Image

Hopefully this one actually works correctly...


Nah, it's not nearly powerful enough 🙂


Is that from Jeremy Clarkson's back garden?


I have been to every race in Melbourne and indeed have not missed a race at all on TV or otherwise since 1985.

I enjoyed the new format in the knowledge the extra torque was making the drivers earn their money and the cars seemed to be moving around more than in the past and generally just happy to see the season start again.

However since I have read that the top 5 places were determined by turning the cars down and saving fuel I worry about the future of my favourite sport - THIS IS NOT RACING.

Add to that DRS, tyres etc etc where are we heading??

James are you concerned about the future of F1?


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

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

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

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


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


James, i disagree with you about managing things more in the past. The tools to manage things were more in the hands of the driver compare to now when drivers were just seemingly afraid to push the car and they just seemed to protect it. You can see the difference. I think that was the point of mr. Lee. THIS IS NOT RACING.

Everything is new and it will evolve of course, but am i right that this is the first time when car manufacturers are developing a product exclusively for road cars. If so, i understand restrictions to using fuel, because they want to save money in the long run.

Like i said, this is not racing but development programm and i can not see how evolution that lead us here will guide us back.

At the same time they need to push f1 as a racing series to keep it profitable. That`s why all this talk about the need louder engines to make the product eatable.



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

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


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

More data = more managing.


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

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


Thanks James,

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


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


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

this means its always been about fuel management,


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


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


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


Thanks James and nice job on Channel 10


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


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


I read that FIA statement as...

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

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


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

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


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

kenneth chapman

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

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


They sell fizzy drinks and try to mock the FIA. Come on now behave. You've only been in it a few years. When you grow hair and have lost a few seasons you can have your say.

Redbull are locked in until 2020 by contract but there is an old saying in F1. "If you don't like it, F...off". See ya then Mr M.

No word from Renault Sport on their engine fuel rail in all of this James? Thought not.