F1 Winter Break
Ricciardo disqualified from Australia podium, Red Bull to appeal
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Mar 2014   |  2:36 pm GMT  |  882 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What about this.

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


"We must at all costs stop Red Bull. It's Mercedes turn."


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

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


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

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


You don't link to an


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

F1 is hugely complicated.

How many of the hundreds of highly qualified engineers working in F1 have said,

"Just bung in 100kg of fuel and let them run"?

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


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

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


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

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

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


So you want to have cars that can go like a rocket on a simple button press? Because that's what will happen, if you ditch the fuel flow limit.

One could argue that may be a limit on the boost pressure would be better than a fuel flow limit, but that would arguably limit the creativity of the engineers.


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


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


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

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


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

4 German Fingers

+1 Thank you!


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

The FIA look more and more a joke every race!

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Shameful behavior on part of RBR.


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


Quote from Christian Horner....we faced a situation where we would have been reducing significant amounts of power into the engine.

So if they had run to FIA spec like all the other teams, they would not have been so quick.


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

Matthew Cheshire

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

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

So no. Not a great idea!



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


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

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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


If they were told and didn't listen. They deserve what they got. I guess the RB10 isn't

that fast after all.

Dimitar Kadrinski

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


Ha ha maybe!


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


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


It was RBR's sensor, homologated by the FIA


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


Bugger is right - can't be surprised by the disqual then, can we?


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

- Engines will be 1.6 litre v6 turbocharged, limited to 15,000 rpm.

- In Melbourne and Monaco, speed limit in the pits is 60km/h, while elsewhere is 80.

- Abu Dhabi will grant double points.

The rules apply for every team and driver.

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


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

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

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

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


I don't think they did know!


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


I here you


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


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


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



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


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


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

What if it's the final race of the season and there is no "next race"??

Note: I am NOT saying RB blatantly cheated here - I'm talking hypotheticals.


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

The only check they can easily make before the podium is the total weight - but they only check the driver...

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


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


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

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

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


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


After the jeering comes the silence


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


Autosport has a full FIA ruling on that.

Even if RBR appeals, I think point number 9 will destroy anything they can come up with:

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


Dmitry you are 100% correct. And it is not complicated at all as some writers have claimed: is is very simple. At least 2 other teams were notified by the FIA and complied with their wishes, even though, in the case of Mercedes they believed they were right and the Mass Flow Meter was wrong. The fact is they complied and RBR did not. This is incredibly arrogant and disrespectful to all other teams. But RBR don't care in the arrogant belief that they are right. The fact is they may well be, but they directly disobeyed the ruing bodies instructions.

One cannot have 12 different standards - for each team and 1 for the FIA. The only standard that counts is the ruling bodies: the FIA. If the FIA should back track on this (and it seems that they have been given the hard word by Luca dM well in advance)then chaos will rule. What about Mercedes and Ferrari and any others that complied with the request? Toto Wolf is on record saying it cost them about .5 sec a lap.



Very concise and well written post 🙂


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

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


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

It's ridiculous.

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

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


I'm not sure FIA admitted it was faulty, just that it was showing a different reading to RBRs (and indeed other teams) own measurements.

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

True, but they didn't abide by the regulations and were punished by the stewards who made the decision based on the fact that RBR were running a car that sat outside the regulations.


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


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

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

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

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


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

Did RBR use more than 100kg of fuel?

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


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

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

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

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

Seems pretty simple to me.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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


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



There is a reason why we have theory and application.

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



100% agree with you on this.

FIA acknowledged there was an issue with Fridays sensor, so they replaced it for Sat practice, which again resulted in incorrect readings (FIA acknowledged this fact). RBR was instructed to re-use Fridays sensor, which was known to be faulty!

The FIA then instructs RBR to turn down fuel flow rate according to readings from a faulty sensor??? If RBR can prove that they did not go over 100kg/hr they have every right to appeal as if they used the readings from incorrect sensor readings it would put them at a performance disadvantage.

Nothing has been mentioned from any other team about sensor failures/incorrect readings during practice sessions...

Let's let the facts not personal bias speak the truth...


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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

We need more facts about this sensor, and more importantly on why this flow rule is in place beside fear that a team will cost at the end. There are so many scenarios for this fuel flow rule to present a very "Non F1" way to race. Here is a few.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Yes Sebee, there is variance in the sensors and that is taken into account because they work to a margin of error/ tolerance level. That is the same for every team. Other teams were told to turn adjust the flow to the engine and did so. RBR did not, thus they got a deserved penalty.

As for the FIA telling RBR to rectify the fuel flow mid GP - this is clearly better than simply black flagging them. Much like a driver would receive a warning for cutting corners repeatedly to gain an advantage. The FIA and stewards gave leeway to RBR but RBR chose to continue 'cutting the corner'. They ran with a car that did not comply with the current 'formula' and got disqualified. Deservedly so. You may not like the rule, but you just have to suck it up.


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


+1 agree 100%


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

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


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

Anyone here trust Red Bull to police themselves?


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


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


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


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

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


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


Oh dear. ALL sensors are +/- it's just a fact of life. Just the way ALL F1 teams must use the Gill sensor. Your figures are wildly inaccurate....the Gill señor is at least accurate to 0.25% ie 10 times better than you say.

Many of the teams are disputing the readings but only one ignored a directive, Red Bull. Mercedes were also warned the previous day, they contested the Reading But they complied with the directive, saying that it cost them 0.5 sec a lap. Assuming RBR were in the same position they obviously didn't want to loose 0.5 sec a lap so they used their own fuel measurement - how convenient!! RBR can say what they like but they put the finger up to the FIA and every other team competing. Their actions are simply unconscionable. Look it up.


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


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

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

Rubbish rule this one...


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

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

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

This is F1 and fans do understand...


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


You seem to be missing the point. The maximum fuel allowed is 100kg for the race. The fuel flow is 100kg per hour max. This has been set to give a competitive lap time over the entire race distance. If there was no fuel flow limit then the drivers would race very hard for the first few laps then they would all be doing 60kmh for the last half of the race to get to the end. The FIA want a good spectacle for the fans so hence the fuel flow meter.

If one team runs at a higher flow rate than the others then they can use this advantage to overtake then break the tow so the car they have passed cannot get into the DRS zone to re take them. The car with the fuel flow advantage can then fuel save in the knowledge that they will not be re passed and will still complete the race using the 100kg of fuel allowed. Quite simple really.


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


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


Thanks for this.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Bjornar Simonsen

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

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


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

Bjornar Simonsen

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

Too bad for RIC.


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

Dimitar Kadrinski



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

I am so disappointed for Daniel


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


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

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


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

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

Michael in Seattle

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


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


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


and thats such a great relief for you yeah ? 😀

his reliability problems will end soon hopefully


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


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


One can only hope 😉

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


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


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


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

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

Michael Grievson

Unless they gave Daniel Sebs car by mistake lol


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


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

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


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


"Robbed by Red Bull and it's arrogance. So sorry Dan."--

There, fixed it for you.


How does that work?

Robbed by Red Bull and it is arrogance?


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

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

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


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

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


+1 the FIA is useless!


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



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


Robbed by their own arrogance.


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


How is this a robbery?

The below was extracted from the steward's ruling

D) That regardless of the team's assertion that the sensor was fault, it is not within their discretion to run a different fuel flow measurement method without the permission of the FIA.

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


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




You mean RBR's incompetence. RBR were warned during the race to turn the fuel flow down, but they ignored that. DR was let down by the team, not FIA.

If they would've listed to the FIA, DR might have gotten a 3rd, 4th or 5th, but this way he got disqualified.

I'm glad this happened, but I am convinced RBR decided to ignore FIA because they thought they will be forgiven given its the 1st race.

The rules are there for a reason!


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


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


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


Redbull don't like it up them...


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


And you think this is unique to Red Bull?


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

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


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


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

Anne Elk (Miss)

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


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


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


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


They are in its own distorted reality and even after penalty dare to question FIA.

I really doubt they have any chances with appeal.


Strange....sorry for Ricciardo.


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

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


It is annoying to read a few hours later on the net that the results have changed, you're right.

However..............rules are rules, because as Al Murray says if we didn't have rules, where would we be? That's right.........France- where Renault and the FIA are based, ironically....


Breate less Gaz Boy, France is full of rules.


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


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


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

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


unlucky ricciardo.


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


they got the info before AND during the race


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

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


Think of it this way.

Highway allows 100kmoh

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Hi Alex, Thanks for your reply and question.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Christos Pallis

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


Exactly!!!! I thought the same thing & in the preview show explaining the rules they said they were down from 140kg of fuel to 100kg as the maximum amount of fuel,so HOW THE F*** could the car flow more than 100kg/hr and still make it home.

The way i see it is that the issue is the crap FIA sensors,not RBR.With all the reliability issues & the limit on power units reduced to 5,all the teams would do the same so they would finish. If the FIA wants to mandate control parts,they need to make sure they are accurate & reliable,otherwise this sort of thing will have a lot of fans switching off,or over to NASCAR or something.The FIA's reaction is like a PETULANT child carrying on because his brother won't use his cricket bat because it has no grip on it!!!!


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


Moderators' note -Please do not insult other posters.

If you do your comment with be deleted


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


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

Dimitar Kadrinski

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


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


Agreed. Well said


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


With no flow limit these PU could be on 1200 hp (no turbo boost limit) like they were in the previous turbo era. Could be fun but huge hp difference through the race to make it to the end with 100kg. Such a diff between cars at diff times could be really dangerous ...

Flow meters: An imperfect solution to the current PU s ... The small tolerance on the measuring devices may be the reason for winning or losing


"With no flow limit these PU could be on 1200 hp"

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


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

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


Hp potential on NA ENGINES is lower and given by max rpm and engine capacity, fuel will have the limit of oxygen needed for combustion. Those limits are expanded with forced induction - turbo. Look at historical data of f1 turbos, then they were 1.5. Now 1.6....

Hp 1.6 turbo no boost limit >>> NA 2.4. @19000rpm


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


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

+1 with your 2nd paragraph 😉


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


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

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


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

The rule says maximum fuel flow rate. Not average. So braking and half throttle would not deliver 100kg/hour but if the rule is maximum and they used 101kg/hour then that breaks the rules.

The FIA even gave them a chance to sort it and they declined!!


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


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

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


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


Sorry, but the regs are quite clear:

a) maximum fuel load of 100kg, AND

b) maximum flow rate of 100kg/hour

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

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


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

So, it all boils down to the fact that the FIA have issued an imprecise rule and, it appears, have forced the teams to use a flakey flow meter to try and enforce it.

Dimitar Kadrinski

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

I though it was very clear for all the followers of the sport how it works...


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


consistently =/= constantly...


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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



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


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


Perhaps because engine development was not permitted...


The exact wording was

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

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


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

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


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


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


The word used was "consistently", not constantly.

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


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

Bummer for Ric & us lot but we saw it coming I recon.


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

James any further details available on this?


We are preparing an item from Mark Gillan on this


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


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


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


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


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


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


the fuel limit for the race is 100k 135 litres


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

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


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

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


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



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


The manufacturers want Formula-1 to display the capability to mix high performance with low consumption - a formula like that would be rather sluggish on the consumption side.

Is it really good to have the cars running the most power on tracks like Monaco, where fuel is not a problem?

And aren't high speed differences on the straights a recipe for desaster? Because that's would could happen as well: If the driver in Front is in eco mode, trying to save a set of tires and the driver behind in full attack mode trying to get the most out of a short stint, you'll get a recipe for desaster..

Obviously one reason why there is a fuel flow limit is that the performance differences at any time on the track should not grow too large.


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

Exactly, what's the problem with that?



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

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

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


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


Polite correction. 1.5x100=150 . Last season the cars routinely started a race with that amount (or more) of fuel on board, so no problems there! What I can't get my head round is the idea of Red Bull cheating. I mean, who would have thought that nice Mr Horner would cheat. Especially after he made such a fuss about Pirelli in season tyre test. Just goes to show you never can be sure about someone.


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


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

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


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

Cause that's never happened before?


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


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

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


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


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

What's the problem with that?

Not entertaining enough I guess.


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

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


*conserving I meant (obviously)!

Martin (England)

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


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

Dimitar Kadrinski

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

He is a (quite obviously) a great engineer, but this has always been his mark.


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


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

Because it was illegal...



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


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


Using their own fuel flow calculations huh?

''Team Hubris'' in action once again.


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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Gutted for RIC.


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

Wait for the court case is the only solution.


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


I find that odd analysis on Sky F1 with regard to Melbourne - I agree with Canada though, as it has a long back straight with cars at full revs/throttle for a long time. I would say the hardest races on fuel consumption will be tracks with long fast corners or long straights such as Montreal Silverstone, Spa and Monza. Silverstone will be also be challenging for oil pressure as the long fast corners promote oil surge, which affects fuel economy.

In the previous 80s turbo era, the hardest circuits on fuel consumption was the original flat-out blasts at Imola (1985 and 1986 races when practically every finisher ran out of fuel in those two years), Silverstone (1987 and 1988 were very marginal, Nigel Mansell ran out of fuel after winning in 87) and Hockenhiem (the notorious 1986 race).

Likewise, slow speed tracks such as Monaco, Jerez and Hungary saw hardly anyone running out fuel during the turbo 80s.


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

Dimitar Kadrinski

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


Agreed, they should have brought out the black flag.


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


Do the FIA have the ability to do that?

As far as I understand it, all they could do would be report them to the stewards and let them make the decision.

I didn't think the FIA had the authority to police things on the ground?

I stand to be corrected though 🙂

dimitar kadrinski

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

dimitar kadrinski

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


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


You have a point there

I will ask FIA about that

dimitar kadrinski

Thank you James.

It is also very interesting no one has mentioned qualifying.

The sensor they used on Saturday did not get satisfactory readings, but he kept his first row position for the race.

As many people have mentioned it is a very grey area....


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

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

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

George Debenham

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


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

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


Is that what Montezemolo was referring to?

"Ferrari urges FIA to be on its guard over 'grey areas' of new F1"



99% sure he's talking about Mercedes.


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

Same ball park though.


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


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

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


It's all very clumsy and unsatisfactory.

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

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

Another fine mess and plenty of negative coverage for F1.



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

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


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

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

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

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

Dimitar Kadrinski

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

kenneth chapman

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

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

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