Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014

Stewards detail reasons for Ricciardo’s disqualification

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Following Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from second place in the Australian Grand Prix the FIA stewards issued the following explanation for their decision:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Both.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Clearly I was not paying enough attention

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

        1. on certain highways in germany you are :P

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1. I don’t get this either.

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

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

          2. These are 2 different things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      More here:

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

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

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

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

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

    6. @fluxsource @gwenouille @matt90 @davidnotcoulthard

      Thank you all for clarifying. Really appreciate it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1. well said, mate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Your conspiracy theory is absurd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1. no it wouldn’t.

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

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

          Its simple mathematics.

          1. Not as simple as you think, clearly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          7. @neuro, that was my thinking too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1. Brilliant!
          Well said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. knoxploration
      16th March 2014, 13:26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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