Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Singapore, 2019

Ricciardo excluded from qualifying for MGU-K rules breach

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo has been excluded from the results of qualifying for contravening the rules governing his MGU-K.

The Renault driver is now expected to start the race from the back of the grid. Ricciardo originally qualified eighth, a position which will now be taken by his team mate Nico Hulkenberg.

The stewards subsequently confirmed Ricciardo will be allowed to start the race despite being disqualified from the qualifying results.

Stewards’ explanation for Ricciardo’s exclusion

It was established in the hearing, beyond any doubt in the opinion of the stewards, that the competitor exceeded the MGU-K power flow limit permitted under Appendix 3, per Article 5.2.2 of the 2019 Formula One Technical Regulations. The method by which this limit is regulated is well known and understood by the teams. Neither the fact that the car had exceeded the limit nor the methodology by which it is policed was disputed by the team.

The team’s defence rested on two points. First, that the excess was very small and offered no measurable benefit. Second, that the excess occurred during the second fastest lap during Q1. The team explained to the stewards how they believe the excess occurred, however the stewards consider this information to be confidential to the team, and not relevant to this decision.

Notwithstanding the team’s arguments, the stewards take note of the very clear wording of Article 1.2.2 ISC, which states that “If an Automobile is found not to comply with the applicable technical regulations, it shall be no defense to claim that no performance advantage was obtained”. In coming to this decision the stewards referred to longstanding precedents regarding technical infringements and the penalty which has been consistently applied is disqualification, and which does not consider when or if an advantage was gained. This principle has been very clearly affirmed by the International Court of Appeal.

The stewards therefore order car three [Daniel Ricciardo] disqualified from the results of Qualifying.

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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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13 comments on “Ricciardo excluded from qualifying for MGU-K rules breach”

  1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    21st September 2019, 20:11

    Well … plenty to look forward to in tomorrow’s race:
    – Can LEC convert pole into the win? I believe his main threat will come from HAM and possibly VER (I predict a HAM win)
    – RIC going from last to ?
    – Very likely chance of a safety car with so many corners, close walls, and immense concentration for 2hours.

  2. I could see this coming, so no surprise in the end.

    1. Furthermore: Yes, the penalty might be harsh, but the rules are the rules, so as long as a certain rule exists, it has to be applied the right way and in a fair manner to all participants. For the future, it can be altered if everyone wants, but that at present, it is what it is, so the right decision by the letter of the law no matter how harsh. The downside is that Renault’s chances to overhaul Mclaren in this race are lower now than they would be with the provisional grid, but a plus for Alex Albon since he’s tied on points with Ricciardo at the moment, LOL.

      1. You know whats funny is red bull have to give max a faster set up just to beat a rookie and gasly

        1. Yea funny. I heard they gave Gasly a faster setup to give him some confidence in Germany. And they did te same with Albon in Italy.

      2. ‘But at present’

  3. Being DSQ from qualifying, can he start on any tyre he wants.?
    Part of me says he is stuck with the Q2 Softs, but I would rather see him have the opportunity for New What-Evers.
    Unfortunate, but could be something to enjoy in the race.
    With the right strategy (translation, optimal call on the safety car deployment) and a bunch of luck, he could get into the top 10.
    Should be fun.

    1. @rekibsn No, he still has to start on the set he used for his PB Q2-lap.

      1. I would seriously doubt that. He was disqualified from qualifying all together meaning it never happened. I believe he can start on any rubber he likes.

        1. @nick101 The Q2-tyre rule only gets nullified if a driver who qualified in the top-ten starts from the pit-exit due to a monocoque (chassis) change. A pit lane-start should automatically cancel this particular rule regardless of the reason, though, but that is how it is at present. Dropping to the back of the grid from the top-ten doesn’t nullify that rule to my knowledge.

  4. This reminds me of 1999 Malaysian GP farce:
    More importantly, where had this ‘5mm tolerance’ come from? As a leading designer told me, it was mentioned nowhere in the regulations, save the one dealing with the car’s flat bottom. “It’s virtually impossible to build a completely flat ‘flat bottom’,” he said, “which is why that tolerance is allowed. But with regard to any other specified dimensions – including bargeboards – there is no mention of any tolerance at all. Our understanding has always been that if we have, say, a rear wing that’s .001 of a centimetre too high, we’re out. “Now, however, it appears that this tolerance appertains across the board, and if that’s the case, we need clarification of the point, because quite obviously we’ve been building and racing our cars too conservatively, so as to be absolutely certain of not being the tiniest fraction outside the rules…”

  5. The FIA’s F1 2019 Technical Regulations can be found here.
    As I understand Regulation 5.2.2 (PDF page 38), it refers you to Appendix 3 (PDF page 111), which is a schematic power flow diagram. According to that diagram there is a maximum of 2 MJ (megajoules) of MGU-K derived energy that’s allowed to be added to the Energy Store (presumably a battery) per lap, while there’s a maximum discharge to the MGU-K of 4 MJ per lap.
    The schematic also includes a phrase “Max. +/- 120 kW”. I think that means the maximum rate of discharge via the MGU-K mustn’t exceed 120 kilowatts (163.2 horsepower). My guess is this is what the Stewards were referring to when they said “…the competitor exceeded the MGU-K power flow limit permitted…”, but maybe they’re saying Ricciardo’s car used more than 4 MJ of energy in the course of that lap.

  6. Incredible how f1 can actually write spotlessly, begs the question why can’t they always write like this.

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