Red Bull to focus appeal on fuel sensor rule

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull will make a question of interpretation over the rules regarding fuel flow rate a focus of their appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification.


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Red Bull reveal case argument (Sky)

“The world champions’ argument centres on the wording of the FIA’s Technical Regulations with Article 5.1.4 stating ‘Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h’. However, as it does not say that this reading has to come from the FIA’s sensor Red Bull feel they can use their own measurements to prove they did not breach the regulations.”

Further issues ‘anticipated’ by Renault (ESPN)

“We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry. Most are fixed and the remaining will be under control by Friday in Sepang.”

Mercedes wary of Red Bull threat (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “We haven’t seen Sebastian [Vettel] running with a reliable car and a fast car and you would expect him with his experience to go even faster.”

Former F1 doctor says he knows of ‘serious lapses of judgement’ in Schumacher’s care and he is now unlikely to ever recover (Daily Mail)

“Gary Hartstein, F1 sport’s chief doctor between 2005 and 2012, says he had heard from ‘usually impeccable sources’ to say that these lapses ‘could, and almost certainly did, worsen the outcome in Michael’s case.’ But he does not explain what this medical mismanagement was.”

Mediapro Plans 24-Hour Formula 1 Channel for Latin America (Bloomberg)

“Spanish television-production company Mediapro plans to start a regional 24-hour Formula One channel after acquiring the series’ rights for most of Central and South America and the Caribbean.”

F1 warned it is facing fan revolt over ‘silent’ engines – ‘the sound is a disgrace’ (The Independent)

Australian Grand Prix promoter Ron Walker: “We haven’t signed a new contract with Bernie, so this is going to put a lot of pressure on the FIA. It doesn’t have the right to destroy this sport. It will ruin the sport that Bernie built over this. Out of any single problem, this is the one that will kill the golden goose. It is hard enough to sell tickets now but this is arrogance at the worst from Jean Todt.”

Formula One needs new solution before total revolt (The Telegraph)

“The idea that a ‘fans’ revolt’ is sufficient to precipitate a major change in the regulations is also frankly laughable, given how the imposition of double points is at odds with the view of the overwhelming majority of fans, as well as drivers.”

Bernie Ecclestone must find a way to silence F1’s great noise debate (The Guardian)

Derek Warwick: “These cars are more difficult to drive and we’re going to see a massive difference between the good drivers and the average drivers.”

FIA knew seven years ago that V6 sound would be “unappealing” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“The noise of high rpm is to be replaced, by what we don’t know, but it will be quieter. The view is that the risk of this new noise being unappealing is a risk worth taking.”

Tosh in the papers (Joe Saward)

“One might speculate that such a story is designed to frighten investors looking to buy Formula One from CVC Capital Partners.”


Comment of the day

Dietrich Mateschitz isn’t happy with the new Formula One rules but @JayMenon10 reckons they’ve got it right:

I think everyone who has been complaining about the apparent lack of noise and the fact that the cars are lapping slower need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

F1 was once sold as the breeding grounds for new automotive technology. A lot of F1 technology pioneered in the 80s and 90s are common place in our road cars now. Over the last ten years, innovation has been stifled by regressive rules. The arrival of the new formula is the shot in the arm we needed in F1. More than anything else, it is relevant to the current market. LMP1 and WEC were more road relevant than F1. This is probably why it has thrived over the same period where F1 has remained stale.

Yes it doesn’t sound as great, and it does take some of the thrill away, but we need to be progressive. The pace will come, and it will be back to F1 speeds very soon.

The change to the new formula has probably safeguarded the long term future of the sport. I’m being optimistic, but the return of Honda could herald the beginning of a new constructor era. I say this because, if the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 are anything to go by, this new high performance hybrid technology will be what every car manufacturer is coveting!

Would love to see BMW and Toyota back as engine suppliers!


Jarno Trulli has become the latest driver to sample a Formula E car. See video and more images from his test here:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alianora La Canta, Fallon, Henrique Pinheiro, Jake and Jorge H.!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell took a surprise win in his first race for Ferrari at Brazil 25 years ago today.

The new Ferrari 640’s semi-automatic gearbox had given the team endless grief in testing and Mansell even had to pit for a replacement wheel at one point in the race.

But with Ayrton Senna eliminating himself in a first-corner collision with Mansell’s team mate Gerhard Berger, and the other McLaren of Alain Prost suffered clutch trouble, Mansell claimed a win few had predicted.

On the podium the race promoters presented Mansell with his hard-won trophy – which the unfortunate driver then cut his hands on…

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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185 comments on “Red Bull to focus appeal on fuel sensor rule”

  1. It just goes to show how young Kevin Magnussen is by the fact he doesn’t really look a whole lot older now than he was when that photo was taken…

  2. More than two thirds don’t really care.

    I’m not surprised that hardcore F1 fans that care about the sport enough to participate in a fansite like this aren’t put off by quieter engines and can see the wider benefits of more technologically advanced engines in addition to the return of a manufacturer to the sport because of them (Honda, 2015).

    1. I agree, yeah the engines could be louder and I was initially a bit surprised they weren’t more intense, but I like the new whistle whine and more technologically focused appeal these new units give. They definitely should more highly engineered and more advanced.

      I can hear cars breaking the crowd, the breaks, and more importantly, the commentary, which was often drowned out by the (lets face it) quite decadent sound of those old fashioned screamers. By race 3 we will be used to them and not bat an eye lid. Yeah the noise was part of the experience, I won’t argue that, but these engines sound waaaay cooler.

      In a toss up between the ridiculous double points which I highly oppose, and the new engine sound (which ok, again I admit could be louder) but certainly has its own appeal, its a no contest. Bernie completely ignores the fans on something which matters enormously to a huge majority, and gets a ‘bee in his bonnet’ about something we largely respond to with a ‘Meh’. Lets not forget F1 is a spectator sport, but rule changes seem to ignore the opinions of the fans. I’m actually happy that the noise is annoying the hell out of Bernie.

    2. My sister went with me to Spa last August for her first GP and when we got back home she would tell two things those asking abut her experience: (1) cars are super fast and (2) sound like rockets.

      I’m sure I’ll miss the sound but if you ask me if I’d like to go back to the old V8 Formula in lieu of this brave new world: HELL NO! The lack of sound doesn’t make it rubbish and racing should improve when teams get better understanding of these machines and I think when the race side gets better even non-hardcore fans will enjoy it. Now I’m just hoping to see people mixing with Mercedes at the front because 4 years of “Red Bull dictatorship” cannot give room for a Merc domination era….

    3. Wow, after rereading your comment, looking at what you refered to and reading it yet again i finally got my sleep deprived brain to realize what you said and totally agree… Man this day will be long (the debate no doubt longer)

    4. Yep, well at the end of the day i am (and im sure the majority of us are ) F1 sports fans over an F1 entertainment fans. So im still more bothered by the rules that dilute the sport and the level-playing field such as DRS, double-points and even the luring in of the newest teams then moving the goalposts; than i am with aesthetics or audio.

      1. In fact, i see the Lotus’ new twin nose as the first step on the road to cars resembling the “Wipeout” game series.

  3. Do Ron Walker and Bernie take us all for idiots? Their PR offensive against the new engines to get their own way is painfully obvious

    1. But it’s the fans that don’t like it, you know because Bernie pays attention and cares what we thinks. Oh wait, hang on…

    2. Now Bernie, the inventor of Double Points Rule care about fans… what a joke!

    3. Bernie hasn’t even heard them in person yet (and at his age doesn’t he need a hearing aid to hear the old engine?)

    4. It looks more like Bernie is desperate to stir up the noise debate to drown out awkward headlines over his upcoming trial in Germany…

  4. I think maybe some who “don’t care” about the new engine noise either a) honestly don’t care, or b) realise that there’s not really anything that as fans we can do about it.

    Todt and the FIA are most likely under the impression that it will all blow over after a few races, as the reason for the change to these new engines is for the longevity of the sport.

    F1 has always been pretty ignorant to the fans opinions.
    One prime example is the F1 community’s surprise to the fans reaction to the double points rule.
    But can we actually make enough noise to change anything?
    Well we can damn try.

    1. Well, I do think that people will get used to it. Or at least most will. If you want proof, people were complaining just as much as now when the V8s were first introduced and especially when the ‘new’ generation of cars came in 2009. I was among thoses who thought that even that the sight was simply atrocious. And yet, even before 2009 ended, i got more than used to it and I have barely seen any comments going against it in the last 3 or 4 years. And that should show that with time, we’ll get more than used to it. And although it may be a year or two before that happens, we’ll have (8 years?) time to get used to and enjoy it.

    2. while politicians depend more on corporations to fill their coffers and stuff their ballot boxes, if enough paying customers (tv subscribers as well) make enough noise and complaints, it will mean something to the guys who depend on the loose hands and pricey tickets/TV rights/etc, that form the base of most of those guy’s pay.

      It’s good to know the guys hosting the events are interested in telling off the establishment that the new cars sound horrible, because in fact they do, i have a 2 cylinder motorcycle that sounds better than those cars, idling and revving.

      I don’t care for government imposed austerity, nor do I care to be proselytized through popular sports. The freedom to choose, is the freedom to lose, and oh, is it so sweet, to actually have some say and appreciate real choice and control over your own life.

    3. I think maybe some who “don’t care” about the new engine noise either a) honestly don’t care, or b) realise that there’s not really anything that as fans we can do about it.

      I actually think the majority are of a 3rd opinion: Although we miss the old sound, the new sound is not that bad, and the overall benefits for the sport seriously outweigh the minor inconvenience of the engines being quieter.

    4. I really hate the sound of the new engines. The v8’s Sounded glorious to me. But I think I think theres nothing we can do about it except to get used to it and I think I will. But that’s exactly it, I will get used to it but probably never will I love or even like it. So there’s one less thing to love about f1. …until there’s none.

      I also think why in the poll here rougly half of the fans are ok with the sound is because only hardcore(ish) fans visit the site and they justify the sacrifice with longevity of the sport or what ever. But what I think they can’t see is there’s only so many f1 fanatics who can live with it, most of the money comes from casual viewers who go to a gp for the experience. And the piercing sound was a major part of the experience, the sound and the speed was what made f1 attractive and different. I think interest drop in f1 in wiewers on tv and gp attenders numbers will be pretty significant over time. If the immediate effect for attenders is lost I might aswell watch it on tv and not spend a great amont of money to buy a ticket. Why can’t anyone see that. They think they are giving f1 a new life by making it road relevant, when in fact they gave it a killing blow because without people coming to see a gp theres no advertisers/sponsors and without the money these two bring there certainly won’t be formula 1.

      1. most of the money comes from casual viewers who go to a gp for the experience

        Considering the cost of tickets, I doubt most are casual fans.

  5. I’m very sorry to have to use this terms but the world is going stupid!
    So more than 90% of fans are against the double-points but that is OK, and now that opinions are not at all that unfavorable to the new sound people talk about revolt?

    This makes me really sick. During the Australian GP on my Facebook page I had already to respond to comments hat are bad against F1. One of them is that 1.6 V6 is not real F1, silenced of course with a simple reference to the 80s and the 1.5 inline-4 engine from BMW (and the guy that wrote the comment is a BMW fan).

    I also see many people criticizing the new F1, but these guys are the same that are criticizing for many years, saying F1 is not good and becoming worse and worse.

    Moving back to the noise, one of the arguments used against the new noise is that people do not need to wear ear-protection anymore! Is this for real?!?! Isn’t it a good thing that people can now enjoy an F1 race without extra pressure on their ears and that allows them to listen to more details? Sure it is a strange thing that now you do not hear the car coming from long distance, but having much less decibels allows you to notice tyre noise, the differences in the engine accelerating an slowing, gear changing, etc…
    Also now we have a promoter, of a circuit inside a city nonetheless that had to face for many years the problems from residents associations complaining about the noise, saying this will kill the race?!?! Again, is this for real?!?! Isn’t it good that now they can hold a F1 race and respecting the noise regulations in the city?
    I actually remember some people trying to ban racing at Monza some years ago because of the loud noise, so the risk is avoided now.

    Just to be clear, I do not say I’m in favor of the new noise. As said already here in this site, when listening on the TV from the circuit cameras the sound is weird and seems wrong. The onboard footage is great however. But I could already appreciate the fact that I can now listen very well, to locked tires and the tires spinning on acceleration. Lost the huge noise impact, gained new details.
    I believe the advantages negate the disadvantages and cannot by any means, understand the hysteria from some about this.
    It kind of reminds me of the hysteria regarding the cars being too slow…

    1. @bakano If there’s anything I’ve learned in the many years of following Formula 1, it’s that there’s always some kind of hysteria going on. Always.
      In the last 10 years or so, we’ve had people complaining about: traction control, ABS, launch control, two-way telemetry, too many regulation changes, not enough regulation changes, grooved tyres, boring racing, racing that’s too exciting (that’s not a joke by the way), FIA bias, too much run-off areas on tracks, bad stewarding decisions, the points systems, DRS, stepped noses, F1 going to tracks with no heritage (as if this is a new thing), not enough races in Europe, too many races in Europe, tyres, drivers being uncharismatic, technical legalities like double/blown diffusers, sporting legalities like putting all 4 wheels off track, too many races per year, not enough races per year, and Felipe Massa’s really annoying fanbase… although that might just be my personal complaint.
      So yeah, if you’re in F1 for the long haul, you should do what I do and try to enjoy the madness!

      1. You could add “too little overtaking, too much overtaking, too few pitstops and to many pitstops” to that long list of issues @Ciaran. ;)

    2. COTD totally agree…

    3. This is all just a big campaign by Bernie trying to prove that F1 wont work without him.

    4. Watching the race on TV is a much better experience with these new engines. The broadcasters can compensate by amplifying the sound of the engine. But for those watching live, who often only get a glimpse of the cars as they go past, the aural experience augments the physical action. So while some now appreciate the squeaking of tyres, many others feel like they went to a rock concert and they can’t hear the music.
      The technological aspects of F1 fascinates me, but then how many of us knows what really goes on inside the average family car.

      1. The live experience its a very good point OOliver!

    5. @bakano The issue is money. Organizers pay a humongous fee to even have a GP and the noise level is now the first real case they have to reduce the fee.
      If the contracts would allow a case agains the half points for all but 1 race then I’m pretty sure organisers would be all over this too and Bernie & Co. would also react to this and start the discussion to change the rules.

      1. That is complete and utter ******** @tmf42. Instead what Tracks have to cope with is increased limits on the amount of races they are allowed to stage due to being so loud.

        Just look at how long it took Mateschitz to get allowance to run the F1 race for the track has a limited amount of days it can get over the normal decibel limit (visitor numbers are limited as well to avoid over burdening its surroundings).
        Come on, this is BERNIE making contracts, he is not the one to sign ones that limit him more than the minimum needed, and he has the tracks in check to sign what he wants, not the other way round.

        The organisers have a contract that gives them F1, the only thing Bernie guarantees is that F1 will come (save cases of force majeure) and that 20 cars will be participating in the race weekend if the organisers pay their race fees far enough up front.

      2. That is complete and utter nonsense @tmf42. Instead what Tracks have to cope with is increased limits on the amount of races they are allowed to stage due to being so loud.

        Just look at how long it took Mateschitz to get allowance to run the F1 race for the track has a limited amount of days it can get over the normal decibel limit (visitor numbers are limited as well to avoid over burdening its surroundings).
        Come on, this is BERNIE making contracts, he is not the one to sign ones that limit him more than the minimum needed, and he has the tracks in check to sign what he wants, not the other way round.

        The organisers have a contract that gives them F1, the only thing Bernie guarantees is that F1 will come (save cases of force majeure) and that 20 cars will be participating in the race weekend if the organisers pay their race fees far enough up front.

        1. @bascb but that’s more or less my point – the noise level is not really the issue, but a pretence to review the contract – that’s why Andrew Westacott was talking about a breach and not just about the levels of attraction.

          1. I understand what you are saying, but you are wrong, as there is nothing giving them an opening like this in F1 contracts. And the argument is certainly not going to impress Bernie when their contract is up for renewal, he will just tell them to take it or leave the spot for someone willing to pay even more @tmf42

            The only way they have out of high fees, is Bernie being willing to give them a lower rate to keep the race on, like he did with Korea last year. Otherwise, even if they quit the contract, they will have to pay the full fee for the duration of it.

          2. @bascb – exactly that was my point. There are enough venues to pay the 20 Mio. – so they have a lousy bargaining position and they are just trying to extract as much as possible for themselves in this situation.

            If it’s wise (considering future negotiations as you mentioned) is a different point.

          3. Ah, right. I guess its Walker doing Bernie a favour by stirring up a bit of trouble to support what BE has been pushing for since more than a year in respect to the new engines @tmf42

  6. With all these people moaning about new engines’ sound, I think the noise levels are actually at the all time high.

  7. The FIA thrives by legalism and now it is going to get burned by legalism. Provide good flow meters and you won’t have to worry about a team getting to use all the fuel-flow its allowed instead of being cut off short. I think everyone is going to be happy for Ricciardo.

    Also, poor Michael Schumacher. Gary Hartstein really ticks me off with his shamefully arrogant and enigmatic comments.

    1. @chaddy, totally agree, I liked Hartsteins first explanatory article but this constant attention seeking is obnoxious, he doesn’t even have the excuse that he was responding to a direct question from the media.

      1. The article was published by the Daily Mail, which makes it about as factual as me stating that Bernie’s an alien from the vicinity of Betelgeuse.

        1. Given mytake that Bernie semms to not understand humanity, let alone show it makes me wonder now…

    2. Hartstein mentioned on twitter (when made aware of that article/one very much like it) that

      this article seems willingly to make it sound like I’m criticizing his in-hosp care. This is NOT my opinion. They are misleading.

      @hohum, @chaddy, I doubt he even spoke to the paper about this. Instead it rather looks like they took loose words/lines from one of his blog posts and made this story out of it.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly what happened. Hartstein’s blog is very informative, and not full of the kind of sensational speculation you find in tabloid papers or on most websites. This was, incidentally, the first blog post Hartstein had made since the 7th of March, posted on the 24th, so it’s hard to really accuse him of ‘constantly’ going on about it in the interests of self promotion. I’d really urge people to read his blog rather than making their mind up based on a few lines quoted out of context on the Daily Mail. I mean, that’s generally a good rule of thumb anyway, right?

        1. I think that serious lapses in judgement were evident during Michael’s initial management (I have this from usually impeccable sources who have access to this information)

          Make up your own mind as to whether this is speculation or just profoundly unethical, but reading it in the context of his blog, along with all the other gossip about details not released by the family or the hospital, did not reveal it to be any less contemptible.

      2. @bascb, @hohum, @chaddy
        Hartstein has published a new entry today, which goes a long way to clarify what he’s saying.

        1. Thanks for the link @raceprouk!

        2. It goes a long way to clarify which medical organisation was involved in the private unreleased medical details about which he was speculating, and that’s just about it. This guy’s audacity is staggering.

          1. At least he’s willing to point out where care may be lacking, not just for Schumi, but for everyone who may end up in the same situation. Say what you like about the guy; if his audacity means changes are made and more lives are saved, then it was worth it.

          2. Wow, what a hero! I feel inspired to make such a difference myself. I shall start a blog too, and my first post will be, “I heard on Twitter that there might not be enough fire trucks in Madrid. Care may be lacking!” If it means changes are made and more lives saved, then it was worth it.

            Give me a break. The only “shortcomings” he has drawn attention to have related to decisions made by medical personnel based on information he can’t possibly have access to in full. If anything the biggest deficiency in Michael’s care he would have revealed to the world will be the possibility that enough of the private details of the case have been leaked to people like him for such extensive comment to be made.

            However, nothing but nothing excuses blog posts that start like this:

            I’ve been asked about the report that Michael has lost 25% of his pre-accident weight.

            It is mealy-mouthed, self-serving gossip-mongering at its absolute lowest for a man with the ill-gotten public authority on Schumacher’s condition such as his to run this as a premise for a commentary he didn’t have to write.

        3. @raceprouk, thanks, but I am not reading any of it nor providing a “hit”.

          1. @hohum – Basically you’ve made your judgement, and refuse to acknowledge any possibility it may be mistaken.

          2. To expand: his criticisms are of the system, not the people.

            I want to make it clear that the furthest thing from my mind was causing Michael’s family added pain. Malpractice? Hey, I work in Europe, which is far from having gone as nuts as the USA with this. In any event, I don’t give a **** about MAL practice. What I’m concerned with is GOOD practice. I want people who’ve not thought about it previously to now think, before heading down the hill on their skis or boards, “am I going to be well looked after, by people with sufficient knowledge, skills and maturity, if I have an accident”? And I want the answer to be yes. Wherever, whenever.

          3. @raceprouk, no, I just refuse to make judgements based on speculation, particularly while someone is desperately ill and his family are hopeing for a good result.

          4. @hohum – And that’s just it – Hartstein’s blog isn’t speculating. It’s simply covering the medical jargon.

          5. @raceprouk I’m starting to think you haven’t actually read anything on this blog…

          6. @WH – Sorry for not making the same mistake as every ‘journalist’ whose only purpose is to sell sensationalism

  8. I posted a comment a few days ago on the likely basis of Red Bull’s appeal:-

    It appears from the Sky F1 article that indeed Red Bull will argue the appeal on the very simple basis that there has been no breach of the fuel flow limit and that there is nothing in the Technical Regulations which makes the FIA fuel sensor the conclusive or primary determinant of fuel flow.

    It was interesting to read Horner’s comment that all Technical Directions state at the foot of the document that they are simply the opinion of the Technical Delegate. That is consistent with my understanding that TDs don’t have the effect of Technical Regulations.

    I couldn’t find anything in the Sporting or Technical Regulations which give the Technical Delegate the power to issue Technical Directions, nor anything which said that they must be complied with, were to be given weight in the interpretation of the Regulations, or anything which otherwise would give them operative effect. There is no reference at all, as far as I could see, to Technical Directions in the Sporting or Technical Regulations. That would also explain why the Technical Directions are apparently private documents, and not published. They constitute opinion and no more.

    If that is so, then the appeal will be determined by reference to Article 5.1.4, and perhaps 5.10.3 and 5.10.4 of the Technical Regulations, and not by the Technical Direction referred to in the Steward’s reasons for excluding the #3 car.

    Another interesting point is that Article 5.1.4 says nothing about sampling rate. It says that fuel flow rate shall not exceed 100 kg per hour. Others have raised this issue before on this and other sites, and the response has been that the sensors sample fuel flow rate multiple times per second (IIRC, a rate of 10 Hz, later reduced to 5 Hz, was adopted), and the 100kg per hour limit is converted to a rate per second (27.777 g/s if my maths is right). That might well be how the sensor works, but that does not mean that the rules have this effect.

    If the Technical Direction does not have force, then again we are left with the very succinct language of Article 5.1.4 – which refers to a rate per hour.

    I wonder therefore if Red Bull might seek to argue that, as they did not use more than 100kg of fuel for the entire race, which lasted more than one and a half hours, they could not have used more than 100kg per hour. If such an argument was run and upheld, it would have the practical effect of gutting the fuel flow rate restrictions, since all the races are more than an hour and no more than 100kg of fuel may be used in any event.

    Perhaps for this reason Red Bull might consider this an unattractive argument, and seek to confine their case to using what the fuel rail data actually showed to establish that the fuel sensors were faulty and no breach of the fuel limit (whether per hour or per second) occurred.

    In any event, I hope that the appeal is held on an open basis and the evidence is made public. It will be fascinating to see what the level of fuel flow was shown by both the fuel sensor and Red Bull’s data, and how frequently the data diverged.

    1. Oops, Technical Directive not Direction.

      1. This is what it is all going to hinge on. Traditionally the teams have informally accepted TDs as part of the regulations as can be seen on many occasions such as in 2011 with off throttle blowing of diffusers. There was no question then of the legality of a TD. It is odd that Horner and RBR only now choose to question the legal standing of the TDs. It shall be interesting to see the outcome of this appeal as TD have been used as the de-facto method of the FIA to clarify the rules during a season. If these are deemed to be worthless, then this whole season will turn into a farce with the FIA been unable to issue binding clarifications on the regulations.

    2. It says that fuel flow rate shall not exceed 100 kg… That might well be how the sensor works, but that does not mean that the rules have this effect. per hour.

      You can’t reasonably argue the case that way. I see signs telling me the speed limit is 70mph, but if I’m stopped for going 100mph I can’t argue that the police didn’t sample me over a full hour. If it says kg/h it means rate, and rate can be converted to seconds or milli-seconds or years- it is still the same thing. If they had said ‘100kg in an hour’ or ‘over the time of an hour’ it could be argued. This can’t.

      I wonder therefore if Red Bull might seek to argue that, as they did not use more than 100kg of fuel for the entire race, which lasted more than one and a half hours, they could not have used more than 100kg per hour.


      1. If they had said ’100kg in an hour’ or ‘over the time of an hour’ it could be argued.

        Actually, even that wouldn’t work. It still explicitly defines it as ‘fuel flow rate‘. There is no arguing that.

      2. This!

        Thank you Sir @matt90 (and @w-k too)

        I suppose that as a team Red Bull supposed to try their best redeeming the points but pre-school argumentation like this is just embarrassing.

        Furthermore the argument about proving it by means of their own sensors and data is complete nonsense. Every sensor of any type and element has a certain tolerance and if the tolerance is +/- 5% at a limit of 100 units; obviously someone needing to stay within this limit can only accept readings of 95 units to comply. So does Red Bull expect FIA to go and test the tolerance of any sensor or system that any team want to use for each race?

        Please, I know points equate to money but this argumentation is just infuriating. You screwed up and you were very properly warned. Now bow your head and accept the terms.

      3. The rate is kg/hour, that’s what they’ll do the measurement. If they wanted to measure the fuel flow by kg/second or kg/minute, they would have.

        1. The rate is kg/hour, that’s what they’ll do the measurement. If they wanted to measure the fuel flow by kg/second or kg/minute, they would have.

          As has been said above, that argument is incorrect. It would be like saying, as the speed limit in the pit lane is 80km/h, “But we didn’t break it over an hour”.

          Even a fraction of a second spent at more than 80km/h is against the rules, just as even a fraction of a second spent at over 100kg/h is against the rules.

        2. @poul

          On the end of the day, I believe RBR does have a reasonable case. If not to argue the interpretation 100kg/h, but at least to argue the accuracy of the sensor and/or most importantly, the method and rules imposed on policing the fuel flow rate. If a sensor is potentially identified or deemed as being defective or inaccurate, and proof is presented against its accuracy, then all evidence must be considered until such time the FIA can prove that RBRs own method of measuring fuel flow rate is void. If this is done from an engineering perspective, then a regulatory compliance body must also be involved.

          1. Sorry, but how can it possibly be the responsibility of FIA to qualify any measuring method each team uses for each race? Do you even realize the cost and complexity involved? This is exactly why a meter is supplied and argument for not using it equally dodgy to the Mercedes tire test or the double difuser: “Yes, we knew exactly it wasn’t the intention of the rule but we did manage to find a small error in the phrasing that we can legally exploit.”

            It is that form of anti-sportsmanship that can win you money and championships but never ever glory! Unfortunately Red Bull has no interest in the ladder.

        3. @geemac I’m afraid that is a basic lack of understanding of what rate is. You just repeated the same comment as the original, so clearly didn’t read the comment you replied to, which discredited that idea.

          1. Is no one also considering the FIA Int’l Sporting Code, which RBR have also violated, the penalty for which alone is sufficient to see them DQ’d…

            1.3.1 Any person,  or  group  of  persons,  organising  a 
            Competition or taking part therein: 
            1.3.1.a Shall be deemed to be acquainted with the statutes 
            and regulations of the FIA and the national regulations. 

            1.3.1.b Shall undertake to submit themselves without reserve 
            to the above and to the decisions of the sporting authority 
            and to the consequences resulting therefrom. 
            1.3.2 In  case of non‐compliance with these provisions, any 
            person or group which organises a Competition or takes part 
            therein, may have the Licence which has been issued to them 
            withdrawn, and any manufacturer may be excluded from the 
            FIA Championships on a temporary or permanent basis. The
            FIA and/or the ASN will state reasons for its decisions. 

            1.3.3  If  an  Automobile is  found  not  comply  with  the 
            applicable  technical regulations,  it shall  be  no  defence  to 
            claim that no performance advantage was obtained. 

            Source: FIA

          2. @matt90

            The definition of “rate”, which I have a full understanding of, is “a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against another quantity or measure.” My point is that the FIA chose the variables, they chose another set of variables. I’m not sating you measure the flow in the manned of the OP, but the rate, i.e. the measure which is measured against another, is done constantly in Kg/hour.

          3. @joepa

            Actually, this perfectly highlights the point that Horner is making. The first line there defines the sporting code to be relating purely to the regulations, which does not include directives. The disqualification was on the basis of the car exceeding the maximum fuel flow limit, as defined in the regulations. RBR’s argument is that the sensor being used by the FIA to measure the flow rate was faulty and that they can show that they didn’t break the regulations. They clearly haven’t followed procedure as set out in the directives, but as highlighted by your own post, teams are only expected to comply with the regulations, not the directives below them.

    3. Horner’s argument seems to completely ignore 5.10.3 & 4. Why would the FIA require the fuel flow readings if not to check the cars are not exceeding both fuel requirements.

    4. I don’t think the Horner and RBR going to get away with this appeal.

      The simple reason being, Horner only able to see one point in the regulation that is “Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h (5.1.4)”.

      And he completely Ignores the following :

      All control sensors, actuators and FIA monitoring sensors will be specified and homologated by the FIA. Details of the homologation process may be found in the Appendix to the Technical Regulations. (8.2.2)

      Cars must be fitted with homologated sensors which provide all necessary signals to the FIA data logger in order to verify the requirements above are being respected. (5.2.5)

      Homologated sensors must be fitted which directly measure the pressure, the temperature and the flow of the fuel supplied to the injectors, these signals must be supplied to the FIA data logger (5.10.3 ).

      Only one homologated FIA fuel flow sensor may be fitted to the car which must be placed wholly within the fuel tank. (5.10.4 )

      Any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate after the measurement point is prohibited. (5.10.5 )

      So there is little chance for RBR, unless they can prove that by doing so they did not enhance the performance of the car (8.2.4).

      1. There isn’t any dispute that the homologated fuel sensor they fitted to the car conformed to the FIA specification (8.2.2)

        The homologated fuel sensor was fitted to the car and the signal was provieded to the FIA (5.2.5 and 5.10.3)

        There is no dispute that only one FIA fuel flow sensor was fitted and it was fitted in accordance with (5.10.4)

        There is no suggestion that Red Bull increased the flow rate after the measurement point (5.10.5). They increased the flow rate before the measurement point, all that fuel was measured, and the measurement indicated that the flow rate was too high.

        I don’t think Red Bull have a case that deserves to be upheld, but Horner is at least right insofar as none of the other regulations you quoted are relevant here.

        1. I don’t see why you think the 5.10.x para’s are not relevant. RBR failed to ask for a dispensation to use a different measuring system. Therefore the only method the FIA had to measure the flow rate etc. was the signal supplied under para 5.10.3.

          1. The rules don’t stipulate you have to make it possible to measure the flow rate accurately all of the time. They only stipulate what the flow rate must be and the equipment you must have set up. There are lots of regulatory measurements that aren’t made on every car every race weekend.

      2. unless proof is given that shows reliability issues with the FIA homologated sensors

        1. If that sensor was unreliable then why did RBR not ask to use a different method of measurement.

      3. Maarten van Berge Henegouwen (@)
        26th March 2014, 11:45

        Fully Agree with @fabf1 & @w-k)! Thanks guys.

        But/And here is another curve ball.
        – 5.10.5 states “Any device, system or procedure the purpose and/or effect of which is to increase the flow rate after the measurement point is prohibited.”.
        – all cars use fuel injection.
        – Fuel injection accumulates fuel and injects it during a split second into the engine. Thus this ‘increases the fuel rate’ when it injects it under pressure into the engine.
        – ergo: ALL cars are breaching 5.10.5 and should be disqualified!!!

      4. Cars must be fitted with homologated sensors which provide all necessary signals to the FIA data logger in order to verify the requirements above are being respected. (5.2.5)

        That only states that they had to have a sensor fitted which had to be sending data to the FIA, which it clearly was (it was the whole basis of their case, after all). It says nothing about what happens in the event of that component failing @fabf1.

        So, provided they can conclusively prove that they did not breach the fuel flow limit using their measuring device and the FIA monitor was giving faux & inconsistent readings, they have a case. As has been previously stated, a technical directive is merely the opinion of the technical delegate – and so is not concrete.

    5. 1) You should check sensor’s datasheet before making any comment mate.IT’S A FLOW SENSOR, not mass flow sensor with max flow rate of 8000 ml/min ( 1 ml = 0.001l ) All other conclusions should be based on pure math and physics taking into considerations all parameters involved, especially temperature.
      2) RBR has a history of miscalculating the amount of fuel in the tank – you remember what happened last years at Chinese GP.
      3) RBR’s conduct is insulting towards institution empowering technical regulations, they disregarded FIA’s sensor reading in favor of their own in spite of repetitive warnings. If FIA homologated Gill’s sensor – which is in my opinion the best product available – that is the law you have to obey.
      They are just the team participating in the sport, they are not the rule makers as they obviously think.

      1. β = volumetric temperature expansion coefficient

    6. I think it’s clear that RB are not going to argue that, but instead to argue that DR’s car never exceeded a fuel flow RATE of 100kg/hr.

      I also think it is clear that it should be straightforward to determine which of the fuel flow rate models (RB’s or Charlie’s) was the correct one. It’s an easy exercise in calculus to get the total fuel burn for the race using both the FIA and RB sensors. One of them will be wrong, the other right (Or at least less wrong).

      We actually know almost nothing about the Gill sensors or how the FIA is employing them. For instance, Ricciardo’s sensor was removed from his car after FP2 and a new one installed which he used in FP3 and qualifying. After he qualified second on the grid the FIA insisted he remove that new sensor and have the previous (and previously judged to be defective) sensor reinstalled in his car for the race. Isn’t that a little peculiar? Doesn’t it call for some explanation?

      There’s a great deal about the fuel flow sensors and how they are being employed by the FIA which is simply unknown at present. Unknown by the fans, and perhaps even unknown by the teams. I’m seeing a lot of people basically saying “We have to just accept whatever Charlie Whiting says” and that’s simply wrong. Hopefully these hearings, whatever the final judgement, will at least bring some transparency to a topic the FIA seems anxious to keep as murky as possible.

      1. You seem to be thinking like others that the flow rate is the average throughout the race. It is the instantaneous rate that should not exceed 100kg/hr, just like you should not be doing 60km/hr in a 50km/hr zone when the policeman zapps you with his radar measuring device for 1ms.
        You can be absolutely sure the average fuel consumption is less than 100kg/hr because the fuel tank doesn’t hold much more than 100kg and most of the races last about 1hr:40min. And that can be worked out by just about everyone as 1kg/min and therefore 60kg/hr.

  9. I think the “On This Day in F1” feature ties in well with the comment of the day.

    From the “On This Day in F1” feature:

    “The new Ferrari 640′s semi-automatic gearbox had given the team endless grief in testing and Mansell even had to pit for a replacement wheel at one point in the race.”

    From the COTD:

    F1 was once sold as the breeding grounds for new automotive technology. A lot of F1 technology pioneered in the 80s and 90s are common place in our road cars now.

    The semi-automatic gearbox is now exactly that, common place, in both F1 and sportscars/road cars. Now I am not exactly sure, seeing as I was not around in ’89, and maybe an older Fanatic can back me up, but there must have been calls for Ferrari to scrap the semi-automatic because of it’s unreliability. Now even if Ferrari did scrap it, you could still make a good case to say it was only time before someone else pioneered the way, but the fact remains that, yes there was some tough times in developing it, but it changed not only F1 but also road cars.

    The same can be said for today’s power units. In my opinion, F1 is back at the forefront of technology. Yes, the DRS and all that jazz is not ideal but this technology is essential for road car fuel economy, which is a HUGE deal. If they are running on this amount of fuel now, imagine what they will be running on in the future. I liken it to when they first introduced the new 1 engine for a whole race weekend regulation. At first I thought, are you kidding me?! Now though, they only have 5 of the things for the whole season. The race to develop is an amazing thing that only enhances the sport and the quality of real road cars.

    These power units should be embraced not scorned. The fact the some teams and organizers are saying “something needs to be done” with the noise because the fans are in an “uproar” absolutely disgusts me. Look at the statistics Keith has put together. 68% of fans think the power units sound is average or better. Where is the revolt.

    When 32% of fans are heard over this issue and yet 90% go unheard on the double points issue it seriously troubles me.

    1. I was already a F1 fanatic (not member of this site of course) in 89, although yet very young to fully understand it.
      I don’t recall any discussions about the semi-automatic gearbox, but I will agree with you since it is a normal thing in F1 when new technology was introduced, which always came with teething issues, specially back then when reliability was not so much a concern as these days. A quick look in Wikipedia article about the 640 (assuming it is fairly correct) shows that in the first half of the season was very unreliable. But it became the standard in form during the next decade…

      Talking again about the noise I think it is the media that is causing this. Some journalists and commentators have focused on this, then jokes start to appear and this becomes viral over the internet, the media focuses even more and then what it was a non-issue at first, becomes a huge thing!

    2. @sward28, if I remember correctly 3% had no opinion, they clearly were not objecting to the sound so should not be lumped in with the unhappy minority.

      1. @HoHum Good catch on the 2% with no opinion. An oversight on my part.

    3. But the semi-automatic transmission wasn’t made a requirement for all by the FIA due to some manufacturers argueing about this being “the new thing.”
      Ferrari built it, and it had to prove itself against the reliability of the standard manual transmission. It took some time, but it worked and now everybody is using it. Same with turbos. Took Renault quite a while to make them work properly. But when they worked you could see they were quicker than the N/A cars.

      This “forefront” of technology has no competition. Someone claimed this is what we need to have now and so that’s it. Who says running a 3 litre V8/10/12 without the huge weight from the extra batteries wouldn’t be quicker, more reliable, more efficient??

      I’m not against 1.6 litre engines, nor against V6 or inline-4 or whatever they come up with. But claiming that F1 needs to have these engines to stay relevant is a farce.

      1. This “forefront” of technology has no competition.

        Is Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari not competing against each other? Soon to be Honda as well. Maybe I missed something there.

        I still feel road car relevance is a must. Honda would not be coming back if we still had the V8’s. That’s not a secret. We barely could find another tire supplier if Pirelli were to pull out last year. Michelin put their hand up, but only if F1 went to 18′ wheels.

        I understand your position. I was in it for a long time. I said all the time “Why? What is wrong with the V10/V8”. It has taken me time, but I have changed my mind.

    4. When 32% of fans are heard over this issue and yet 90% go unheard on the double points issue it seriously troubles me.

      The reason for this is that a certain Mr. Bernard Charles Ecclestone is in both the 32% and the 10%.

  10. I generally agree with the COTD, but this needs clearing up.

    LMP1 and WEC were more road relevant than F1. This is probably why it has thrived over the same period where F1 has remained stale.

    Endurance racing will always be more road relevant. It will always act as a better and more diverse test station and promotion for manufacturer’s technology. Therefore manufacturers will always want to use it for that end, even if it goes through periods of mainly privateers or domination by one team. The reason it’s thriving is probably because it was bound to eventually. Sports car/endurance racing isn’t something which ever goes away. The mess, which was all the big teams leaving at the end of the 90’s and leaving a single player, created a vacuum which eventually was always going to be filled again.

    1. I agree with @matt90

    2. @matt90, Truly for many decades the Le Mans 24 was the ultimate “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” showcase, but do not forget that for most of those decades the technology seen first in F Libre and then F1 made its way into the Le Mans cars and then into road cars. The technical development race that F1 used to be was the birthplace for most of the high performance technology seen on cars until recently when F1 decided to do away with technical development.

      1. F1 has indeed happened to spawn some high-performance tech. But Le Mans still birthed a lot of technology entirely by itself, one of the most notable examples being disc brakes, as well as a lot of technology which is more akin to normal road cars. I’m not sure how much Le Mans has actually helped Audi’s understanding of diesel engines, but I expect there’s been some trickle down there, and the nature of Le Mans (and diesel engines) means that will be in far less exclusively high-performance machines. F1 by its nature tends to see road cars adopt its tech more slowly, as initially it can only be used by the most exclusive cars in the name of extreme performance.

        1. Good point and I believe it was Jaguar with disc brakes developed by Dunlop that got the win. Enzo always maintained that the engines were the most important technology, and stuck rigidly to drum brakes even though the disc brake proved to be more reliable and infinitely more effective. That’s not like Ferrari is it? (Much)

          1. Yep, they won in 1951 without them I think, then by 1953 the C-Type was fitted with discs and won again. Not sure if they were used in 1952 or not.

  11. Wow that’s some big news for F1 broadcasting in Latin America.
    Although I’m all in favor of change, I’m a bit apprehensive on this new deal, for starters I’ve never heard of Mediapro, currently their presence here is pretty much nonexistent. Which makes me think that this new 24 hour channel will be completely pay-per-view and we’ll have to pay for that on top of the basic cable service.
    And there’s lots of people who won’t be able to afford something like that, much more than in Europe and Asia I reckon.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      26th March 2014, 2:46

      @mantresx so you’re from (or in) Latin America? Where? (see my helmet to know where I’m from :P)
      FoxLA covers the programs quite well (except for a couple of times when Tornello confuses the drivers, but well, that could happen to anybody). Let’s hope this Spanish company deals with Movistar (practically the only cable company in Peru, besides the ultra-expensive DirectTV) which is also Spanish, and includes it in the normal package, instead of the boring 24-hour soccer channel GOLTV (which I’ve already deleted).

      1. @omarr-pepper I’m from Mexico, here I get Fox Sports via Sky Mexico, and for last couple of years they’ve developed a habit of putting entire sports as PPV: NBA, NFL, Baseball, even bull fights!
        The only thing missing is motor sports really, so it will be disappointing if that happens.

    2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      26th March 2014, 3:41

      unfortunatly i believe that will be the case. i follow spanish football and mediapro is always in the middle of controversy! if they get the rights itll be all pay-per-view! fox-la airs F1 since a long time ago and i really like their transmissions. i hate how they suck up to the latin drivers, but besides that they are really good… and its not pay-per-view!!!!!!

    3. Am I the only one who thinks that Fox Sports’ F1 broadcast in LA is awful? Commercial breaks while there’s racing going on is unacceptable to me. And the guys, while they seem to be nice people, just won’t shut up. They describe what we’re seeing on screen as if they were transmitting via radio. I don’t need a description of what I’m seeing, or the times that are displayed on screen read back to me. They talk over the pit radio, they can’t stay quiet for 2 seconds. Awful.

      1. @ironcito Yeah, I don’t like it either, been following Fox on and off since around 2002 when they started but they’re just not on the same level as the european broadcasters, specially when it comes to thinks like explaining technical regs, build up and post race coverage, etc.

      2. I get commercials in the race here in Indonesia and personally I’m fine with it.

      3. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        27th March 2014, 0:40

        you are right! they dont shut up and talk during the radio bits! but that doesnt bother me that much: i focus on the race and what they say is background noise to me. i guess i am thankful to be able to watch the races. even the breaks are something ive come to accept (in germany they have those breaks, too). the most stupid comment is “lets ride with XY” every time they show the angle from the car camera of driver XY…

  12. A 24-hour F1 channel? Now if they broadcast the races without commercial breaks and they get better (much, much quieter) commentators, it would be ideal. Or no commentators at all, for that matter.

    1. I have always prayed for there to be an SAP function at Fox Sports to get either English commentary or just race sounds. What I find more annoying is that they never admit being wrong, push for personal interpretations (won’t just stop trashing this year’s rules, always got a “more valid” opinion than the marshals). The highlight of any event is the on board camera, at least they stop for a second.

      1. I remember during the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup, there was a DirecTV channel with an English-speaking commentator. He spoke very little, only mentioning some interesting facts, some commentary here and there. He didn’t unnecessarily describe what you could see right on the screen. Always spoke with a calm voice instead of getting all passionate and shouting. Minutes could go by where he didn’t say a word. It was awesome. I want something like that for F1.

        1. Watching Champion League, absorbing stadium ambiance and action on the pitch while commentators are silent is priceless.

  13. Red Bull is getting a lot of flak for not following race instructions due to incorrect readings in the flow sensor. However other teams followed those instructions but not all teams were given those instructions. We have a situation where some teams are running on 100kg/hr and other teams being told to run on 96kg/hr. Is no one concerned that race results are being affected by race officials because of the inconsistency of the flow sensor. Which given that it can have 4% error it would be possible for teams to run 104kg/hr while other teams are told to run at 96kg/hr.

    1. That is exactly the problem, we don’t know anything, do you suppose that if Mercedes software told them that they were actually running at 104 Kg per hour, but the sensor the FIA said was to be the only reading that counted said it was 100 kg per hour they would complain about the discrepancy, I wouldn’t expect them to, nor would I dissapprove.

      1. There is a given allowable error, which I believe I read is under 0.5%. If that’s the case, then 100.5 kg/hour is not that big of a deal in my opinion.

    2. Love that someone else has brought up this argument for once!

      It’s an absolutely farcical situation… Mockery of the sport and how much effort is put in to maximum performance.

    3. It gives us a situation where race officials can artificially change the race. For example. Hamilton has just won 4 races in a row at a rate in which he could win the WDC with 3 races to spare. Race officials decide they would rather a close WDC so for the next few races they tell Merc the flow is incorrect could they drop the flow down 4%. Hamilton then loses the WDC by a few points because the race officials have the ability to slow down any team.

      1. This will not happen, because the FIA (now bound by the Olympic movement) is not FOM.

        If the governing body were to be found to be artificially manipulating the results of a race like this, the series would be dead in the water, just like that.

      2. No, the sensors are operated by the team. This can not happen.

    4. As I said above; sensors have tolerances. If school children were playing in the chemistry lab for the first time they might not yet understand these tolerances. If they were high school kids on the other hand, their teachers certainly would expect them to incorporate the tolerances in the results.

      As a consequence a +/- 4% tolerance (not error!) of the meter has to be incorporated in order to prove compliance.

      It’s not like the engineers don’t know this. If they knew that a flow of 100kg/h would blow the engine and were unable to measure above +/-4% tolerance you can trust your life on no team ever exceeding 96kg/h for even a micro second. The argumentation is pure exploitation.

      1. @poul
        Thanks for a breath of sense and logic on the internet.

      2. Good reminder of how things work there @poul

      3. Gill Sensors list the tolerance for their sensors at +/-0.25%. Not sure where you get 4% from but having to put in a whopping 8% fudge factor on account of a sensor would be utterly unimaginable. Of course, they also list the measurement rate as 1khz, not the 5hz that they were apparently instructed to turn it down to in order to get a reliable reading from it. Basically, a sensor which was as inaccurate and unreliable as you describe is absolutely not fit for purpose in the slightest.

        1. Could people please learn how sensors and calibration work?

          The tolerance for the sensor means that, once calibrated, readings will be accurate to +/- 0.25%. Before they are calibrated, the values output by the sensor mean nothing.

          Also, the sensor samples at 1kHz. The FIA then average the readings to get a 5Hz sample rate, to smooth the signal out.

          There are problems with the setup at the moment. But a little basic understanding of “sensors” in general will stand people in much better stead.

          1. The sensor itself can output at 100hz, so the decision to scale that down to 5hz is one made by the FIA. I’m sure they have their reasons, but we do know that they were previously reading at 10hz but then decided to scale it back to 5, presumably because it was giving erroneous readings.

            Basically, from all of this, it’s hard not to infer that the sensor can’t be functioning within the tolerences and to the accuracy described by Gill Sensors. Otherwise it would never be out by enough to cause Red Bull to simply ignore it. And by all accounts, the sensors have been problematic all through testing. This doesn’t sound like they have been functioning as expected does it?

        2. It educational to find out about the word Tolerance. We are however talking about the error with the sensor readings, as in the last week and a half of not hearing much else. If the sensor was working then this would be a non issue, but this issue persists. 4% comes from countless articles written over the past week referring to margins that a few teams were told to reduce their fuel flow for. Gill sensors may work to +/-0.25%. The real question is what is the failure rate of the sensors. If Red Bull and Mercedes had to change sensors during practice and other teams had issues during other sessions then the failure rate seems rather high. As @mazdachris points out is absolutely not fit for the purpose in the slightest. If the sensors were working correctly then we would have been reading and commenting on Renault going backwards, McLaren getting leading the championship etc, etc.

      4. It’s a sensor, a sensor is a measuring device. A measuring device has a margin of error. Tolerance is used to specify the load of a physical device. I.e. This bridge can support *kg +/-tolerance. Where as the tape measure can measure 3 meters +/- error.

        The problem is the sensor reading the data (measuring device). Not the physical flow of fuel(tolerance).

        1. What I don’t see in the discussion is the fact that the Teams themselves are responsible for packaging the sensor and that would provide an immediate variable from team to team although it has to be contained inside the fuel tank. Given that RBR have already been in trouble because of ICE packaging, it’s a not a major leap of faith to consider that perhaps, the sensor’s location and/or installation in the RB10 may have been (is) a contributory factor.

          1. It’s also completely unfounded. We don’t have any evidence to suggest that the sensor on this car was misreading because of where it was placed. We also have a history of these sensors giving pretty wild fluctuations in accuracy from one car to another; something which other teams have all had problems with through testing and through the race weekend, and something which has also been reported outside of F1 (these are used in WEC as well). We also have no evidence that the same fault occurred on Vettel’s car which would presumably also be configured in the same way.

            In fact, this feels more like you simply searching for a way to make it RBR’s fault, no matter what.

    5. As has been noted, you tolerances are way off. The sensors are accurate to +/-0.1% in 52% of cases and +/-0.25% in 92% of cases. Considering the sensors will be calibrated and selected for accuracy you can assume that the sensors given to teams are accurate to +/-0.1%.

      Accuracy of a sensor is not used as you imply either. If the reading is within the permitted range +/- the accuracy then the reading will be in compliance. E.g. if the sensor is reading 100.1 kg/h then this is within the tolerance of the sensor and so not in breach of regulations. If the reading is greater than that e.g. 100.2 kg/h then that is outside the flow limit plus the tolerance so would be in breach of the regulations. If the tolerance was 4% then readings of up to 104 kg/h would be still within tolerance and legal.

      1. The sensors are accurate to +/-0.1% in 52% of cases and +/-0.25% in 92% of cases.

        Which means that 8% of the sensors are less accurate than +/-0.25%.

        you can assume that the sensors given to teams are accurate to +/-0.1%.

        No, you really can’t assume that.

        1. You honestly don’t think the teams are cherry-picking the best sensors, on an issue as important as this?

  14. If noise is the most important thing to Mr. Walker, then he needs to skip past Indy Car and bring some NHRA drag racing to Melbourne. Much, much, much louder. Methinks he is using this issue to get a better deal from F1. Ironically enough, the noise issue has pretty much been manufactured by Bernie and is now been used as a negotiating point against him.

    This noise thing is some of the most inane, ridiculous fluff I’ve seen in nearly 50 years of following F1. In tech circles we used to refer to this tactic as FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Create FUD to divert attention from real issues. FUD much, Mr. Ecclestone?

    1. I haven’t heard the new engines “live”. Personally Loved the sound of high RPM engines from the “last” generation live. Since I’m a fan, the sound doesn’t bother me too much. Anyone remember how F1 sounded on the last turbo era? (Honest question since I only saw F1 on TV during those times). I can see regular on location audiences feeling disappointed with a less “powerful” sound. Probably GP2 sounds stronger now! It should be easily corrected tough, this sound issue. Formula E can sound loud, they can make these definitely sound louder.

      1. Paul Sainsbury
        26th March 2014, 16:28

        I remember the sound from the last turbo era, as I went to the British GP’s in 1987 and 1988. Compared with the normally aspirated engines, the turbos, despite their crazy power back then, sounded pretty pathetic, although, of course, a lot better than the current Hoovers.

    2. NHRA Top Fuel – is freaking amazing. If you able to visit this even live – do it, you wont regret it!

  15. I think I can see where Red Bull are coming from…
    They are trying to tell the FIA that their fuel flow sensor was functioning fine and that IF it does prove Ricciardo wasn’t exceeding the limit, he will get his 18 points back
    The fact that the FIA did not approve Red Bull’s sensor makes me ask why they are trying to re-qualify Dan’s ride when they are debating on a piece of engineering home-made by Red Bull, which wasn’t approved by the FIA in the first place?
    In other words, why try and re-qualify an Illegal Car?

    1. The car is legal. Red Bull didn’t follow the instructions to turn down the fuel flow. The FIA flow sensor is installed on the Red Bull.

      1. Red Bull weren’t satisfied with the FIA’s sensor at testing, so they used their own device which wasn’t approved, hence why it is an illegal car.

        1. @pezlo2013 they had the FIA fuel flow sensor in the car. But also have their own system of measuring the flow (redundant systems)
          The car was legal however the question is if it was operated outside the given parameters. since they disobeyed the stewards and a technical directive it’s most likely just about the WDC points they are arguing about – but we’ll see.

        2. no, they did not use a device instead of the homologated (and calibrated) sensor @pezlo2013, they just chose to ignore its readings because they were not satisfied those were correct.
          Instead they decided to go with a calculation of fuel flow based on the input into the engine at the injectors without getting permission from the FIA to do so.

          1. Yeah that sums it up well enough for me, @bascb I haven’t thought this through to the nth degree, and admit I haven’t read the article from Sky referenced above, but it is enough for me to read that RBR’s issue is with the wording of the reg and the fact that it doesn’t say the measurement must come from the sensor.

            A) if it is the wording of the reg or a vagueness of how the readings can be taken they have had months to clarify that with the FIA.

            B) other teams heeded the warnings and were fine, and some teams didn’t even need to be warned.

            C) they went ahead and decided they knew better than the FIA…they should have heeded their warnings and fought this fight after the fact rather than assuming they could just do their own thing and be fine.

            D) they might prove they had no advantage from their ignoring the warnings both on Saturday and Sunday, and they might prove their readings showed legal fuel flow rates, but they still ignored the FIA during the weekend and decided to form their own rule book. Again…where was the outcry about the wording of the reg from anyone, until it stung RBR in the butt?

            Such an uproar last year over Pirelli’s tire test with Mercedes, and yet they had permission from Whiting…RBR cried foul saying this was an illegal test with no permission and all teams were not consulted. So with this issue they’re suddenly fine with no permission, actually ignoring accusations of illegal flow rates by FIA standards, and no consulting with the other teams…let them bow down to the FIA…we don’t have to because we know better.

            Question to RBR: where do we draw the line in terms of how F1 operates if teams can just go ahead and do what they want in spite of literal warnings during the race weekends because they don’t like the wording of the rules?

          2. @Robbie

            What we’re talking about here though is a question of fairness. If we accept for a second that there was a discrepancy between the FIA sensor and the amount of fuel being used, then what the FIA were asking RBR to do, was to artificially reduce the performance of their car on the simple basis that the FIA are unable to accurately measure the fuel flow. Effectively, the implication of this, is that the FIA will mandate that fuel flow sensors are put on every single car, and each of those sensors will operate differently and give an inaccurate reading, some too high, some too low. And that the teams must simply accept what the sensor says, no matter what their own calibrated systems tell them otherwise.

            The FIA’s remit, other than to ensure that the races are safe, is to ensure that the competition is fair. A device which may randomly hand one team an advantage, while handing another team a disadvantage, does not fulfil this obligation. Effectively, it’s unfair to ask the teams to operate under these conditions.

            Now, also consider for a moment, that the rules simply say that the fuel flow rate must not exceed 100kg/h. There is nothing within that rule which says that the measurement must come from the FIA sensor – simply that they must adhere to the fuel flow limit. Yes, there is a directive which outlines the way which the FIA will check this metric, but let’s be very clear – a directive is absolutely NOT the same thing as a regulation. Directives are simply guidance and are not binding, especially in situations where they may be open to interpretation/objection, or are demonstrably not fit for purpose.

            If RBR’s car did not exceed the 100kg/h fuel flow limit then they definitely did NOT break the regulations, and so the disqualification is unjust, regardless whether or not other teams chose to comply with sensors which were reading erroneously, and regardless whether or not there’s a directive which basically instructs the FIA technical delegate to use that specific metric.

            To clarify – the rule is not that the reading on the FIA mandated fuel flow sensor should not read higher than 100kg/h; the rule is that the fuel flow itself must not exceed that limit.

            The issue here, the crux of it, is that the sensors don’t perform as described. Some read too high, some too low, and the failure rate is outside of the manufacturer’s specs. In this respect, this fuel flow sensor is absolutely not up to the job, and is not a reliable tool for measuring technical compliance. This is the hinge of the argument by RBR, and one which is hard to argue against given that teams have pretty much all had problems with these sensors. Hell, they’re approved for use in WEC as well, and Porsche have said they need to run more than one so that they have redundancy/reliability.

            So, fundamentally, if the tool used to measure compliance measures differently on ever car, then it cannot be considered a fair or reliable means of measuring compliance, regardless of the directives.

    2. I have a question, by how much was Ricciardo off in Australia? 4 kg/h? Thats the sensor’s tolerance, but did he go over, say, 10kg/h?

      1. That’s not the sensor’s tolerance. If you check out the specs on the Gill Sensors website, they list the accuracy should at worse be +/- 0.25% so if we go by that as the flow sensor’s accepted margin for error, the least they should be running should be around 99.75kg/hr. To be 4kg/hr down would mean that the margin for error would be an unthinkable +/-4% – basically an 8% margin for error. No sensor that inaccurate has any business being on any piece of modern machinery, let alone something as sophisticated as these engines.

        1. @mazdachris I completely take your point about the inconsistency of the sensors readings, and the unfairness of asking one team to suffer with lower flow rate while others may be getting away with higher rates.

          That said, and as it stands, RBR decided during a race weekend to draw a line in the sand and claim poor wording, or claim their method of measurement is more accurate. Fair enough…they may win their case and all teams afterwards will be dealing with more similar and consistent flow rates once that happens.

          But for the time being I have to ask where the big concern was about the wording of the rule…the method of measurement…prior to the race weekend. RBR had months to address this, and even rally the other teams around them over this issue, and seemingly didn’t.

          If it is a question of fairness, how is it fair that RBR might get away with higher flow rates in Australia because they chose to create their own rule during the weekend on how to measure flow rate, while the other teams all obeyed the FIA and therefore many may have been running with a lesser rate than RBR? How does this not open up a can of worms of teams deciding to do their own thing during race weekends because they don’t like a rule or it’s wording? While the wording may have been vague in terms of HOW the flow rate should be measured, it would seem to me that the FIA made it very clear during the weekend that it would be at the sensor, not at other places within the power unit, accurate or inconsistent or not.

          1. @robbie But fairness is absolutely essential. Otherwise why bother having regulations in the first place.

            I don’t think there’s anything I’ve read to do with them claiming some clever interpretation of the wording of the regulations. The regulation is very clear – the maximum permitted fuel flow at any point is a rate of 100kg/h. That is literally what the rule says (with caveats which prevent teams from adding more fuel after the point of measurement, etc). There is a directive which sets out how the FIA measure this, but that directive is not a binding rule and so should be subject to revision/challenge if there’s a problem with it.

            RBR will have made a very clear judgement call based on the fact that the sensor in the car was already known to be faulty. They will have based their own calculations based on the configuration of the fuel system of the car, which won’t have changed between sessions and presumably could still be demonstrated to be properly calibrated. It’s actually very logical to conclude that if there suddenly seems to be a discrepency between the fuel readings from the sensor between two different sessions, and the fuel sensor is known to be liable to fail/misread, whereas the fuel system itself has always proven robust and reliable, that the readings from the flow sensor are incorrect. They’ll probably then have looked at the data to confirm that this was the case, and concluded that they haven’t broken the rule.

            Basically, the FIA should never be int he business of punishing people for breaking a rule, when they haven’t broken the rule. No matter what the procedure for these things may be. Nor should any team be expected to suffer a performance setback simply because the FIA are unable to accurately measure compliance with their own regulations.

            The reason nobody mentioned it before now is probably simply because:

            1) Nobody expected a sensor to read so incorrectly during a race that it could cause a significant problem

            2) This was the first race of the season so nobody would have any idea how the FIA would react to being told that their sensor was reading wrong.

            I find it impossible to believe that RBR didn’t even respond to the FIA during the race to say that the sensor was faulty, so basically the FIA ignored what RBR were saying and told them to turn the fuel down anyway. RBR were then confronted with a decision they probably didn’t expect to make – either turn down the engine and suffer an unfair performance disadvantage as a result of a failed part outside of their control, or alternatively to finish the race and simply demonstrate afterwards that they didn’t exceed the flow rate and that no regulations were breached.

            The directive says that teams should follow the FIA’s fuel flow readings unless agreed otherwise by the FIA, but there’s nothing in that directive which would give teams the impression that the FIA would simply refuse to let them use alternative calculations in the event of a fault with the sensor. So in that respect, there seems to be no particular grounds to highlight a problem with the directive – the problem is actually with the FIA insisting on having the performance of the car determined by a flow sensor which had already been proven to be faulty.

            I find it pretty hard to understand why people are insisting that RBR should face punishment simply on the basis that they didn’t do what they were told, when they appear to have been told to do something which would put them at an unfair competitive disadvantage when they had done nothing wrong in the first place.

            If I go to the local Go-Kart track, it’s possible that if I’m unlucky, I’ll end up in one of the go-karts which is a bit slower than the others. This is very frustrating, when you’ve spent a hundred quid on a few hours of racing. To find yourself similarly disadvantaged when you’re spending hundreds of millions, and your performance reflects the blood sweat and tears of hundreds of mechanics, engineers, designers, and so on, must be absolutely unthinkable. And the FIA’s response of “well those are the rules, so just deal with it” seems absolutely inadequate.

          2. @mazdachris I think you raise some very valid points. And I have to agree that RBR must not have brought this up previously as they didn’t expect this kind of issue to arise, perhaps to the degree it did for them. Your point is well taken too that RBR would have been answering back to the FIA during the weekend as to why they were not going to comply, and at the same time they didn’t get agreeance from FIA to use their methods, not that the rule or guideline says either way what it would take for FIA to agree to whatever other method than the sensor a team might want to use.

            I think if I can find any hole in your valid stance it might be that RBR could not have known that by obeying the FIA they would have been at a competitive disadvantage, unless they knew what all the other teams’ readings were. I don’t know why they would assume that only they were being burdened with inconsistent readings, and it likely doesn’t bode well for them that the other teams obeyed and lived with the FIA’s requests as well as inconsistent sensors seemingly without much fuss.

            Isn’t it interesting that the other teams, at least that I am aware of, haven’t been very vocal either way on this. Nobody seems to be complaining about having to comply with the FIA’s requests in Australia, nor does there seem to be an outcry about how flow rates should be measured going forward. It feels to me like all teams will be once again going by the sensor readings in Malaysia, with perhaps only RBR doing so ‘unhappily.’ That of course is speculation on my part but as I say I don’t sense a lot of outrage over this issue, and teams agreeing that RBR has a point and that things must change in this specific aspect.

          3. @robbie

            Well the only other car we know for sure was asked to turn down the engine was Rosberg’s, and frankly it’s not a hard decision to make when you’re half a minute ahead of anyone else and not pushing very hard. You’re right that RBR wouldn’t know what other teams were getting from their sensors, but then that’s not really the issue. The rule is for the cars to use a maximum of 100kg/h fuel flow, not that the teams must broadly match each other. If other teams felt that they could live with being told to turn the engine down, then fine, that’s their decision. The flipside of course is that it’s entirely possible that there were other teams whose flow sensors were under-reading, meaning they could actually exceed the maximum fuel flow rate and enjoy a performance boost. And you can bet that no team is going to argue with that!

            The teams have all been pretty quiet over it, and I think that in itself is pretty telling. I think they’re all quietly awaiting the result of the RBR appeal before wading in on the subject. If they genuinely felt that RBR were in the wrong, then I can’t see why they wouldn’t have made a bit more fuss about it by now. In fact pretty much every team has agreed that these sensors are inconsistent, beyond the accepted tolerances, and that they’ve been problematic and unreliable all along. F1 teams are singularly insular, so I imagine no team is likely to give the issue a huge amount of attention until it affects them personally. Maybe at Malaysia it’ll be another team in the same boat as RBR. The thing that bothers me is that we have no way of knowing.

            But like I keep saying – the point is that if you’re going to use a yardstick to measure every team, you should make sure that every yardstick is the same length. To simply accept that it could be otherwise is outrageous in a professional sport.

          4. No for sure it is hard to find fault in your point about different lengths of yardstick, so it will be very interesting to see what comes from the appeal. It would appear that at least for race one the only readings FIA were willing to accept were from the sensors, inconsistent and inaccurate as they were. RBR chose to draw a line in the sand and deal with the issue in the aftermath. And no question it took the stewards a lot of time and deliberation to come to the decision they did, so as I say it will be very interesting to hear the outcome. Just for discussion sake because I don’t know the answer…if other teams were to use the same methods of measurement as RBR did, would those readings vary between teams depending on what engine they are using and all other aspects to these complex power units? Ie. is the FIA fuel sensor the only thing consistent between engine makers in terms of ways of measuring flow rates? If RBR/Renault is measuring at the fuel injectors, is Mercedes going to have the same reading at theirs? Perhaps it does matter because the rate is the rate even if different makers injectors are totally different?

          5. @robbie

            I think anything I could say would be little more than speculation. I’m guessing they’ll be using a combination of things. Bear in mind, their whole fueling system is calibrated and configured to deliver a very precise amount of fuel in response to a massive number of variables. That will all be preconfigured to deliver the right amount of fuel and no more, so up to the mandated fuel limit. The way this is controlled is very complex, but most likely it’ll include factors such as injector pulse timing/duration, rpm, fuel rail pressure, lambda (exhaust gas) readings, turbo pressure, and so on. What I think we can infer is that the FIA fuel flow sensor does not form part of this equation, otherwise the fuelling would automatically be reduced by the ECU in response to its readings. So in that respect, the fuelling is always being calculated using different methods anyway, and the FIA sensor is simply there to allow the FIA to measure its compliance. I could be wrong about this of course, and we have no concrete information as to how it is integrated into the car’s systems.

            Although you’re right in saying that each engine will be different, the ECU is the same for all so I would expect the fuel calibration to be broadly similar for each team, though obviously with subtle variations. None of this is at all revolutionary (most of the complex stuff is in the MGU-k and MGU-h and the associated systems), and will work pretty much like any other turbocharged petrol engine, so I’d be surprised if there was any wizardry going on which would be hard for an engineer to understand.

            Basically, the whole fuel system on the RB10 needs to be thought of as a precalibrated system designed specifically not to break the rule for fuel flow. It must be possible to calibrate it to a reasonable tolerance, though perhaps not the <1% tolerance that the sensor is allegedly capable of. But this whole system is determined by a large number of inputs, and it would require either a manual intervention to make this perform differently (i.e. deliberately recalibrated/reprogrammed by RBR to use more fuel) or for there to be a failure of one or more of the components used in that system which would give an erroneous reading and deliver too much fuel. If the latter was the case, then the engine wouldn't be running correctly, and the car would lose power. So either RBR deliberately recalibrated their fuel system between sessions, or the flow sensor which we already knew was faulty, was giving poor readings. RBR's case will hinge on this; the fuel system in the car was performing perfectly for the whole weekend and I'm sure the McLaren ECU is designed in such a way that it's not possible to tamper with the program without leaving a data trail. So if the fuel system was working correctly, no parts of it broke, and RBR can show that they didn't tamper with it, then there's no reason to think that it would suddenly start delivering a higher flow rate than the one it was designed to deliver.

          6. @mazdachris Fair comment. One thing for sure is that even though you are speculating, you’ve got more of a technical handle on this issue than I.

  16. The show is suffering is the argument but the fastest cars at the Le Mans 24 Hours of recent years have also been the quietest – the diesel-hybrids of Audi – and that race’s popularity is only growing.

    This is the key quote of the day for me. WEC is undergoing a resurgence in popularity and they have been running relatively quiet powertrains in LMP1 for years now, not a soul is complaining about lack of noise in that series. The F1 noise naysayers (who really only seem to be Bernie, a few of his well heeled mates and a group of fickle fans) really need to get over this now.

    1. It was nice to see so many never fans comment on Keiths piece doing the race report from Brazil ’94, that they hadn’t realised that at the time F1 was far from being as loud as it has been with the V8s/V10s in the last decade @geemac.

      To me its fascinating to see these cars get more out of the energy they have, and for F1, I really like to see the cars are harder to control now, because it makes the driver stand out more when they have to think where they can apply the throttle.

      1. @bascb, So now F1 can claim to have kinetic, thermal and aural energy recovery systems.

    2. @geemac Even though there were a few critics of the Audi’s when they were first introduced, I broadly agree with you. And I certainly agree with @bascb concerning the absolute joy of seeing a driver having to control a car which doesn’t look as though it’s on rails.
      I *do* wonder if Bernie (and one or two other) is just unable to accept change that he has not proposed himself (It looks a little like the dinosaur mentality that the Indy 500 people displayed in the ‘Offenhauser and front engine’ days) and I also wonder if this is part of a power struggle for the soul of F1 between FOM and the FIA.

  17. Gary Hartstein is disputing the angle which has been put on his comments, though here he is referring to a different but similar article:

  18. I think putting all focus on the (lack of) engine sound, when discussing the new formula, is wrong. A more relevant question should be regarding the racing aspect.
    “How do you like the fact that the driver of the new formula will have to “lift off and coast” a significant part of the lap, on many laps of the race, in order to SAVE FUEL to make it to the checkered flag?”.

    1. To be honest, will you notice? Such a line of thinking ignores the fact that most teams have been doing this since 2010 because the lack of refuelling has meant all the cars have been fuelled as slightly as possible to eek out 1-2 ms advantage. The only reason you didn’t really hear the lift & coast was because of the general engine noise, even at idle.

  19. I think the fan revolt is much more worrying than first thought. The f1f shows that enthusiasts are split but people with less praise for the spport are bound to see the lack of “wow” as a deal breaker and forget f1. What this tells us is that f1 needs its particularities to address new fans, making the argument that people needed to be fooled by the engine capacity and layout to be drawn to f1 the opposite of reality. Nevertheless from a fan point of view f1 is better now for some reasons but its acceptable that the viewership is lacking interest what’s not acceptable is for ron walker to use the sound as a barganing chip considering the Uncertanty and support they’ve had throughout the years.

    1. people with less praise for the spport are bound to see the lack of “wow” as a deal breaker and forget f1.

      But there’s still a significant amount of ‘wow’. It’s just not all concentrated around your ear drums anymore.

  20. I believe that Ron Walker’s outrage is just a load of nonsense. If someone wants to sue F1 for not being loud enough, then you’re welcome to go on, the court will have a good laugh.

    This whole debate reminds me of what we had after the 2010 Bahrain GP. After one dull race there were people, who called for a revolution and turning back time to the 1970s. Then a few exciting races followed but some people still claimed that F1 was “broken”. Then we saw one of the best seasons ever. It made the rule makers decide that F1 needed DRS to prevent the sport from a total collapse.

    You could say the same thing about changes to the points system since 2002. After Schumacher (God bless him!) clinched his fifth title on July 21, the points system became bad and had to be changed to make the difference between the first and the other places less significant. After several down-to-the-wire championships it turned out that winning had to be rewarded (again). Then Vettel wiped the floor with his competitors last year and double points were suddenly the way to go even though F1 had survived the previous 64 years without even thinking about such obscenities.

    Seriously, there is nothing wrong about having a healthy debate and I’m glad to read the thoughtful comments on F1 Fanatic but F1 has to be run by grown-ups, who should make mature and reasonable decisions.

  21. Several readers have posted long lists of issues with the current F1 regulations. To me the main problem is that FIA seems to be in a state of “over fixing” which has produced multiple solutions to the same problems; consequently creating a non-transparent mess that again is most likely to repel the casual viewer.

    – DRS / ERS:
    Two completely different systems but with the same intent and effect: a boost to the speed or acceleration. As most here I disagree with DRS and especially in combination with the more powerful ERS system of this year. ERS is great because it is always equal for all and has a very strategic element as well. But how is the casual viewer expected to understand which “overtake” button is pressed when?

    – Degrading tires / fuel saving:
    Again I disagree that racing shouldn’t be about pushing to the max but I also accept that these factors provide strategic elements and at least the fuel part has manufacturer/road relevance. But why do we need two factors of the same effect? Of course; the drivers can save on both at the same time but even for the seasoned viewer it will be hard to convey which one is the the determining factor unless the radio messages directly states it.

    – Smaller turbo engine / lower revs:
    Though it obviously dampens the sound I think the turbos are the correct way to go as far as keeping manufacturers interested. Indeed the bonus of the added torque is a welcome new element. But why did FIA need to limit the revs so significantly at the same time? I doubt that the actual decibel levels are the main sound problem but much rather the pitch; the lack of the hair raising drama from the high pitch squeal which is not even related to cylinder count or volume.

    – Reduced down-force / double points bonanza:
    You might not immediately see these as two sides of the same coin but I will argue that both have originated from the same issue: One certain team being too dominant in the aero department and consequently as a whole. Reduced down force could also be coupled with DRS in this argumentation and a lot of us have been hoping for a reduction in down force for a long time. We finally see things going in the right direction, only to get our beloved sport ridiculed by the travesty of the hyper irrational double points bogus coincidence finale!

    You can probably find more double fixes than mentioned here but my main point is just that even though I appreciate FIA being somewhat more proactive than in the past, it is lacking the clear vision and proper leadership to focus in detail on each issue at hand as well as the determination and clarity of the goal at hand to get things solved right before moving on to something else.

    I always loved racing for being a pure sport with the clear goal of taking the checkered flag first. Though I also love the technical complexity of F1 it shouldn’t effect the beautiful simplicity of what racing was supposed to be in the first place and unfortunately F1 anno 2014 is nothing short of a mess.

    1. – DRS / ERS:
      Two completely different systems but with the same intent and effect: a boost to the speed or acceleration. As most here I disagree with DRS and especially in combination with the more powerful ERS system of this year. ERS is great because it is always equal for all and has a very strategic element as well. But how is the casual viewer expected to understand which “overtake” button is pressed when?

      *BZZT* No, they’re completely different beasts. DRS came about as a response to driver-controlled rear-wing stalling, pioneered by McLaren – they knew that they couldn’t make the engineers ‘unlearn’ that it worked, so they made it a limited-use driver tool. The trade off was they also lost their adjustable front wing.
      ERS (under the guise of KERS) was a push-to-pass tool, but that was to make sure teams used & developed it. First-gen KERS came with a weight/balance trade-off. It’s been getting smaller ever since. New ERS is completely passive – the ECU/PU uses it to seemlessly increase fuel economy.

      Again I disagree that racing shouldn’t be about pushing to the max but I also accept that these factors provide strategic elements and at least the fuel part has manufacturer/road relevance. But why do we need two factors of the same effect? Of course; the drivers can save on both at the same time but even for the seasoned viewer it will be hard to convey which one is the the determining factor unless the radio messages directly states it.

      The tyres *are* a ‘for show’ thing. The idea hit the drawing board following Canada 2010. Pirelli are in the CRH’s pocket, although the FIA handled the tender. If it was about road-relevance, we’d have Michellin’s low-profile ‘slick wets’.

      – Smaller turbo engine / lower revs:
      Though it obviously dampens the sound I think the turbos are the correct way to go as far as keeping manufacturers interested. Indeed the bonus of the added torque is a welcome new element. But why did FIA need to limit the revs so significantly at the same time? I doubt that the actual decibel levels are the main sound problem but much rather the pitch; the lack of the hair raising drama from the high pitch squeal which is not even related to cylinder count or volume.

      Lower revolutions are part of the road-relevance campaign – the higher an engine revs, the more stress is put on it, the more noise it makes and (generally) the less reliable it is. Naturally aspirated engines develop most of their power at higher revs, which explains why the previous engines screamed – it also shows how good they were, given they were basically bulletproof.
      The turbo engines probably will make a lot of noise if they ever hit their 15k RPM (don’t forget, it’s still twice as fast as the majority of road engines at redline) but the MO will be short-shifting because all the power is delivered lower down the range, meaning running to the limiter is just wasting fuel.

      – Reduced down-force / double points bonanza:
      You might not immediately see these as two sides of the same coin but I will argue that both have originated from the same issue: One certain team being too dominant in the aero department and consequently as a whole. Reduced down force could also be coupled with DRS in this argumentation and a lot of us have been hoping for a reduction in down force for a long time. We finally see things going in the right direction, only to get our beloved sport ridiculed by the travesty of the hyper irrational double points bogus coincidence finale!

      The reduction in downforce is not (just) about defeating one team, but about several things.
      1 – Slowing the cars down: cornering speeds are once again too high (and they always are towards the end of a regulation period because the engineers understand the cars so well)
      2 – Reducing costs: limiting aero development prevents teams entering into an arms race, spending millions on tiny iterations of the same wing.
      3 – Road/Eco Relevance: Most road cars don’t derive their performance purely from aero aids. One engine manufacturer (driven by one team) basically made a mockery of any efficiency by running their engine with the throttle open, even when the car was under braking, to derive aero performance. The other manufacturers followed suit.

      Double Points is just a massive overeaction to a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

      Food for thought – Red Bull probably wouldn’t have dominated 2013 if the new engine spec hadn’t been delayed into 2014 through lobbying.

      1. but the MO will be short-shifting because all the power is delivered lower down the range

        Is that correct? I’m not challenging your knowledge, just interested to understand.

        1. @timothykatz, the fuel flow regulation,which you may have heard something about restricts max fuel flow to a rate of 100kgph and that flow rate is to occur at 10,000 or 10,500 rpm (to many changes to keep up with) so, as the maximum amount of fuel is being burnt at around 10,000 rpm no additional power is gained by exceeding that rpm but friction loss and engine stress do increase.

      2. @Otimaximal Thanks, but I certainly never compared DRS and ERS technically, yet the effect is easily comparable.

        The problem with “foam” tires as a show thing is that FIA clearly missed the definition of a good racing show when the idea was derived.

        Surely the lower revs have better road relevance as do the 1.6 turbos in the first place. However, we will probably never see a 1.6 V6 in any real mass production vehicle anyway. The trend is towards less and less cylinders. As for the turbo it can be designed to work in whichever rev range is desired and the first turbos didn’t kick in until they reached a certain rev count. Even now the revs are beyond (non-exotic) road relevance and since a road car engine is expected to last a little bit longer than an F1 engine I doubt that higher rev limits would destroy manufacturer interest if it greatly enhanced the show. @hohum I completely agree that the rev limit can not be raised without a total re-design most likely not happen because it will extremely difficult and expensive but my point is that they could have set with a higher limit from the outset and lowered it from there if needed.

        I agree (and @jerseyf1 is also making this point) that there are many reasons to reduce aero and that it has been expected for a long time but you could argue that might have been extended due to single team dominance.

    2. @poul The point I would disagree on is that reduced down-force is intended as a fix to single team dominance. Plans to cut downforce predate any Red Bull championships and are a factor every time regulations are updated because of the ability of engineers to constantly find more downforce.

      That said I still disagree with double points, I just don’t see if as the same issue.

  22. Today is Didier Pironi & Elio de Angelis birthday..

  23. The sound of the new engines is not down solely to the arrangement of the cylinders. I mean Indycar uses V6 engines and they have a “proper” engine noise.

    1. Indycar = 2.2Ltrs, Twin-Turbo’s (Although manufacturers can run a single as Honda did in 2012/13) with 2 exhaust exits out the top of the sidepods.
      F1 = 1.6Ltrs, Single (Big) turbo with a single central exhaust exit out the back of the engine cover.

      Believe the reason F1 went with 1.6Ltr engines is because of all the energy recovery systems.
      F1 went with the single turbo with the single exhaust exit where it is to get rid of all the exhaust blowing & the using of exhaust gasses to give extra downforce as we have seen the past few years.

      Been a spec series Indycar didn’t have to worry about the exhaust blowing & all that as everyone is running the same exhaust layout & rear bodywork so there’s no advantage to it.

    2. Indycars generally run with two tailpipes, which means the harmonics will always be different, but the main reason for F1 cars sounding so quiet is the turbo is absorbing a lot of the exhaust energy, meaning less sound escapes (and it’s slower when it leaves too).

  24. One question on the fuel consumption fiasco that i haven’t seen answered anywhere – Did Vettel’s car also have a RedBull sensor installed or was it just on Ricciardo’s? And if not, was that because they were satisfied that Vettel’s sensor was giving an accurate reading?

    1. @keithedin

      Did Vettel’s car also have a RedBull sensor installed or was it just on Ricciardo’s?

      As far as I am aware, there is no “RedBull sensor”. Red Bull used their own data from the engine control electronics, like fuel injector timings. From these the teams can (and do, or even must) calculate how much fuel is going in in order to get the best out of the engine. It is accurate, but pretty useless in terms of the FIA controlling the flow rate, as there are far too many variables involved, making it possible for a team to cheat.

    2. @keithedin it’s not about the sensor installed, it’s about the rate of fuel flow during the race and Vettel’s race may not have lasted long enough for the issue to arise.

      1. Well Redbull have some way of measuring the fuel flow without using the FIA approved sensor, since their defence hinges on being able to prove they never broke the 100kg/hr rule. So whatever method they are using, i was wondering if they also used it on Vettel’s car.

        You are right that the issue never came up for him, but i was curious anyway.

        1. It seems to be a common mistake people are making. Red Bull didn’t have some alternative device fitted to the car, like a different fuel flow sensor. They have made calculations from other systems on the car, most likely from the fuel pressure, injector pulse timing/duration, and so on, which should all have a decent fidelity and be a relatively accurate measurement of how much fuel is being used.

          The issue is that they believe that during the race, the FIA fuel flow sensor on Ricciardos car wasn’t functioning properly and was giving a higher reading that it should have done, outside of the accepted tolerance of the sensor. They came to this belief because the readings coming from the FIA sensor didn’t match their own observations on fuel flow as described above, and since the sensor had already proven to be faulty through previous sessions, it seemed like a pretty fair assumption that it was the sensor itself which was at fault.

          I’m glad they took the decision to push on and then fight it afterwards when the car was DSQ. Because basically what we have here is a challenge which posits that the mandated FIA fuel flow sensor is not accurate/reliable enough to be used as the sole metric for checking compliance with the rules. If RBR can prove that the sensor was wrong, then the implications are pretty big, as it’ll mean that in future either a different technical solution will need to be found, or we will see a lot of teams disputing the readings the FIA are using.

          1. Fair enough, guess that would explain why i haven’t seen Vettel’s car discussed. But i agree it’s good that this issue came up in the first race so that hopefully a solution is found quickly and we have no further disputes on this (resolving during testing would be better ofc) . I’m sure they will find other contentious issues during the year ;)

          2. It would never have been resolved during testing because the Renault cars did not do enough running at full performance to generate sufficient data on their engine performance at various flow rates.

            We don’t actually know if there’s a fuel consumption issue with the Renault engines, nor do we know if the Renault is slightly down on power for the given fuel flow mandated by the regulations – we (nor Renault/the teams) probably won’t get an accurate picture for a few races.

  25. Next poll: do you feel like Bernie is listening to your concerns and speaking for you?

    1. Haha, sums it up ;)

  26. I really wish Gary Hartstein would go away and keep quiet about everything. Twitter has made him way more vocal than he should be.

  27. I don’t care about the politics of double points and drs etc. They are set in stone&i like the innovation& i like the incentive of double points. F1 is brilliant however any fan who has ever been at a race knows that wen the pack of v8 or v10 powered cars passes u in the grand stand it was an experience u cannot replicate.You felt all that power tingling on ur body and shaking ur teeth then u heard it propperly as it passed like a mini concord. Im lucky to have experienced this. The tv car noise is not the same, the noise of the car comes via a digital sound system.It never replicated the v8’s or v10’s well at all. I feel sorry for every person who has been robbed of that spectacular feeling the first time u hear all the cars at high revs in ur life.
    They can make a v6 noisy so easily and increase the revs a bit.
    2014 the year of 15,000revs&QUIET f1 cars! WHY? Its noise not pollution&its once per year at any track. Bernie is correct to be annoyed and the ozzy’s are not happy.The guy sed no contract has been signed to race at albert park nxt year. Something has to and will change. Its one of the worlds biggest sporting events (an f1 season) look at the world cup and olympics they are every four years. An f1 season is every year and just as globally successful and well known as football or the olympics.
    I just want thunderous noise as duz mrB
    It’s part of the spectacle. We’ve been robbed.

  28. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for winning the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award

  29. Here’s a partial list of things we’d don’t know about the fuel flow sensors. I don’t claim it’s complete, feel free to add your own.

    1) There are reports that Gill offers only a 30 day warranty on each sensor. Is this true? If it is, are the sensors being replaced by the FIA every 30 days?

    2) What is the claimed degree of accuracy for the sensors being installed in the cars? If it is really 0.1% as some sources say than there should be no reason to apply “offsets” to any of them.

    3) We’ve heard that some (but not all) sensors are having an “offset” applied to them which supposedly brings their readings “into compliance”. This raises the question of what outside standard of measurement is being used to calculate the “offset” and to determine the accuracy of the sensors.

    4) According to Whiting: “We know, for example, what the fuel used at the end of lap 24 was. And that will be the starting point for our new calculation.”

    That claim implies an FIA process very, very different from simply installing a Gill fuel flow sensor before the race and accepting its readings as final. It says that the FIA are constantly making “new calculations” throughout the race to try to determine if the sensors are accurate or not. As with the “offsets” this again suggests that the FIA have recourse to some other method of measurement outside of the sensors themselves which is used to determine sensor accuracy during the course of the race. What is that method?

    I’ll append an observation to these questions. It’s hard not to suspect that the FIA are using the teams own internal fuel flow data to calibrate the FIA fuel flow sensors.

    1. Gill offer a 30-day window where they say the sensor will maintain it’s compliance with their advised tolerance (which I – it can probably be returned for recalibration or tuning. The specsheet for the sensor (here) says the following:

      52% of meters are within ± 0.1% accuracy
      of reading
      92% of meters are within ± 0.25% accuracy
      of reading

      I don’t think there’s enough public information about what factors can cause it to run outside of tolerance, but all sensing devices, specifically passive ones, can only be so accurate.

  30. This is a good idea!

  31. I’m not sure I really understand al the worthy and intelligent argument about flow rates and the sensor’s ‘margins of error’ that have been argued and quoted here. But to my simple mind, the argument seems to be condensed down to the FIA saying “Don’t allow your engines to do that” and Red Bull saying “It’s legal; we know better”.
    Doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, because the FIA are the bosses and they will have their revenge.
    Next, the big question is what Red Bull will do this weekend. Knowing that their appeal is still way ahead, and knowing that several teams could put them at a serious disadvantage if Red Bull stick two fingers up to the FIA again . . . will they toe whatever line the FIA draw, or will they blow raspberries and rush ahead?
    Fun. Let’s watch and see.

    1. @timothykatz The sensible thing to do would be to comply for the next two races until the appeal is heard and a decision made – I’d imagine if they were seen to run against the rules (after being caught and publicly outed once already) the cars will be black flagged or similarly penalised and the appeal would be thrown out.

      If it keeps happening, the team could even be disqualified from the championship.

      1. @optimaximal Yes, that would be the *sensible* thing to do. But it rather depends on whether head or heart is making the decisions at Red Bull. In a way, I’d like them to carry on insisting they are right, so that we can carry on watching the fun.

        1. @timothykatz Then further decry the situation when they’re excluded from 2-3 further races?

        2. This is making the assumption that they will once again be provided with a faulty fuel flow sensor by the FIA. Given that it should be pretty random which car ends up with a bad one and which ends up with a good one, I would think it would be pretty unlikely that they’ll have the same issue again. So probably they won’t have to make the same decision again. Someone else may do though.

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