Stewards detail reasons for Ricciardo’s disqualification

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Following Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from second place in the Australian Grand Prix the FIA stewards issued the following explanation for their decision:

1) The Technical Delegate reported to the Stewards that Car 3 exceeded the required fuel mass flow of 100kg/h. (Article 5.1.4 of the Formula One Technical Regulations)

2) This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo.

3) The fuel flow is measured using the fuel flow sensor (Art. 5.10.3 & 5.10.4 of the Technical Regulations) which is homologated by the FIA and owned and operated by the team.

4) The stewards considered the history of the fitted fuel flow sensor, as described by the team and the Technical Delegate’s representative who administers the program. Their description of the history of the sensor matches.

a. During Practice 1 a difference in reading between the first three and Run 4 was detected. The same readings as Run 4 were observed throughout Practice 2.

b. The team used a different sensor on Saturday but did not get readings that were satisfactory to them or the FIA, so they were instructed to change the sensor within Parc Ferme on Saturday night.

c. They operated the original sensor during the race, which provided the same readings as Run 4 of Practice 1, and Practice 2.

5) The Stewards heard from the technical representative that when the sensor was installed on Saturday night, he instructed the team to apply an offset to their fuel flow such that the fuel flow would have been legal. He presented an email to the stewards that verified his instruction.

6) The technical representative stated to the Stewards that there is variation in the sensors. However, the sensors fall within a known range, and are individually calibrated. They then become the standard which the teams must use for their fuel flow.

7) The team stated that based on the difference observed between the two readings in P1, they considered the fuel flow sensor to be unreliable. Therefore, for the start of the race they chose to use their internal fuel flow model, rather than the values provided by the sensor, with the required offset.

8) Technical Directive 016­14 (1 March 2014) provides the methodology by which the sensor will be used, and, should the sensor fail, the method by which the alternate model could be used.

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

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

c. The backup system is the calculated fuel flow model with a correction factor decided by the FIA.

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.

10) Under Art. 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations it is the duty of the team to ensure compliance with the Technical Regulations throughout the Event. Thus the Stewards find that:

A) The team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA. This is a violation of the procedure within TD/ 016­14.

B) That although the sensor showed a difference in readings between runs in P1, it remains the homologated and required sensor against which the team is obliged to measure their fuel flow, unless given permission by the FIA to do otherwise.

C) The Stewards were satisfied by the explanation of the technical representative that by making an adjustment as instructed, the team could have run within the allowable fuel flow.

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.

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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290 comments on “Stewards detail reasons for Ricciardo’s disqualification”

  1. I thought the fuel rule was 100kg from lights to flag?

    But it’s 100kg of fuel per hour of the race duration then?

    1. Both.

      The most you can use in the race is 100kg. But also the maximum rate you can use it at is 100kg/hour

      Obviously, as a race is longer than an hour, they can’t us it at the rate for the whole race, or they’ll run out. But at now point can the fuel flow rate exceed 100kg/hour

      1. Damn, typing isn’t working for me today…

      2. Given that no one runs full throttle at all parts of the race (during breaking for corners for example!), its logical that the realistic use of fuel over a race is considerably less than the maximum peak usage would allow @fluxsource

    2. Yep, 100kg/h.
      Why make it simple, when you can make it complicated?

      1. It is simple. What’s complicated is the way that people stop paying attention when they see the number 100 mentioned twice. Which definitely isn’t the FIAs fault

        1. I had not heard the 100kg/h rule so thank you for the explanation.

          Clearly I was not paying enough attention

      2. You are allowed to drive 100 miles on the highway.
        You are not allowed to drive 100 miles per hour on the highway.

        1. on certain highways in germany you are :P

      3. As near as makes no odds, that is one ounce per second (0.98 oz/sec.) Simple for us old folks who didn’t “go metric” :-)

        1. @paul-a, I hear you but I think they are probably arguing over the ” near as makes no odds” part.

          1. Thank you, @hohum. I’m glad somebody noticed my irony. It’s like the “fuel savings” for these new engines — probably about 2,200 kilos for 22 cars doing three race distances (optimistic) over the weekend — compared to more than one million kilos for the Boeings to fly the cars out there. And that’s not counting the return trip…

          2. Hopefully the saving techniques filter down to road car engines and save fuel (in the long run) that way. ;-)

    3. It’s both. There is a maximum flow rate of 100kg/hr and a limit of 100kg total for the race.

      1. I don’t understand one thing. If the fuel limit is 100kg for the race then why a special mention to 100kh/h in the regulations? Can somebody kindly clarify this doubt?

        1. I don’t get this either.

          If the fuel flow was consistently above 100kg/h (which is against the rules), does that mean that the total amount of fuel in the car at the start of the race was also above 100kg (i.e. also against the rules)?

          1. No, because they don’t use the max rate (whatever is actually is!) all the time. The consistently probably refers to the fact that the maximum fuel rate kept peaking above 100kg/hour, and it wasn’t just a one off.

          2. These are 2 different things:

            1. you have 100kg of fuel for the race. Simple.

            2. at no point are you allowed aflow rate of 100kg/h. But you don’t have to wait an hour to measure that: it is INSTANT rate. Just like when you drive your car: you are not allowed more than 130km/h at any time, not as an average over an hour !

          3. Think of like this. You have a journey of 70 miles. That isn’t going to change, and according to conventional road conditions/speed limits (if you stick to them) you know that you can’t possibly complete this in less than 1 hour. The maximum speed limit you will encounter along the way and allowed by law is going to be 70 mph. That maximum speed limit which you will encounter doesn’t mean that you can do the entire journey at 70mph and that you will complete the journey in 1 hour, as you don’t expect to run at 70 mph for the entire journey.

          4. The precise reason for this is as a power limit.

            With a turbo engine, a rev limit no longer determines the maximum air (therefore fuel) flow rate. By increasing the boost pressure you get more air in the cylinder, which allows you to burn more fuel and produce more power.

            By setting a maximum fuel flow rate, they are ensuring that the teams do not just use insane amounts of boost at high revs to increase power output. It limits power throughout the entire rev range. It also has the effect of allowing higher boost pressures at lower revs, leading to the lovely torquey engines they have now.

            A side effect of this is also that the team who manages to burn said fuel most efficiently has a higher power output.

          5. @drmouse, excellent explanation. Thank you for that. Like many people (I imagine), I was mystified by why they would limit the fuel flow rate. Your explanation makes sense to me, so thank you.

          6. Two rules. Both must be obeyed:
            1) Cars must use less than 100 Kg fuel for the whole race.
            2) Cars at full throttle must use less than 27.7 grams of fuel per second (this equals 100 Kg per hour).

        2. @neelv27 Imagine the car running for 56 laps of the race while conserving enough fuel that they’ve still got 30 kg of it. They’re not allowed to just use all of that 30kg on the last lap. Instead, they’re only allowed to use around 2.5 kg of it for the final minute-and-a-half of the race (and the quali laps were something like 1:3x so I guessed that was not far off the time of the last lap).

        3. Erik Torsner
          16th March 2014, 13:43

          The only reason I can think of is that max fuel flow per hour is in effect a way to restrict power output. Fuel is energy and this is a way to restrict how much energy you can insert into the engine at any given time. Want more power? Build a more efficient engine.

          1. And that is exactly why the FIA introduced that rule; so far it is thought/seems Mercedes has succeeded in doing just that, hence teams using their engine tend to be able to run the race on average faster than the other teams (see Bottas’ charge).

          2. Or, another way to get more power is to use KERS.
            I guess this will show how little I know about racing cars, but I can’t see any reason why there isn’t some sort of “fuel limiter”, just like the engine rev limiter, that prevents the driver from exceeding the maximum allowed fuel rate at all times.
            The engine rev limiter doesn’t care how far down the accelerator is being pressed down, as soon as the engine RPMs exceeds a threshold it kicks in to limit the speed of the engine from going any faster, and that is pretty much how I see a fuel rate limiter working too: as as the fuel rate approaches predetermined threshold (e.g. 99 kg/hr) the amount the electronic readings of the accelerator pressed down is reduced by the software to automatically reduce the amount of throttle to keep the fuel consumption under the 100kg/hr requirement.
            If this was done correctly, and there are a ton of mathematical models to choose from, then no matter how hard the driver tried he simply could not exceed the 100 kg/hr.

          3. @drycrust they are using a sort of limiter, but it does not limit the flow but rather uses a sensor that tells if the fuel will be limited to 100KG/HR. In this case, they identified the problem with the version of that sensor RedBull used, and instead of following the Stewards recommendation, RedBull used their own sensor – which is the whole point of debate that is panning out here on the forum.

            If not for this disqualification, chances are you would not have even known about it! and there are so many more of such rules that makes up the F1. :)

        4. I think the reason for the fuel flow rate limit is mainly to prevent the cars from being able to develop 1000+hp, and cruising around in fuel saving mode until another car tries to pass at which point it becomes a drag race that neither can sustain. Reliability enhancement ironically is probably part of the reason also.

          1. @hohum Thanks for that. I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of a reason for the fuel flow limit and that would make sense.

            However, I think it’s too complex and error prone to be fair. And even if it is fair, people will still doubt that it’s fair because the sensors are raising questions. I think they’d be better off at this time to just change that and go with the 100kg total fuel limit.
            What’s the difference between telling them how much fuel they can use/second and how fast they can drive on certain laps? It feels like just another arbitrary rule to me.

            They’ve got a total fuel limit and the team and drivers should manage it the way they see fit. Just my opinion, but it would simplify things and eliminate situations like this.

    4. It’s 100kg for the race, with a maximum allowed fuel flow at any point of 100kg/hr

    5. @f1matt Yes, teams cannot use more than 100kg of fuel during a race. But that’s only one of two resitrction on how they can use fuel.

      The consumption rate also may not exceed 100kg per hour. Think of it like saying you’re not allowed to go above 100 miles per hour on a motorway – you don’t have to drive for an hour to get a speeding ticket (trust me…)

      More here:

      Why the new fuel limit is one of 2014′s toughest rules

      1. Whats astounding about this is the stewards knew about this potential infringement as the race was unfolding. It wasnt a discovery in Parc ferme a- la McLarens second brake pedal.

        Unfortunately for Ricciardo, its right that he was disqualified, but all the anger and confusion has come up with the disqualification out of the blue. If they knew about during the race either black flag him, or inform the viewers and spectators the same way they do when investigating a race incident – by flashing a message on the FOM world feed.

        All the message needs to read is “Car X will be investigated for potentially breaching regulation 1.2.3 after the race”. Commentators can look up the regulation, explain what it means and none of this confusion, anger and disbelief has to occur.

        The rule is sound and logical. The communication is abject.

    6. @fluxsource @gwenouille @matt90 @davidnotcoulthard

      Thank you all for clarifying. Really appreciate it.

    7. john burnett
      16th March 2014, 15:27

      Oh dear, l must be living on another planet – l thought f1 was about a car race – not about who could dream up the most ridiculous rules. It’s a RACE – not drive like an economy run!!!

      1. By that logic, they shouldn’t bother with engine capacity limits, or rev limits. Just let them build 1000l engines which rev to a million RPM, and burn more fuel per lap than the jumbo jet that brought them all there used in the entire flight.

        The fuel flow limit is no different to the rev & capacity limits. TBH I have argued in the past that they should get rid of those two and just have a fuel flow limit: You may put in this max amount of power, it’s up to you to develop the best way. So you could have a 6l W16 revving low, a 2l V8 revving high, or a 1l turbo i4 with insane boost levels, your choice. You could also develop a turbine engine, or a steam engine, if you wanted, so long as it didn’t consume more than that fuel flow rate at peak.

        I know it’s not going to happen, but that would be my dream formula…

      2. No, it’s a sport. Just like Lance Armstrong had his titles taken away for cheating, Red Bull had their points (and their driver’s points) taken away for cheating.

        Every other sport in the world, people can understand this… but because it’s a race car, everyone gets their knickers in a twist over the idea that there are actual rules and regulations governing how the teams compete.

        1. well said, mate.

          even if you think the rule is stupid you still have to abide by it.

          choose not to do that, and your driver pays the price – as he should.

  2. 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.

    I will be interested to hear how the team accounts for this!

    1. Ah, I just saw Adam Cooper on Twitter saying it was because RBR didn’t trust the FIA sensors. Still, if they were warned that it was a matter of compliance/noncompliance, I’m not sure why they thought they still had a choice in the matter!

      1. Ha, should have read this whole ruling a lot more carefully before I commented!

      2. Indeed from the article its pretty clear that Red Bull chose to willingly ignore what they were told to do by the Technical representative of the FIA, even after being reminded to do so during the race. I can understand why the FIA stewards would want to be firm on that one, otherwise it would open a can of worms.

        Makes me wonder what is behind this (seems to me an underlying dispute about the sensors, tolerances and backupmodels used in case of failure is boiling to the surface here). Does Red Bull want to challenge that procedure (proving that their method of fuel flow regulation is more accurate and reliable?)? Hard to understand why otherwise they did this, although I guess anyone would protest a disqualification of their driver/car on a new rule.

        1. Yes, it would have been clear from the article if I’d read it more carefully instead of skimming it!

          I really can’t imagine how RBR could have a leg to stand on in their appeal. Like you say, maybe there was some sort of other ultimate goal involved…

          1. I don’t think it is quite that simple, very obviously fuel calibration has caused enormous problems for the teams in general and Renault in particular, they are trying to run these engines as lean as possible and the software is correlating the accellerator (or torque control pedal) with the fuel injection as well as the electric motor, I think it is highly likely that changing a single setting, especially based on a false sensor reading could not only reduce power but damage the engine. This needs a thorough investigation and a proper solution, nod ad hoc adjustments to guesstimate the correct fuel flow figures.

          2. @hohum I agree. @aka_robyn @bascb as HoHum points out this is a legitimate issue, if the fuel flow meters are not calibrated properly the FIA needs to provide some way of testing the calibration of the units on site and recalibrating them that is satisfactory to the teams and engine manufacturers. If a meter all of a sudden started reading differently why should a team be expected to use that meter and reduce their fuel consumption? I am not at all surprised that they are fighting this if they truly believe that the meter was not properly calibrated. This is a bigger issue than one race result if the FIA can’t provide a legitimate method for checking calibration and recalibrating these particular sensors if they are going to police their use this strictly.

          3. If a meter all of a sudden started reading differently why should a team be expected to use that meter and reduce their fuel consumption?

            How do we know that it wasn’t that RB/Renault’s system which suddenly started misbehaving?

            All we know for sure is that, part way through P1, a change in fuel flow was seen, as measured by the FIA sensor. There a few reasons for this. One is that the FIA sensor is screwed. One is that they were actually using more fuel.

            Also, this should not damage the engine. At most, it will result in reduced power output. All the teams will be using sensors in the exhaust to ensure that the mixture they are burning is correct, and this will be coordinated with boost pressure and fuel flow. If they are hitting the fuel flow limit, the system should reduce boost pressure (hence air flow) to match.

            I don’t see RB having a leg to stand on, whether the FIA sensors were faulty or not. The disqualification will (and should) stand.

            If the sensor setup can be proven unreliable, it may be changed later. But RB have broken the rules. Even if they didn’t actually exceed the fuel flow limit, the rules say they must use that fuel flow sensor data unless told otherwise.

          4. Guys, @us_peter, @hohum, @aka_robyn (guys and gals then!) I fully agree that this is a serious issue that needs to be solved as quick as possible and its a big shame that it led to a car being disqualified.

            But the issue remains, that @drmouse is right, and so far we can only say with certainty that either the calculation based on the fuel injection amounts (which is only an approximation, not a measurement done 5x second) are off.
            There is reason to believe that the variation shown is indeed a problem with the sensor, and both the FIA and the teams have been working on solving this since several montht and all were aware of how delicate an issue it is.
            However, that is even more reason to be on the safe side of caution with fuel flow (this issue came up for several Renault engined cars during the weekend). From reporting in the German press (who tend to have excellent information from both Red Bull and Mercedes) Mercedes ran into this issue earlier in testing and both they and (some) Ferrari powered teams ran a lower fuel rate, heeding the instructions from the FIA.
            Red Bull was aware of this but felt they wanted to challenge the procedures of the FIA that were (likely grudgingly and with protests) accepted by others. Since DiMontezemelo (and Whiting) mentioned this even before the race weekend, its likely that this was not a judgement of the moment but instead something Red Bull was planning to do up front.
            So then I ask you, who is to blame for this farce? The FIA or Red Bull who effectively put Ricciardo up as Guinna pig to test the rule makers resolve to stick with the chosen procedure for defining / measuring fuel flow during the races?
            Maybe over time other teams will be glad that Red Bull forced further clarification of the issue this way. But for now most of them (as well as likely the FIA does) feel disgruntled that the team made this come to the surface and thereby brought this aspect into view for a wider audience.
            I think that the biggest losers in this still are the fans, and I feel very sorry for Ricciardo.

          5. @bascb,@drmouse, and others, Another question that comes to my mind is: How were RBR supposed to make correction to the fuel flow during the race. I was under the impression that the pit wall were no longer able to make remote control adjustments on the cars, only to receive data and give the driver instructions as necessary.

          6. Is that a trick question @hohum? Its very easy. They call up the driver and tell him to choose a different engine setting.

          7. @bascb, do you think they have a 96% full power map ready to go for just such an event? and the FIA said the driver had no control over it. Hmmm… Radio transmission:
            Horner: Dan, they’re onto us, switch fuel setting to “legit”
            Ricciardo; Errr, right, which setting number is that?

          8. given that this was a subject that was discussed all over the winter, its likely that in fact they do @hohum! And its also not too unlikely that one of the “a bit leaner but not too slow” maps would be much like that too, it would be just another G4 or whatever

        2. Red Bull’s quote about the sensors being unreliable up and down the pit lane make it pretty clear why they’re making such a stand, and rightfully so in my opinion. If the sensors are unreliable then that’s a much bigger issue, if the one in Ricciardo’s car does turn out to be faulty, who’s to say others in other teams aren’t in the opposite direction?

          There’s been many jokes about F1 turning into WWE lately, (and excuse my tin-foil hat moment for a second but,) wouldn’t these sensors that give 1 team an advantage and another a disadvantage based on maximum fuel flow allowed give the powers that be yet another way to influence results?

          If it does turn out that the sensor is faulty and their fuel flow model was indeed more accurate, then it’s absolutely 100% completely understandable why they did this. They certainly sound confident that that’s the case, otherwise going to be quite some messy egg on their face.

          1. @skipgamer Irrelevant. FIA set the rules, FIA tell the teams what to do. Full stop, end of. Red Bull was given a direct instruction, and they ignored it. Everything else is now background chaff.

            Your conspiracy theory is absurd.

          2. @fluxsource don’t know what a tin-foil hat is?
            And oh boy, good thing you’re not right otherwise drivers still wouldn’t be able to use run-off areas and would have to re-enter the track where they went off. Full stop, end of? Obviously not, there’s an appeal going on, effective immediately.

          3. I am all for protesting the use of unreliable sensors. But when you put your race results into risk by willingly ignoring instructions to do otherwise, and at the same time knowingly use an unfair competative advantage vs. other teams cars (others had the same issue but DID restrict fuel flow to about 96kg/h to comply despite the unreliable sensors)

          4. … continued here – , then its only to be expected for the regulator to take a dim view of it and do as it said it would by disqualifying your car from the results.

            With hindsight, its pretty clear that this was what Whiting referred to before the race when he mentioned being strict on fuel flow limits as well as what Luca Di Montezemelo mentioned about wanting the FIA to be strict in keeping the rules. IF you see this, you understand that Red Bull took a risk to challenge these rules knowingly and despite being warned up front in no unclear terms that they would not get away with it @skipgamer

          5. @bascb Really good info there. You’re right, does make it quite a bit more despicable. A united front post-race would have been the more sporting way to deal with the issue.

            Not going to lie and pretend I knew this side of the story. Really interesting to know, cheers!

          6. I guess it comes down to whether or not you want to race and you know you or right, or do what you are told and accept a faulty sensor.

            Pretty cut and dry to me, and yeah, if all it takes is a crappy sensor to take you off the podium, lose say 7 or 8 points, I would say the FIA should have a law suite filed against it for fraud. Ie, knowingly handing out devices which are known not to work to the point where it damages the team’s efforts.

            I think the FIA should be ashamed of it’s self, and it’s a shame that such a rule can have so much influence over the efforts of the team and the driver to where someone is telling to slow down and lose a position because they have a piece of junk reporting bad data.

            Is this racing, or is this about doing what you are told and having agenda smeared all over your face?

          7. if all it takes is a crappy sensor to take you off the podium, lose say 7 or 8 points, I would say the FIA should have a law suite filed against it for fraud. Ie, knowingly handing out devices which are known not to work to the point where it damages the team’s efforts.

            If you mean that the “crappy sensor” is the reason RB were DNQed: no, it wasn’t. It was RB’s arrogance, refusing to obey an instruction from the officials, both before, and after another warning during the race.

            If you mean that using the “crappy sensor’s” data during the race could have cost RIC 2 places, then that means nothing. All the other teams were using the sensor’s data, and all the others complied. If the sensors were as bad as RB are saying, then other teams were disadvantaged by this, which means RB gained an advantage by ignoring the rules. I.e. cheated.

        3. I wonder if the brilliant mechanic, whose decision it was to monitor the fuel flow in their own way, will get fired. I feel sorry for Ricciardo, hope he gets some good races to make up for it. I wonder if Vettel’s car was set up in the same way. I could imagine if he had achieved a good result then been disqualified he would have really freaked.
          So it looks like Red Bull isn’t as fast as they appeared to be. They have a lot of work to do if they plan on having a good season.

      3. Sounds like a pretty stupid decision making from RBR.

    2. this is easy for Red Bull to disprove. Simply take the flow/s data and plot it from when the car started to when it stopped. Then take the actual starting fuel and the actual ending fuel.

      Simply put the data should match the actual. If it doesn’t, you can work out the error in the sensor.

      1. Thing is, that would just show the average flow over the entire race. What the FIA is saying is that there were significant periods where they went over the allowable flow, but they can’t have been over the allowable flow for the entire race (because allowable flow is 100kg/hr and they only have 100kg in the tank).

        1. no it wouldn’t.

          the flow per s must be measured on a regular interval. Probably once a second or more. If you plot every data point you can work out the exact fuel that should have been used. This isn’t the average.

          If the fuel actually used = the fuel the sensor said that was used, then the sensor was correct. If there is more fuel left than the sensor predicted, then the sensor is overreading.

          Its simple mathematics.

          1. Not as simple as you think, clearly.

            Also not to mention the fact that there is a fuel return flow from the engine back to the tank but AFTER the fuel flow sensor, and it’s not straightforward at all.

          2. No it’s not a complete picture, unless the rate changes slowly you’ll have gaps between the measurements.

          3. @nvherman that’s the only backup measurement to check against. The sampling frequency is 5Hz, down from the initial 10Hz. Maybe the FIA were allowing teams a little more leeway here. There is sampling error and there will be fuel lost when measuring and in the fuel system. These will be factored in by setting error margins on the allowed measurements.

            The bottom line is that the FIA is firm on this and has said so on more than one occasion. They mandated and homologated the fuel flow meters. The meters supply real-time flow information for every car at a sample rate of 5Hz. I am interested to see raw data and what the discrepancy comes down to, between Red Bull and the FIA, regardless of the fact that the FIA told Red Bull to do something and they decided not to. It doesn’t make a lot of sense given that they had to know we’d be here and that the FIA is autocratic in nature.

          4. In that case why use mass flow on 100 Kg/hour instead of saying the max flow rate per minute or some more sensible and less open to debate?

            Has anyone on the FIA working party actually worked at a high level in the fluids industry?

            Or you know done a thermofluids degree or other relevant qualification?

          5. @ Neuromancer (nice alias BTW, William Gibson), the units are really immaterial, particularly the independent variable (time). The important aspects are that they’re the same for everyone and are accurately measurable. It’s the latter that is in dispute. No matter what we may like to think about the FIA, the fact is that it is comprised of some high-powered intellects on both the legislative and technical sides. The problem with all legislation is designing a successful one-size-fits-all regulation that cannot be circumvented by other smart people the behaviour of whom the law is meant to control. I believe the problem here arises because the FIA wrote the rules in terms of peak fuel flow weight per unit time and then imposed a measuring and reporting device that determines flow in terms of volume per unit time, not taking into account density variations due to temperature.

          6. In that case why use mass flow on 100 Kg/hour instead of saying the max flow rate per minute or some more sensible and less open to debate?

            It isn’t open to debate. 27.7g/s is the equivalent of 100kg/h. And that means it’s the same, whether the units you use are per hour or per second. Just like if the police catch you going 80mph, they don’t have to measure how far you actually travel over a full hour to be justified in stopping you.

            They probably used the units they did just so it would be a nice round number, mistakenly thinking it would easy to understand (when in actual fact the 100kg fuel limit and 100kg/h flow limit seem to be really confusing people).

            As Morty says, maybe there are discrepancies converting between mass and volume, due to the fuel properties and varying temperatures. But the time units they use are of no significance.

          7. @neuro, that was my thinking too.

            mass flow is a process, rate describes change with respect to time.

            It’s also a shame about the technical regulation changes this late in the game, the regulations for the power unit should have been sealed way before (at least 6 months) the motors were homologated.

            It’s just another example of how rule makers don’t appreciate the time it takes to build and test something, the amount of investment that is required nor the time examining the rules and then building a solution tailored to those rules.

            The FIA are not interested in saving people money, only twisting people’s arms in order to get what they want, and I wish people could see that rules only create an order for those who write them, and racing should have more to do with the ‘natural’ order and not what a bunch of technocrats believe it to be.

          8. It would be simple math if we were talking large amounts of fuel at a constant temperature but we are talking very small amounts over fractions of a second or possibly many seconds per lap , until the sensor flow charts are published we wont know either 1;how often, 2;how long, 3;how much.

      2. If its an issue with the sensor then RBR wouldnt be the only team with the issue. It is unfair to ignore the instructions (gaining an advantage doing so) while other teams abide by the FIA instructions and install offsets.

        1. well stated, RBR were not the only team to use the homologated flow sensors. and this is a sport like any other sport which has rules and regulations. I think RBR should take responsibility for their own fate. I think this is the rule that was going to make F1 a real formula. All teams now have to mind the engine efficiency while choosing an engine manufacturer and should not blame that on FIA. it would be ridiculous coz lotus was running a similar engine and didn’t undertake devious approaches to appear competitive but RBR choose that attempt on Riccardo (underdog) coz had it been Vettel, it would have been worse. Let the Games begin.

        2. @joshua-mesh, and Jon, Where do you get information that other teams were running their engines at 96% fuel flow ?
          From what I read it is not about a blanket calibration of sensors indicating that 96% = 100% in all the sensors, what I read is that this sensor had been OK and then faulty and removed and then had replaced another faulty sensor that had replaced this one in qualifying.
          What is to say that for other teams sensors the errors are undetected but favourable. If it turns out that RBR are manipulating the sensors in some magic way to cheat then I would want them excluded from the points for the year just as McLaren were. But if the FIA are saying ” the sensor may be faulty and causing a power loss but RBR have to accept that or be dsq” then I disagree.

      3. They have been penalised for ignoring the data from the sensor, because they believed it to be inaccurate, they were warned during the race by the FIA technical representative of their actions and they ignored that too, deciding they knew better. The fault lies not with the sensor, as that may well or may not be faulty, the point is that they needed the permission of the FIA to ignore it.

        1. but the rules don’t say that. The rules say that the sensor is what is used to check. It doesn’t say that what the sensor says MUST be followed. So if Red Bull can show that the sensor was over reading then they have not breached the regulations and their appeal will succeed.

          I think the decision is correct. The sensor says they have used too much fuel, so they must be disqualified. It is now for Red Bull to prove they were right all along, which should be a fairly simple task…

          1. stevensanph I think it’s more rudimentary than that: Red Bull likely feels they have a technical argument but the FIA thinks they have a statutory argument and that trumps technicals. They made the rule, they told everyone to install the meter, they allowed that Red Bull were having problems and told them to swap in a new meter, Red Bull ignored that and went with their own fuel flow rate calculations. It’s the ignoring the FIA that’s going to get them disqualified even if they can technically prove their fuel flow calculations limited flow rate to 100Kg/h.

  3. Sounds like there are an awful lot of variables at play when fuel flow is measured, and especially in Ricciardo’s case where the sensors were found to be inconsistent as we’ll.
    I wonder whether the FIA can keep this up. If there are this many parameters that can affect measurements, there’s going to be an appeal following every single breach.

    1. I suppose they just need to automate the process.

      1. Get ride of the rule, that will make things A LOT easier! Give them 100kg, let them do what the hell they want with it! This is F1, not ‘formula fuel flow’! Why they so concerned on limiting power? If they can get the car across the line first with 100kg then that is all that matters. They want to make F1 more relevant to road cars? What a joke!
        Keep things simple, fans don’t want all the complicated rubbish! We want things we can see, and understand. When we see an incident on track, we know what’s going on. Even when teams say to drivers to push, or save fuel, we still can see what is going on. But fuel flow? I mean come on, this is FIA, double points?
        V8 Supercars is looking better by the minute :/

        1. Brilliant!
          Well said.

        2. Presumably the fuel flow sensor is also used to calculate the maximum 100kg fuel usage also, so if it’s not accurate at measuring fuel flow presumably it’s not accurate for measuring fuel consumption either.

          1. @jerseyf1 I’m assuming they literally make them start from empty and then fill the tank from a 100kg reservoir (or less if the team so chooses).

            Of course, that would be too simple and fool proof…so they probably do use the damn sensors LOL

          2. @daved No, that’s not how it works. They can put as much fuel in the car as they want, all the FIA looks at is how much is used. It seems simple at first but if you think about it there will be a certain amount of fuel used on the drive to the grid, warming the engine up, cool down lap plus the need to have mandatory sample at the end. They therefore need to be fuelled with more than 100kg when they leave the pit garage to allow them to have 100kg to use lights-to-flag.

          3. @jerseyf1 Are you certain of that? I was wondering if they just told them: “You get 100kg for everything” or if they made allowances for all the other stuff.
            I’m not doubting you, I was just looking for something that described the process and details and haven’t come across it yet.

        3. As others have pointed out, the fuel flow may well be how the FIA control the power of the engines. If they can have any fuel flow rate then in qualifying in particular we could see far more power than the regulators are happy with.

        4. @ivz I could not possibly agree more. Why would the FIA subject themselves and the teams to all this mess? It only makes the fans more suspicious of what they’re seeing and the politics of Formula 1.

          Just make it simple, give them 100kg and let’s get on with the bloody program. Simple is always better. Simple is always better. Simple is always better.

          Now if we can get the FIA to remove their heads from the dark place they keep it to come up with these rules (fuel flow limits, double points, etc) then we can get on with racing.

  4. So they were told DURING the race they were using too much fuel, but ignored the technical experts and continued. Wow. Such arrogance.

    1. knoxploration
      16th March 2014, 13:26

      Not quite: They indicated to the FIA before the race that the fuel flow sensor was faulty, and the FIA failed to provide them with a working sensor. Instead, they were essentially told “tough luck, go out and race with a lower peak fuel flow than your rivals and hope you have better luck next time.”

      1. No mate, stop being such a Red Bull fan boy and read it again. They were told DURING the race to correct it and chose to ignore the directive. If they think thy’re above the rules and indeed the FIA, they deserve everything they get.

        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.

      2. Where did you get that impression? The statement above says RBR were instructed to apply an offset to their fuel flow to make it legal. i.e. it just needed calibration and was not otherwise faulty. So going on what we know, it’s RBR at fault for not calibrating it and ignoring advice from the FIA.

      3. And every one else was told the same, and seems to have decided to play it safe. Not Red Bull, and now they seem to have to pay the price.

        1. @bosyber Exactly. They chose to follow their own judgement over the FIA’s and that’s backfired. They could’ve just played it a bit safer and guaranteed themselves to be legal, but they chose instead to push the limits for maximum performance.

      4. yes this is like sports like athletics saying wel sorry mate looks like a false positive for steroids (the test isn’t that accurate) but you still getting banned for 2 years

        why are there not two or three different sensors on the cars and they have to all agree before there is any sanction.

        1. I think it’s more akin to all athletes being told that a particular supplement which won’t actually cause any performance advantage regardless of what’s in it (maybe due to the release mechanism) has been found to contain a banned substance. To avoid doubt, they explicitly inform all athletes to stay away from this supplement for now. One athlete takes it anyway, is found positive and disqualified from one particular race (but not banned).

        2. “yes this is like sports like athletics saying wel sorry mate looks like a false positive for steroids (the test isn’t that accurate) but you still getting banned for 2 years…”

          Actually, @Neuromancer, as someone who’s serving a doping ban right now from professional cycling, who has cooperated w/ USADA and the WADA, USCF and UCI on a host of doping cases and initiatives, I can reliably and without any hesitation inform you that this F1/RBR/DR/fuel_flow situation is nothing like the hypothetical false positive but still suspended for steroids analogy that you offer – never mind the fact that your example is logically-fallacious, as a false positive is, by its very nature and definition, not a positive test and therefore not a violation for which a statutory penalty can be applied.

          From reading some of your other comments it’s clear that you object to this penalty, but nonetheless you have failed to effectively undermine justification for it with your reply.

  5. Bullet #9 is interesting – and that may be the bullet that sinks Red Bull’s appeal.

    But we shall see – I do think the fact that the sensor has not yet been totally proven may still help Red Bull’s cause.

    1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      16th March 2014, 13:17

      Yeah, I don’t see how any RBR appeal can be successful after that. They were warned and could have avoided this situation.

      1. @stephanief1990 Thing is, though, if Red Bull can prove that the FIA sensor was wrong, it doesn’t really matter anymore if Red Bull chose to ignore it or not. Because that would mean the FIA doesn’t have any proof that Red Bull broke the regulation.

        1. FIA already have proof – there is a prescribed procedure of what to do in the case of a faulty sensor, and Red Bull ignored it and did their own thing. Regardless of the actual fuel rate, Red Bull broke the rules knowingly and willingly.

          1. @fluxsource But did they actually go to the backup method? The FIA just says it’s there, but basing from what I’m reading, they’re trusting the sensor reading without having to go to the backup method.

          2. @journeyer No they didn’t. The first step with inconsistent readings is to apply an offset to the readings the get to ensure compliance. You might say this is unfair as they they MIGHT be running with to low a peak flow, but regardless, them’s the rules. Red Bull were told to do this, but decided not to. Instead, they’d use their own internal model of what the fuel rate is.

            However, the rules state that any switch the internal model is at the instruction of the FIA. Not Red Bull deciding themselves.

            They were given another opportunity during the race to correct the fuel flow. If other teams had found out about this, I imagine that there would have been a bit of stink about it, as Red Bull would have run part of the race with an illegal flow rate, and got away with it.

            They ignored this chance as well. I can’t see how they have a leg to stand on.

            The issue isn’t whether the flow rate is accurate, but whether they followed the rules. Which they clearly didn’t.

            You can’t have teams just ignoring rules because they don’t think they’re right.

          3. The backup method as described in the rules the stewards point to (included in the article) state that its the FIA (their tech. representative) who decides on and instructs the team on what backup to use.

            Red Bull clearly went against that decision and did not use the designated backup system by using their own judgment instead @journeyer. Appealing the decision means they will hope to prove to the Tribunal (or is it the appeal court?) that a) the sensor was indeed faulty and that b) their own calculations and methods followed did in fact make the fuel flow of the car comply with the 100kg/h limit, even when the sensors told otherwise.

            Purpose of that would be to have the FIA come up with a better “backup system” than exchanging the sensor once and when that fails err on the safe side of caution and give away a chunk of power compared to their peers on track.
            Will also be interesting to learn whether other teams were experiencing similar issues with the sensors (and how they acted upon them). I did understand that there was a lot to do about the tolerances the supplier was able to keep to during the winter, so it might be that this is a broader issue of the teams being unsatisfied with the provided measuring device.

          4. is it just me or do I see a lot of posts saying that regardless if it’s right or wrong, people should just do what they are told?

            scary stuff. Red Bull thinking for themselves, maybe thats why they are so successful :)

        2. @bascb Yup, that is exactly Red Bull’s intent.

          Adam Cooper says that other teams did experience similar issues. Check his Twitter feed.

          1. Yes, I saw that. Although when others DID heed the instruction to hold back and Red Bull didn’t, they can be right about their own fuel measurements at injection, but its still clear that they 1. ignored another part of the rules and 2. clearly had an unfair advantage over (some) of the competition in doing so, meaning that a DSQ is still warranted IMO @journeyer

          2. @bascb But if the sensor is found as faulty, it just means RBR pushed closer to the limit of the rule without going over it. The limit isn’t 96kg/hr, it’s 100kg/hr.

          3. yes. But its defined that ONLY the sensor is what defines the limit. And that sensor showed Red Bull going over 100kg/h.

          4. Yes, though the theoretical limit is 100kg/hr nobody is going to even reach that because the race is over 90mins long. With a 100 kg fuel limit how can you complete the race? Below I quote another article:

            A document issued by the FIA Formula 1 Technical Delegate Jo Bauer following post race scrutineering states that “during the race car 03 consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100kg/h”
            In 2014 Formula 1 cars are limited to 100kg of fuel in the race and it cannot flow to the engine at a rate of more than 100kg per hour. This seems rather strange as the race lasted 93 minutes which means that with the maximum 100kg of fuel in the tank the highest average fuel flow the Red Bull could have and still finish the race is just 64.5kg/h (approximate) so ‘consistently exceeding’ must be a number of spikes on the trace rather than running regularly over 100kg/h. However this could still bring performance gains.
            Meanwhile it is worth noting that the flow meter on the car in question was changed after qualifying.

          5. @gdon, there’s a difference between average (mean) and peak fuel flow rates. You can’t run a race at the maximum allowed 100Kg/h flow rate and go longer than an hour in a race. This is why fuel saving – and fuel flow rate measuring – is such a big deal this season. You can use *up to* 100Kg/h at any point in the race, and you can use it as long as you like, but you have to be able to finish the race. What you’re not allowed to do is use fuel at an instantaneous rate greater than 100Kg/h at any point (to gain a competitive advantage).

          6. @journeyer,@bascb, I think this is going to be very difficult to resolve based on fuel mass, the accuracy of this fuel flow sensor is going to need to measure the temperature of the fuel as well as its volume and then have software run a computation for every measurement (5xsecond?) because we know that fuel density varies with temperature.
            Has anyone heard/seen by what amount and for how long these overages were?

  6. 2) This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo.

    Point. Give him the points. Don’t give the team the points.

    1. How can he have any points when he had an unfair performance advantage over other drivers/cars?

      1. Sorry but saying Daniel had an unfair performance advantage in today’s race in that Red Bull compared to the Mercedes powerhouses surrounding him is hilarious.

        1. What?

          He was using more fuel at a faster rate than he was allowed to. If his car was operating within the rules, the car would have likely had less performance. With that reduced performance, could Magnussen have passed him? Could Button? Anyone else?

          Suggesting they should be allowed to cheat because Mercedes have done a better job with the engine is absurd.

          1. I’m not suggesting he should be allowed to cheat, if it does turn out that the fuel flow sensor was not faulty, you’re right, then he did have a small advantage (obviously it was minor as they would have allowed Red Bull to reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit mid-race with no punishment) compared to other cars… But saying, just blindly that he had a “performance advantage” in his car, which had a huge disadvantage in testing compared to the mercedes/ferrari powered cars is a bit of a joke. And to answer your question’s nobody knows.

          2. The “disadvantage” they had was caused by failing to build an engine within the rules that was as good as the Mercedes. Which is pretty much the point. That’s a fair advantage, unlike one created by breaking the rules, which is unfair.

            By your argument it’s a case of “Rubbish car? That’s OK, just cheat!”.

            But you’re right – no-one knows the answers about theoretical outcomes. That was supposed to be a rhetorical question, but I forgot to write the answer!

          3. @skipgamer so at what point do you start to measure a performance advantage and at what point do you not? I’m pretty sure you can’t answer that question. It doesn’t mean squat what kind of testing Red Bull had in the winter compared to Ferrari or Mercedes or how the race turned out, the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.

            What kind of performance advantage did for instance Hamilton have in qualifying at Barcelona 2012? He came up short with about 300 g of fuel, which was always gonna be negligible in terms of speed. Yet he was disqualified. Rules are there for a reason.

          4. @andrewf1
            “the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.”
            That is still to be proven in whatever arena the appeal is judged. Hardly a fact

            My whole point here was not to say that Red Bull did anything right, or if it does turn out that they cheated, that they were in any way in the right, I agree 100% that if they did run above the fuel flow limit, they deserve the reprimand.

            My only point was to reply to @fluxsource to say that saying the driver himself Ricciardo had a performance advantage in his car today, over the Mercedes powered cars around him, is laughable.

            It was a great drive from him regardless.

          5. @skipgamer Unless you want F1 to be a single car series, your point is absurd.

          6. @skipgamer

            obviously it was minor as they would have allowed Red Bull to reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit mid-race with no punishment

            I don’t think that necessarily means they were going to be let off. It could have been that the penalty would have been lessened under mitigating circumstances. As they didn’t act on the advice given by the Technical Delegate, then the FIA have to act accordingly. If Red Bull had acted accordingly, it’s possible the penalty might only have been a 25-second time penalty or similar..

          7. “the fact of the matter is that they operated outside the rules.”
            That is still to be proven in whatever arena the appeal is judged. Hardly a fact

            Actually, the rules say you must use the FIA sensor data, unless otherwise instructed.

            They were not instructed that they could use their “backup” method. Therefore they broke the rules.

            And saying Ricciardo should be allowed to keep his points is also unfair. At the end of the day, this is a team sport. His car did not comply with the rules (whether the sensor was dodgy or not). I feel sorry for the guy, but his team screwed him over.

      2. knoxploration
        16th March 2014, 13:28

        How can the FIA say he had an unfair advantage when they themselves admit the fuel flow sensor was faulty and changed its calibration from lap to lap *during a single session*?

        1. because others also had a faulty sensor, got the same instruction and did run with a lowered fuel flow to stay within the limits according to the designated measuring device (the faulty sensor)

        2. Without seeing the actual data it is difficult to say whether the Technical Delegate was accurately revising the calibration to the limits specified by the rules or simply applying a fudge factor (constants for those in the applied math business) or perhaps simply acting in a capricious and arbitrary manner. I’m guessing it was the second but without looking at reams of data it is not for the layman to understand.

          Unfortunately the decision reads like FIA having the attitude of because I said so despite the proof that they are supplying defective parts to teams that are leading to defective racing. Maybe they should just supply calibrated fuel flow restrictor ports instead, like say NASCAR has done since long ago. Sealed, supplied at random to teams and tested after the race. Easy to do and bullet proof to enforce.

      3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        16th March 2014, 13:36

        @fluxsource remember 2007? McLaren was DSQ while both Ham and Alo remained in contention for the WDC

        1. @omarr-pepper Indeed. Didn’t say whether I thought that decision was right or wrong though ;)

      4. But did he have a performance advantage? that is the question, he certainly didn’t have one over Rosberg but he may have had one over Vettel and Hamilton whose retirements may well have been due to a mixture too lean.

    2. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      16th March 2014, 13:19

      It would still be rewarding the team as the WDC gets far more attention than the WCC. It would also set a dangerous precedent: teams might low fuel their cars to get an advantage so that the drivers keep the points. If a rule is broken then it should be punished otherwise it isn’t fair on every other team who has a legal car/procedure. The team were warned so there’s really no excuse. It just feels very unfair on Daniel but nothing can be done about that.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2014, 13:44

      Not a chance. Its like when cars are found to be underweight or are released early from the pit box. Unlucky but you can’t let the drivers off because they gained an unfair advantage.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2014, 13:44

      Not a chance. Its like when cars are found to be underweight or are released early from the pit box. Unlucky but you can’t let the drivers off because they gained an unfair advantage.

  7. Since it was the 1st race of the year, and if the driver had no control over the issue, why didnt they just reprimand Dan, or more correctly, fine Red Bull, because it was them who made the decisions they made to put them in this position.

    1. The first race of the year carries as many points as any other… never mind.

      1. knoxploration
        16th March 2014, 13:32

        I LOLed.

        And at the end of the year, if the double points nonsense changes the result, I will be ignoring Bernie’s chosen champion and counting the points as if they were fair and sporting to determine the real champion.

    2. Because as far as the rules are concerned, a driver and the team are one and the same.

      If Hamilton has to get a new engine, he will receive a penalty even though he had nothing to do with its failure.

    3. Because Daniel still profited of a better-performing engine.

    4. No mercy from the FIA! The teams were warned again and again. Kinda like Massa’s penalty in Brazil 2013.

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2014, 13:46

      He had an unfair advantage over Magnussen and most likely, had his engine using over 100kg/h at the end when Magnussen was trying to chase him down.

      How is it fair to Magnussen and McLaren if Red Bull get away with it? Does each driver get let off once?

      1. @petebaldwin, I don’t think he had an unfair advantage over Magnussen who had to fuel save for several laps in order not to exceed the 100kg limit, yet Ricciardo did not need to fuel save and still did not exceed the 100 kg limit, if DR had exceeded the100kg fuel use then the FIA would have included that in their reasons for DSQ.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          16th March 2014, 19:37

          @hohum – We need to know at what point Ricciardo exceeded the limit. If it was at the end when Magnussen was chasing him, that’s one thing. If it was earlier in the race, perhaps it’s not so important.

          If he used more fuel than allowed to stop Magnussen from catching him, it’s clearly an unfair advantage..

          1. If it was at the end when Magnussen was chasing him, that’s one thing. If it was earlier in the race, perhaps it’s not so important.

            I disagree entirely. It doesn’t matter if he gained a visible advantage on track, if he was gaining a performance advantage earlier on, that may have gained him enough time to stay ahead of other drivers. If may also have allowed him more time in fuel saving mode, or advantaged him in pit stops… anything.

            If he broke the rules (and whether it was him or his team is of no consequence), he should accept the punishment.

    6. @pezlo2013 Because by not obeying the rule, you have an unfair advantage over the rest of the field. Your’re cheating. You cannot separate the car and the driver like that when the final result is achieved by a combination of both factors.

      1. @magnificent-geoffrey I can see where you are coming from, but How can you use more than 100kg/h on average when you have 100kg for a 90 minute to a 2 hour race?

        1. @pezlo2013 Easily. Just like F1 cars don’t cover 320km in an hour at a race, but they can travel at the rate of 320km/h. Even if it’s just for one lap, you can be pumping fuel in at a rate which, if you carried on at that for a whole hour, would see you using up more than 100kg of fuel.

        2. Simple answer and I quote:

          A document issued by the FIA Formula 1 Technical Delegate Jo Bauer following post race scrutineering states that “during the race car 03 consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100kg/h”
          In 2014 Formula 1 cars are limited to 100kg of fuel in the race and it cannot flow to the engine at a rate of more than 100kg per hour. This seems rather strange as the race lasted 93 minutes which means that with the maximum 100kg of fuel in the tank the highest average fuel flow the Red Bull could have and still finish the race is just 64.5kg/h (approximate) so ‘consistently exceeding’ must be a number of spikes on the trace rather than running regularly over 100kg/h. However this could still bring performance gains.
          Meanwhile it is worth noting that the flow meter on the car in question was changed after qualifying.

        3. The same way that the national speed limit is 70mph, but from a standing start you can never complete a 70 mile journey in an hour or less if you stick to all the speed limits.

    7. The FIA did warn them about their fuel-flow rate and advised them to adjust their settings mid-race, so you could argue perhaps that they’d already been pretty lenient towards Red Bull.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. He should probably have been black flagged.

        1. I have a feeling that will the action from the stewards in future races in cases like this, if the team does not turn down the fuel usage.
          Just like in any other sport, the referee’s decision is final. Even if the TV repeat shows the referee is wrong.

  8. “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.”

    The arrogance of this team – does not know any limits…even with regard to fuel limits.

    1. Well, their track record kinda allows them to believe they are right.

      1. Well, their track record kinda allows them to believe they are right.

        Are you talking about their track record of the number of times they were suspects of breaking the regulations? If so I completely agree with you, it is rather an impressive and unmatched one!

    2. But the FIA technical rep was relying on an unreliable sensor.

      I know the Ref is always right. The Captain is always responsible. but sometimes a ruling needs to be challenged and investigated.

  9. It all still depends on whether or not the sensor is faulty, for if it is, the FIA would be at fault for not switching to the backup fuel flow model.

    1. @skipgamer My thoughts exactly.

    2. They did switch to the backup model. The team ignored the FIA demand and carried on doing things their own way.

      1. Point 9 clearly states the FIA was still using the sensor during the race, and not the backup model.

        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

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

          “c. The backup system is the calculated fuel flow model with a correction factor decided by the FIA.”

          [b]A) The team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA. This is a violation of the procedure within TD/ 016­14.[/b]

          Maybe I’m misunderstanding it, but the model I believe they refer to is the backup measurement model, not the actual physical model.

          1. Yes, it is the backup measurement model. Probably based on injector timings, relative pressures and injector performance characteristics, possibly also involving correlation with mass air flow data and exhaust gas measurements. Whereas the FIA method is by measuring the actual fuel flow with a sensor.

      2. @joshua-mesh Where does it say that they switched to the backup model? The FIA asked the team to adjust mid-race based on what they were getting from the sensors, not based on any computation from the backup model. What it just says is such a backup model exists, but it doesn’t say that they actually used it.

        1. Even then, this refers to a back up model for calculating the flow rate, not a back up sensor.

          There is only one sensor

    3. The fia judged that the sensor was simply calibrated incorrectly so applying an offset would fix the issue. Rb decided to ignore this and we’re punished. It is a stupid rule but Rb broke it.

  10. They are testing FIA with its fuel flow measurments. Sadly for Ricciardo they do it with his car. So far RBR with Renault have been successful using engine trickery to get a gain – blown diffusers, different engine maps, aledged “traction control” etc. I alreasy see Horner talking about how they didn’t do anything wrong and the fuel flow meter can’t be trusted. Maybe this was the “trickery” Luca Montezemolo was warning about?

    1. Probably.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2014, 13:49

      @f1lauri – Even if that was their original idea, to see Vettel retire and Ricciardo running in 2nd, they’d have taken the FIA’s suggestion and turned the engine down a little. They may have lost 2nd but would have finished at worst, in 4th.

      I think Red Bull have made a mistake but having done so, are now definitely testing the FIA on these fuel meters.

      1. @petebaldwin, cars running too lean are likely to hole pistons and burn valves, both Lewis and Seb mentioned that a couple of cylinders weren’t working, that could be a direct result of using a faulty (FIA mandated) fuel flow calculation. It’s not as simple as RBR got more power.

        1. cars running too lean are likely to hole pistons and burn valves

          But they would not run lean. They will* be using exhaust gas sensors, so would be able to detect lean running conditions, and back off the boost to match the air to the fuel.

          *Actually, I am assuming this, but I see no reason they wouldn’t. Every modern petrol engine uses them to make adjustments to the mixture, so the only reason I could see them not doing so in F1 would be if they were banned in the technical regulations.

  11. This should have been a simple straight forward explanation. Either FIA’s sensor is working correctly or it is not. I have hard time finding it in this wall of text.

    1. It’s actually pretty clear – FIA makes the decision whether the sensor is running ok. The particular sensor which was installed for the race was working properly according to FIA. Only Red Bull claim other wise and have changed their fuel flow model ignoring completely FIA’s recommendations and mid-race refused to make any changes to fuel flow despite being warned by FIA.

      When you say somethings working wrong it doesn’t make it true.

      1. @cyclops_pl But they’re not automatically incorrect, either. The thing is, if Red Bull can prove that the sensor was indeed faulty, where does that leave the FIA? Sure, there’s a backup system, but based on what I’m reading from the stewards, that was never even used here. They just acknowledged that it’s in the rules, but nothing more.

        1. The thing is if Red Bull sincerely thought the sensor was faulty, they should have ran it through FIA and prove it BEFORE the race, since the sensor wasn’t used for the first time. FIA declared the sensor working properly, provided instructions for the fuel flow model and as you can see in point 10 of their explanation, proved that if Red Bull had follow FIA’s recommendations, everything would be ok. So exceeding the fuel flow limits is a direct result of Red Bulls unauthorized actions. Clear penalty for me.

          1. @cyclops_pl If I am reading this correctly, the sensor was installed on Saturday night. Thus, they wouldn’t have known if there were any issues with the newly-installed sensors until the reconnaissance lap (or even the formation lap), by which time they wouldn’t have been able to show it to the FIA anymore.

          2. @journeyer You are not reading at all… this sensor was first used in FP1 and FP2 it was then changed for FP3 but that did not work proparly either and so they were told by the tech. delegate to revert to the first sensor for the race and to keep the fuel flow under a certain limit. They changed the sensor but ignored everything else and used the back up model that they had WITHOUT asking the FIA for permission which is against the rules. During the race they were told to change the flow rate by the FIA delegate to comply with the rules which they IGNORNED. Therefore DQ

          3. @journeyer exactly what @gdon says.

          4. @cyclops_pl @gdon Precisely why they ignored the first sensor they reverted to: because the first sensor was faulty! Offset or not, it is no longer a trustworthy measurement. They were told to reduce the fuel rate to keep the sensor happy, but not doing so doesn’t automatically make an illegal car. RBR just need to prove that they were still legal in terms of fuel flow, and that the first FIA sensor can no longer be trusted.

    2. It seems to me that the ruling has more to do with RBR choosing not to follow procedure than anything else, regardless of how the sensor was operating.

      1. RBR choosing not to follow procedure


      2. Ya, and in RBR’s eyes the procedure they were asked to follow is against the agreed restrictions. This is really no different to being asked to lower your wing because the FIA ruler (or whatever they use for that) is calibrated incorrectly and showing 96cm as 1 meter. If they prepared their car with the correct measurements in mind then I understand why they would refuse to be asked to run it more restricted (even if everyone else was being asked to do the same).

    3. @crr917
      I honestly don’t think they know at this point.

  12. The explanation proofs my suspicion that the sensor is part of a wacky implementation. such a system and how such a rule is policed needs to be bullet proof and obviously it isn’t.

    1. Regardless of that, you still need to follow the rule-makers instructions.

      1. @joshua-mesh not arguing about this part. I find it just extremely annoying that they have such a rule which is obviously too complicated for the FIA to police resp. the technology they chose isn’t up to the task.

        1. Actually this proves it’s not too complicated to police. Red Bull were given multiple instructions to rectify the issue, and ignored them all.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        16th March 2014, 13:52

        That’s the issue. If the sensor was faulty, there are clear rules on what you have to do about it but they did what they wanted instead.

        1. @petebaldwin @fluxsource I’m not arguing about RBRs tactics – but that the sensor shouldn’t be failing in the first place and the procedure to rectify problems is a joke – it leaves too much wiggle room.

          First, I disagreed with LDM, but now his comments make complete sense and the rule itself should be questioned or a better system/process to police it needs to be put in place.

          1. What wiggle room? The FIA told Red Bull what to do. They didn’t. Where is the wriggle room?

            Complain about it after the race if you want. Argue with them if you want. But in the mean time you follow the rules.

          2. @fluxsource The wiggle room is in the sensor’s (un?)reliability. The FIA’s logic behind their requests to RBR was based on said sensor. If said sensor is found to be unreliable, it defeats the FIA’s logic.

          3. You cant just make up your own rules when a sensor fails, otherwise the teams will simply find ways to make sure the sensors fail. There are clear instructions on how to proceed should a sensor fail.

            In RBR’s press release, they said the sensor issue was experienced throughout the paddock. However RBR were the only team to be penalized, basically because everyone else followed FIA’s instructions.

          4. Compared to football: If the referee shows you the red card you have to leave the field. You can appeal afterwards so no further action will be undertaken, but during the match you have to comply, because the referee is always right, even if he isn’t.

          5. @joshua-mesh @fluxsource again, I’m not complaining about the penalty RB received but the underlying problem of how the 100kg/h rule is policed and the ridiculous margin of error these sensors seem to work with – in that sense it’s better that RB got the penalty because it will draw more attention to the issue.

  13. As much as I really feel for Dan, it really does seem like a disqualification was warranted here.

    Big, big disappointment.

  14. I don’t see how Red Bull can possibly argue their way out of this. It’s pretty clear cut from the explanation given by the FIA that they were given specific directions and they chose to ignore them despite multiple warnings.

    1. @tthwaite
      If the sensor was indeed faulty as Red Bull told FIA, then it is FIA and their decision to ignore that, that is the problem. That just might get them out.

      1. It would be had Red Bull not taken it upon themselves to measure the flow rate using their own methods rather than the FIA approved back up model in case of a sensor failure.

        It is also up to the FIA to decide whether or not the sensor is faulty and it is up to the FIA to decide if they should switch to their back up model. Red Bull chose to do things their own way and you cannot allow teams to do this. If Red Bull were allowed to use their own models then other teams would do the same and then it would become impossible to police the 100kg/h limit.

        The FIA must enforce their zero tolerance policy from the start to send out a message to the other teams that the have to tow the line.

        Such a shame for Dan, but it’s entirely Red Bulls own doing.

        1. @tthwaite

          It is also up to the FIA to decide whether or not the sensor is faulty

          No it’s not. If the sensor can be proven to be faulty, then it’s faulty no matter who says otherwise.
          It will then be up to the tribunal (don’t they handle these things?) whether they believe that the sensor was indeed faulty, and whether Red Bull’s fuel flow calculations can be trusted.
          If they are, then the problem does not lie with Red Bull any more. They didn’t follow procedures, but they would be right not to do so.
          That might convince the tribunal to let them off, it might not. Let’s see.

          1. Nothing can be proven without an authority making the decision that the evidence is enough consider it proven. Pretty much why courts of law have juries and judges.

            The FIA is the jurie and the judge in this case. However that is besides the point as the FIA (from my understanding) felt the item was indeed faulty and so they instructed all teams on how to proceed. Only RBR failed to follow their instructions.

            RBR released a statement that said “Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane.”

            From this we can deduct that the other teams who had the same issue, did indeed follow the FIA’s instructions, where as RBR did not.

      2. Further to that, if as I think likely it turns out that Vettel, Hamilton and others cars broke down because of faulty fuel flow calculations following FIA instructions then RBR will have a good and expensive argument for ignoring those FIA instructions but staying within the actual fuel use rule.

        1. if as I think likely it turns out that Vettel, Hamilton and others cars broke down because of faulty fuel flow calculations

          Highly unlikely.

          The only way this could cause issues is if it caused the mixture to be incorrect (by a considerable amount). There are 2 variable in the mixture: fuel and air. In a turbo car, teams have control over both, and (I believe) they have a sensor in the exhaust telling them what the mixture is like. Therefore, if they are showing a lean mixture at the fuel flow limit, they need to reduce the amount of air (i.e. boost), and I’m pretty sure their electronics will do this.

  15. We need to find a new f1 style series without so many rules
    And free fuel and decent tyres
    Perhaps 80s rules with 1 litre engines but modern crash standards
    We don’t have to capitulate to the greens

    1. The rules did nothing wrong. No need to point fingers at them. Blame the team who broke the rules.

      1. The rules weren’t broke, but the sensor was.

    2. Mode sarcasm ON
      Yeah, let’s all bury our heads in sand, and pretend that pollution doesn’t exist. (Have you seen Beijing or Paris recently ?)
      Let’s burn as much petrol as possible, so that we run out of it ASAP as well.

      1. We’re talking about 22 cars here
        Racing cars going as fast as possible not slow as possible
        Have fun in your Prius
        There’s a great solar car race coming up why don’t you go and watch it?

        1. Yes, lets go back to the bad old days where racing series were shut down forever because too many drivers, mechanics, marshals and spectators got killed.

    3. Yeah, 80s rules, with fuel limits, which they did in fact have then.

      And what was wrong with the tyres today? They didn’t seem too restrictive, but I might have just missed that what with all the new stuff.

      1. Hey people…all this conjecture about who’s right or wrong. Gee i’m glad i live in Australia, where we are still innocent proven guilty. At least we didn’t have to watch that finger wagging.

  16. Lucky it wasn’t Ferrari and Alonso who did this. Imagine the outcry!

    Seriously how sad for Ricciardo! But, if they were warned…

    1. I think it’s safe to say that RBR gets just as much of an outcry these days. (Although maybe Ricciardo doesn’t…yet.)

  17. Stupid restriction! it should only be 100 kg (140 litres) for full tank from start to chequered flag, but not for fuel flow per hour also!

  18. I feel sorry for him, because he drove good race, so he deserved 2nd place & He’s also one of my favourite drivers.

  19. Hi all, new here but would like to comment on this too:

    ” “Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations.”

    During the race weekend the teams were advised by race director Charlie Whiting of a change to the fuel flow filter frequency. The teams were given the following notification:

    “Following a review of the fuel flow data from the practice sessions the following change will be applied for qualifying and the race.

    “The maximum fuel flow limit mFFMIllegal will be checked using a fuel flow filter frequency (parameter fdmFFMFuelFilter) of 5Hz instead of the 10Hz currently configured in the FIA data version.

    “Due to time constraints before the qualifying session the FIA data versions will not be changed. The revised monitoring will be processed by the FIA off­-car.” ”

    This is an extract form 2 articles above this one.

    From this one can deduce that all other teams complied with the offset in in measurement from the sensor otherwise there would be quite a few cars disqualified. Hence a clear breach of regulations from RB.

    1. Not so, some sensors may have been overeading and some could have been undereading, those underreading would would have full performance but appear to be using less fuel than those over reading.

  20. Michael Brown (@)
    16th March 2014, 14:44

    The FIA instructed Red Bull to use a faulty sensor, which they complied, because there wasn’t a better alternative. Red Bull was contacted by the FIA to change the calculation of their fuel flow to conform to the regulation. However, if the FIA was receiving data from a faulty fuel sensor, then who says that information was correct and they had the authority to instruct Red Bull to change their fuel flow? For all we know, Red Bull had the correct calculation and the FIA was instructing them to change to a less desirable alternative.

    1. @lite992, read the article again, and the ones before about about this issue and it becomes pretty clear that every one agrees (and probably this started during the winter tests already) that the sensor has a certain accuracy which means that it might show a flow rate over 100kg/h at times if you are really close to that limit.

      The sensor isn’t really faulty so much as that it is less accurate than the teams and FIA would like ( I saw comments on this site that WEC also uses it, and there it is a known issue).

      Thus, the FIA issued a ‘correction factor’ which meant that to be safe you just run to a lower limit (I read 96kg/h); which the other teams did, costing them power, but Red Bull refused to do.

      Thus, the issue is not whether that sensor is faulty, but that Red Bull refused to play by the rules that the FIA set for this race, and that others also had to follow to be sure they were within the rules. Red Bull were even given a chance during the race to change and become compliant, as others were, but again refused, effectively wanting to play to _more_ desirable rules than the other competitors.

      1. @bosyber, read further and you will see that the sensor was accurate part of the time and inaccurate at other times, I have not seen it written that other teams were ordered to reduce fuel usage and complied, nor do we know if these sensors are always undereading or overeading so applying a blanket correction to all cars sounds highly unlikely.

  21. That although the sensor showed a difference in readings between runs in P1, it remains the homologated and required sensor against which the team is obliged to measure their fuel flow, unless given permission by the FIA to do otherwise

    My original reaction was to side with the FIA on this one, perhaps part of me almost wanting Red Bull to be disqualified due to their attitude in previous seasons to the regs. However, I actually think they have a case with this one. How the FIA can declare that this sensor is not faulty when even themselves say it was giving faulty measurements on the Friday (the one they had to put back into the car on Saturday night) seems a bit off.

    In my opinion, the penalty is harsh and the FIA should have supplied a working sensor for the weekend to the team. I wonder how if the ‘difference’ noted in FP1 occured for any of the other teams for example? The fact it isn’t mentioned in this extensive list suggests that it wasn’t a problem.

    1. even if sensor’s faulty, Red Bull should have followed FIA’s instruction. Appeal should be latter. They can’t be exception.

  22. One positive to take out from this episode is that the FIA gave us a very detailed report of the matter. It’s really good, in previous years we only knew half of the story.

    1. Yep @yobo01, that is indeed, and especially in the case of the 1st race, with a podium place at stake, and with this new and essential rule, a very good thing.

      I guess it is also a signal from the FIA to the teams that they will indeed, as announced, show zero tolerance on this.

  23. Especially point 10 D) makes it hard for me to believe that RBR’s appeal will succeed, even if they can prove with some probability that they were within the 100kg/h limit. But it is an interesting technical problem, that the FIA tries to police something – according to rules – so important with a seemingly low quality, difficult to calibrate and use correctly – sensor.

    1. The problem is that the FIA sensor is the only one to have legal power.

      On a side note, with so many problems around the sensors, it would be better if the FIA was more careful, no? It’s better to have a killer in the nature than hold an innocent man in a prison.

  24. Its a bit strange that the FIA have released their reasoning. Normally they dont.

    Is this because he’s the crowd favorite or is this a sign of a new, more transparent, policy for 2014?

    1. @joshua-mesh It could be because they knew an appeal was coming, and wanted their case to be made before Red Bull could make theirs.

    2. They released their reasonings several times last year. I believe this is now standard procedure for stewards’ decisions.

  25. Roberto Vilarinho
    16th March 2014, 16:11

    Too many complex rules, and poor racing. I’m disappointed with this new f1, everyone just nursing their cars to the finish….

    Sad for Riccardo, he deserved that result.

    I’ll pay more attention to Indycars and Australian’s V8 this year, real engines, real power, real racing…

    1. Were you watching the same race as I was? I didn’t see much, if any, nursing (and certainly less than last year). The racing was, IMHO, better than most of last year, except for 1st.

      And, my main point, made several times: F1 rules are complicated. They have always been complicated. They will always be complicated. It is the nature of the beast when you have incredibly complicated machines whose development needs to be controlled.

      This year’s regs only seem complicated because we have all focussed on them, and they are changed so much from last year. The fuel flow limit is not complicated, and more than a rev limit or engine capacity limit is complicated. In reality, the regulations are not much more complicated than last year’s.

      1. *any more than a rev limit or engine capacity limit is complicated

  26. FIA applies homologated fuel-flow sensors from Calibra Technology a newly (2013) established company headed by Mr. Andrew Burston, which was a.o. engaged by Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines as the Sustainability Judge in their 2011 Formula Student event to source young engineers for their Brixworth site.

    Due to late homologation Calibra pressrelease indicates : “A late change to the mounting requirements for the meter has also seen some F1 teams having to make late changes to the 2014 cars fuel system design”.

    Conclusion : The best solution in future is that FIA provides all vehicles themselves, and contract the drivers also themselves. It increases the competition amongst the contenders and is independent of company interests during the races.
    and also

  27. Horner’s interview states they were “quite surprised” and they “complied fully with the technical regulations”.

    Since the steward’s ruling clearly states they were repeatedly warned during the race they’ve got no basis to be surprised.

    Since the technical regulations clearly state teams are not allowed to use their own equipment to measure fuel flow, and they’re not allowed to change the methods they use to measure the fuel flow, and they’re not allowed to change any of these things without permission from the FIA, what grounds do they think they have to claim they “complied with the technical directives at all times”?

    Total nonsense.

  28. Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations. – Red Bull

  29. It did seem strange to me that when the McLaren engineers eventually let Magnussen turn his car up for the last couple of laps that he didn’t catch Ricciardo at all.. in fact the gap appeared to grow.

    On a separate note.. imagine the conspiracy theories if it were still Webber in the number 2 car.. I’m sure Red Bull are smart enough to have done this for a good reason, and it was done with a bigger picture strategy.. but I can’t help but think they wouldn’t have thrown away a 2nd place finish for Seb so willingly..

  30. Red Bull has always used the “there is no test that detects our wing flexing so legally it doesn’t flex”. Now their fuel flow by their own measurements) is ok, but the test says otherwise. So now they conveniently switch to saying that the tests are wrong.

  31. Alex McFarlane
    16th March 2014, 17:31

    Rules are rules and the FIA may be technically correct, but it doesn’t sit comfortably with me that in a sport of such fine margins you can be convicted of murder by an unreliable witness, e.g. a fuel flow rate meter that says you are over when you’re not. Being guilty of breaching a rule and being guilty of not following protocol are not one and the same thing, and should be dealt with separately.

    1. Such hyperbole! Riccardo was simply DSQ’ed; and rightly so.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        16th March 2014, 23:41

        Maybe, but the point stands, if the fuel-flow sensor overread then Red Bull were not in breach of the fuel flow regulations. If a car could be shown by other means that the 100kg/hr rate had been exceeded but the FIA approved sensor indicated it had raced legally, would the FIA stand by their equipment?
        I don’t know how the sensors are calibrated but if they are all inaccurate by varying amounts the playing field isn’t level.

        1. What’s not to say the RBR sensor was wrongly calibrated too to read the correct amount but in reality it was running at a higher rate?

          1. Alex McFarlane
            18th March 2014, 9:21

            Sorry, my reply ended up further down the page. Of course, there is nothing to say that Red Bull’s own readings were inaccurate, deliberately or otherwise, but it does highlight that if the flow rate cannot be accurately measured the FIA has a problem that needs addessing, especially if you cannot reliably determine if someone is running legally at 99.5kg/hr and illegally at 100.5kg/hr. We need to see figures from both the FIA and Red Bull.

    2. How would RBR be able to prove that the full fuel level was in Compliance throughout the race? They can’t.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        17th March 2014, 11:15

        I don’t know, but Red Bull seem to think they have a case. I’d be surprised if the engines didn’t have sensors to monitor fuel consumption. On reflection, the FIA were right to punish Red Bull for not using their sensor, the issue for me going forwards is the accuracy of the flow meters, in a sport where the margins are so fine, if Red Bull have sourced a more accurate meter than the FIA, the latter have dropped the ball, in my opinion. I’m sure we’ll have a better idea of how they work in the coming days and weeks

        1. if Red Bull have sourced a more accurate meter than the FIA, the latter have dropped the ball

          It is more likely that they are using other sensor and control data (Injector timings, fuel pressure, mass air flow sensor, lambda sensor) to calculate their fuel flow rate. These are accurate methods, especially when correlated against actual fuel used.

          However, they are only accurate when you are certain of them all. The FIA could not use them to monitor fuel flow rate because if a single variable changes, they cannot work it out.

          And none of this makes up for the fact that RB simply ignored instructions. Right or wrong in their argument, you do what the ref tells you.

          1. Alex McFarlane
            17th March 2014, 16:35

            Fair enough. Will be interesting to hear Red Bull’s side of the story and the evidence they think might let them off the hook.

  32. Look at it this way.

    If speed limit on a highway is 100khp, you are allowed to do following:
    You are allowed to cover 100km in one hour, by driving 100kph constantly.
    However, you are not allowed cover 100km in one hour, by averaging 100kph over a period of one hour, by driving 50kph at times and then driving 150kph at times.

    1. or perhaps look at it this way…

      You go out for a race drive in your car and the both you and your mate the local copper think the speedo produces inconstant results (the FIA technician reported that the P1/P2 sensor provided ‘different’ results in the runs, that wasn’t an assertion from RBR).

      So the copper, who just happens to moonlight selling car parts and sold you the dodgy speedo, gives you a new speedo which you duly fit and take out for a test run and both you and he agree it’s even more dodgy than the original one so he instructs you to violate standard road rules and park in a firm bit of roadway to remove the speedo and refit the one.

      So you’re back with a speedo that both of you think is a bit dodgy but the copper gets a bright idea “look the label on the box says it’s accurate to +/- 10km/h” so if you keep the speedo dial reading at least 10 km/h below the speed limit you should be ok. He’s so impressed by his deductive reasoning at this point he sends you an email instructing you and the other cops on the beat about your new “personal” road rule.

      Having no confidence in the speedo any more and not likin the idea of driving 10km/h below the speed limit “just in case”, particularly given no-one else has to adjust their speedo readings you decide to just rely on your gps to tell you what speed you’re doing and ignore the speedo completely.

      The point-to-point speed camera zone you drove through shows your average speed remained below 100km/h so you’re feeling so cocky that you stupidly post a photo up to facebook showing a speedo dial reading 91km/h in a 100km/zone so your now not-so-friendly copper books you for exceeding the speed limit by 1km/h and disqualifies your license.

    2. whats your point? was redbull using 150% power at certain times, and only 50% at other times? it is such a stupid rule as no advantage can be gained. if any advantage is gained, it is lost in other parts of the race.

      1. my point…
        is that
        – RBR are asserting that their fuel injection system never exceeded 100kg/hr
        – the FIA have acknowledged that their sensor was misreading hence the instruction to add an offset to the flow rate it was reporting to come up with a ‘worst case’ flow rate
        – they appear not to have given that instruction to any other team hence Horners complaint that it disadvantaged his driver.
        – but based on the ‘worst case’ measurement of the devices flow-rate report and the offset the car was using more than 100kg/h so the FIA disqualified them

        Like above.. this is like having a copper book you not because his radar gun showed you as speeding but because your dodgy speedo reading plus an offset added up to a number greater than the speed limit, and this despite the fact that your (extremely expensive and high tech) gps showed you stayed within the speed limit

        1. Actually, this is more like:
          – A cop has recently pulled you over and given you a warning for speeding.
          – You told them your speedo said you were fine, so the cop told you to drive a little under the limit to be safe.
          – You are driving at bang on the speed limit by your speedo when the same cop sees you again.
          – The cop sets off after you, signalling you to pull over.
          – You ignore the cop and continue to the end of the journey. The cop arrests you for both speeding and failing to stop.

          Now, in this case, you could go to court and prove that the cops radar gun was wrong. But you would still be guilty of failing to stop, a much more serious offence.

          The officials word is law on a race track. Failing to obey them is a very serious matter, no matter whether they are shown to be right or wrong later.

  33. Perfectly reasonable explanation by the FIA. Spot on, Red Bull don’t get to choose what flow rate setting they use, this could set a bad precedent for other teams. They were warned too. I doubt they will pull another one like that again this season, so there. It’s not often we get to say that by good job by the FIA.

  34. Listen to yourselves arguing the semantics……………………The cars now sound rubbish, nowhere near as spectacular as the original turbo cars, the racing is no better. You have to have a lawyer and mathematician in pit lane giving you advice.
    F1 pftttt.
    Bring back Lord Hesketh and James Hunt please.

  35. So why bother with a fuel flow sensor in the 1st place. The FIA should have supplied a proprietery fuel system instead – restricting the fuel line diameter and fuel pump flow so that it cannot pump more than the legal amount to the engine?? Would the FIA have had real time access to RBR’s data via telemetry also and correlate that with what the mandated sensor was telling them anyway?

    1. The FIA should have supplied a proprietery fuel system instead – restricting the fuel line diameter and fuel pump flow so that it cannot pump more than the legal amount to the engine

      The teams would find a way to push that. Look at when they used a volume flow measurement system for refuelling. They limited the volume flow, so the teams chilled the fuel, so they got higher mass flow, so got the fuel they needed into the tank faster.

      1. yeh… but who cares?? they have a 100kg limit for the race… that is equal for all. who cares how they use that… it needs to be managed anyway over a race distance and is equal for all.

  36. Good to see the FIA giving proper explanations for their decisions, it’s a hell of a lot better than what we would have got even a few years ago.

    1. They are giving explanations because they are desperate. Explanations are ridiculous, unprofessional, and overly and unnecessarily complicated. How are fans meant to enjoy the sport when such complicated and unnecessary restrictions are in place.

  37. This is so much simpler than a lot of people seem to think…

    The 70mph on a motorway comparison that has been mentioned is the best way of looking at it.

    1. @electrolite, by the motorway analogy I presume you mean that if the police have faulty radar and claim you were over the speed limit, having a readout from a GPS showing that you were not speeding is not a valid defense.

      1. Thats why the only viable defence is prove radar inability. Which was accounted for by FIA and adjustments were recomended on numerous occasions. Red Bull got “tunnel vision” on this one, no one to blame but them self – I beat Vettel would have few warm words about who ever decided to ignore FIA’s instructions if he had his podium taken for same reason.

      2. @hohum

        I was talking about the rule itself, rather than Ricciardo’s penalty. But yes, we can use it for that too!

  38. Its very simple red bull broke the rule so vettle didnt feel bad for loosing. Carnt have a new driver upstage the old one.

  39. Absolutely typical RedBull in their lack of consideration to the second driver. They obviously wanted to make a point about the FIAs fuel sensors and choose to do so on Ricciardo’s car and not on Vettel’s.

    The fact that this risked sabotaging Ricciardo’s chances after a fine qualification was either not of a concern to RB or worse was considered as a good thing to make sure the new guy didn’t get a jump on Vettel after his poor qualification and form.

    If RB were convinced they were doing the right thing, why didn’t they do it on Vettels car. They had little to loose as he was starting from p13 and they could have made their point just as well.

    So unfortunately it looks like RB is going to continue the policy of favoratism that has caused so many problems before!

    1. you are incorrect with your conspiracy theories :)

    2. Yeah, bit of a stretch there, better of to go with the Ferrari International Assistance one where the FIA limit RBR to 96 Kg per hour by giving them duff sensors.

  40. Too bad Daniel is not in Vettel’s position, and who ever took the decision on multiple occasions not to follow FIA’s instructions is off the hook from hearing kind words from driver.

    I wish this happened to Vettel and not Riccardo, but then I dont think anyone would dare to do such experiment on Vettel’s car.

  41. Fairest solution would be:

    Given the FIA has stated that Dan did not break any rule himself, if Red Bull can provide accurate evidence that Dan did not exceed the allowed fuel flow allowance (gaining no advantage) then Dan should be allowed to retain his points he earned fairly.

    However given that the Red Bull team clearly broke a rule (albeit a stupid rule with inferior supplied faulty equipment) they should still be penalised by constructors points and/or a fine.

    That would be the fairest outcome and allows FIA to save face for what is a poorly implemented system with poor equipment.

    1. That’s not a fair solution. Team and driver work together. If the team installs a turbo with higher performance than allowed, that’s also not the driver’s fault but would give him an unfair performance advantage. Should he still go unpunished? I think both Sauber cars were disqualified one or two years ago in Melbourne because of some technicality about their rear wings, something which didn’t even give any performance advantage, it was just a mistake by the team.

  42. Things like this is why F1 has gone to the crapper. Front ends that look like schlongs, DQ’ing a team over fuel flow, etc, etc… And F1 is anything but “Green”, nor should it strive to be. Going from a car that gets 2mpg to 3mpg isn’t “green”. You want to make the world a cleaner place, boycott China and every other country that doesn’t have strict pollution laws. Racing is about speed, not this crap. You want to make sure teams don’t use over 100kg/h, make the fuel line smaller so only 100kg/h can flow thru it. No need for useless sensors that don’t work half the time and 500 regulations. Morons.

    1. You want to make sure teams don’t use over 100kg/h, make the fuel line smaller so only 100kg/h can flow thru it.

      Then the teams will increase the pressure difference across it. Flow increases with pressure difference.

      Really, the only way they can enforce a fuel flow rate is to measure it.

      Actually, there is one other way… Make it actually limit. So, if it notices that more than the limit has passed through, cut power to the spark plugs, so that fuel is just chucked out the exhaust. That’d stop the teams trying anything. Only the FIA can disable the system, in case of fault.

  43. It would be interesting to see the comparison between Rossberg’s and Ricciardo’s fuel flow charts. Rossberg led from start to finish and was continuously increasing the gap each lap to Riciardo who ran the whole race in 2nd place (apart from pit stops for both). Rossberg also posted the fastest lap for the race! So Rossberg drove faster than Ricciardo but was within the new (stupid) rules on fuel, must be a great little engine, can’t wait for Mercedes to get it into a production car.

    1. Yes, but for such a comparison to mean anything you would have to know the drag coeficient of each car.

  44. This is complete and utter BS. Ridiculous and totally nonsense rule. Whats next? Water cooling flow must not exceed a certain rate?, the wheel must not spin too many times?

    1. Or maybe a ridiculous limit on how fast the engine can spin? Or how big the cylinders can be?


      1. facepalm yourself, this is totally different. they have imposed a 100kg limit for fuel, yet no teams will get close to using 100kg anyway because of the fuel flow rate limit! do the maths. teams will be racing with 60-70kg of fuel only, racing at below 100kg/h fuel flow rate.

        1. The flow rate limit is there to restrict the maximum power the cars have available, otherwise they would potentially have unlimited power.

        2. It is not totally different, it is exactly the same. In fact, in a naturally aspirated engine, the rev and capacity limits are effectively a fuel flow limit.

          The problem is that, in a turbo engine, they can theoretically just keep upping the boost to get unlimited power output. The FIA needed some way to keep this under control. They could have applied a boost limit, but this would not allow the torque her can get at low revs now. That leaves air or fuel flow. They chose fuel, probably because it’s easier to measure.

      2. facepalm 2 for yourself, no cars will reach the 15,000rpm limit either for engine power, as they are dictated by flow rates, and most cars will only do 10,00rpm at that rate… which results in slower lap times, quieter engines and a boring quiet f1 cars.

  45. OK. I’m not a real technical expert (though I do understand the basics of this.)

    It seems to me that when you add it all together, it appears likely that the fuel flow limit was never physically exceeded? Would people find my interpretation correct?

    Rather, it’s a case of the procedural screw-up. Red Bull didn’t go through the proper channels to have their faulty sensor addressed and completely ignored the instructions to offset the reading (which must have been showing a few kg/h more than was actually flowing) by not pushing close to the 100, by flowing more than the margin of error underneath the 100.

    Ergo, with both those things combining, the FIA can only take the readings being provided by their sensors, and those readings are over 100kg/h. So it’s fair enough.

    It’s horrible cruel for Dan, especially if the fuel flow limit was never ACTUALLY exceeded. But his team is still to blame. They’ve screwed up doubly there. It sounds to me like there’s enough procedures in place in the event of a failure to be transparent about it and get it dealt with. But Red Bull had to have their perfect combination of clandestine, arrogant and win-at-all-costs behaviour put the mist in front of their eyes and make them go ‘NUP, WON’T GET IN TROUBLE, JUST IGNORE IT AND KEEP GOING AS WE WERE, AND USE OUR OWN MONITORING SYSTEM SO WE CAN PROVE OUR FLOW WAS LEGAL TO THE FIA LATER!’

    As for the appeal, no doubt Red Bull will base it all around a fundamental ‘your sensor was faulty, this whole case is flawed, you can’t take the unreliable readings of a faulty sensor as proof of anything’, then they will show their data from their own monitoring system.

    By doing this they’ll on the one hand PROVE the fuel flow was legal, but on the other hand essentially plead guilty to the second main charge, of not using FIA approved monitoring systems. My guess is, considering they basically are screwed and have without any question broken at least one set of rules, they’ll be willing to throw that charge under the bus in order to try and get the basic fundamental one (that their fuel flow exceeded the allowed limit) cleared.

    Does anyone think they’ll be able to? I don’t think so. I can’t find anywhere that lists the regulations (and their attached penalties) in detail, so does anyone know whether BOTH these offenses are categorically disqualification worthy?

    If so, they’re totally doomed no matter what.

    I do tend to think though, perhaps just coz I’m a sympathetic Aussie, that IF they’re only guilty of the procedural part of it (ie: not of physically exceeding the fuel flow limit, which if they did is a completely justified full disqualification coz it’s a tangible performance advantage), maybe Dan should keep the 2nd place, because ultimately he was there on merit and the car itself had no illegal performance advantage. I’d like to see Red Bull just lose the constructor’s points in that case I think.

    But I still don’t think there’s any chance of anything changing.

  46. As a point of principle I can’t see how it’s an acceptable situation that the mandated fuel flow sensors provided by the FIA are known to be both unreliable and inaccurate, and yet the teams are not given the opportunity to demonstrate that the sensor is misreading. So you end up with a situation where some teams may be getting an unfair advantage and others may be getting disadvantaged, and they’re meant to just accept it and put up with it.

    That, to me, feels like an absolute farce.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      17th March 2014, 16:41

      +1. This is something the FIA need to answer otherwise the integrity of the rules is lost.

    2. More or less where I have been coming from all along, and what next, Ferrari starting to win races with what appears to be more power and winning the championship thanks to a double point score in the last race, wink wink nudge nudge.

    3. I’m not sure these sensors are “known to be unreliable and inaccurate”. Any component will have tolerances – for instance, electronic components can often be as tight as +/-1%, which may not seem much, but in the world of F1 is still too big a margin. This is why each fuel flow meter is calibrated and accompanied by a correction chart, to make sure the actual physical flow is correct, even if the measured flow differ slightly. This means the teams’ own measurements from the injectors might differ from those from the fuel flow meter, but the corrected fuel flow meter readings are treated as the yardstick.

      All teams except RBR applied these corrections. RBR decided to ignore them and use their injector readings instead. We don’t know why, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine they did that because they felt it would be to their advantage to do so…

  47. The regulations state a maximum flow rate, not a maximum consumption rate. So the flow back into the tank is irrelevant.
    Flow meters are very tricky. I have experience with the mechanical ones, F1 is using ultrasonic sensors. But I believe some of the same physics apply. It is not a linear problem. There is turbulent vs linear flow, viscosity , temperature and a couple of other factors. Thats the fluid dynamics. What can be equally interesting is the electronics side. Anyway I think it all comes down to the calibration procedure and how those corrections are applied.

    According to the regulations (5.10) there are only measuring points. One in the tank presumably measuring the outflow and before the injectors , it can be one sensor or one per injector. If I interpret the regulations correctly 5.1.4 probably pertain to the fuel tank sensor, since by definition (5.10.5) the flow rate can’t change after that. So the flow back can only be calculated by the difference between the cumulative injector rate and the tank flow rate.

    |==(M1)==> Pump ==(M2)==> Engine(Injectors)
    Tank | |

    There is always a margin of error, the question is was the violation within the margin or not
    As to this dispute, regardless of what happened on the technical side, it was clearly a violation of the rules.

  48. Could someone please clarify for me was red bull only disqualified for the breach of the fuel flow or was ”A) The team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA. This is a violation of the procedure within TD/ 016­14.” this a factor too. If the latter was involved in the decision than how could red bull appeal. Apologies if this has been answered

  49. Do you guys remember when Mclaren stole Farraris data
    For stealing they should be banned from F1 sportbut instead only points taken from constructor but
    Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were not penalised and allowed to continue their fight for the drivers’ title.
    That happen for almost whole season and this one was only 1 race and driver was innocent
    If u have to punish Red bull, then leave ricciardo alone

  50. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    18th March 2014, 1:38

    I’m not sure that I fully understand the whole debate as the facts seem unclear. However, the stewards didn’t make this decision lightly as they deliberated for 5 hours and it was made with full knowledge of the impact it would have on the Australian fans. If anything, it sounds to me like Red Bull were trying to “test the waters” and see if they could get away with it by creating a super complex situation.

    If the FIA had let them get away with it in Australia, that would have opened the door for RB to do the same and more in Malaysia…

    I feel really bad for Ricciardo and Australians but it sounds like the right decision was made. If Red Bull did this on purpose, however, they got away very lightly. Just the publicity of Ricciardo and Red Bull was worth millions to Red Bull…

  51. Alex McFarlane
    18th March 2014, 8:26

    Nothing, but we haven’t seen Red Bull’s evidence yet. It does make you wonder if the rules can be accurately enforced though. I’m glad Red Bull challenged it, if only to highlight this issue. When teams start pushing the limits properly you need a sensor that can reliably distinguish between a legal 99.5kg/hr and an illegal 100.5kg/hr or the integrity of the rules becomes questionable.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      18th March 2014, 9:23

      Sorry, this was meant as a response to Hubba Dubba above

  52. one question, how do the FIA calculate the ‘offset’ needed? what do they use as a standard that is 100% bullet proof and uncontestable? were all teams given tailormade ‘offsets’? my understanding, minimal as it is, seems as though the FIA directive is simply that, a directive, and that the only regulation that MAY have been breached is that the fuel flow rate has been exceeded. if this is so then all other emotive issues should be ignored. if RBR can prove conclusively that they have not breached the regulation then surely the original results must be reinstated. IMO of course.

  53. It’s clear cut in my opinion that the team are to blame, not the driver. DR should have those points reinstated, and team penalised with no constructor points awarded.
    Regardless of this result, DR will blitz the championship, that includes the Mercs in the next few rounds & the 2014 championship.
    Vettel will also be in the 2014 race…..regardless of what’s been said, his racing style is ice.

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