F1: Raging Red Bull refuse to go with flow as Daniel Ricciardo loses Australian Grand Prix podium place over fuel meters

It’s certainly no fault of Daniel’s. And I don’t believe it’s the fault of the team

Melbourne

“Grand Farce”, trumpeted Melbourne’s Herald Sun yesterday, summarising exactly what Australia thought of the exclusion of big-smiling local boy Daniel Ricciardo from the first podium position ever won by an Australian in his home grand prix.

The Red Bull driver had not been able to hold a candle to Nico Rosberg’s winning Mercedes. But surprisingly his car had been transformed from a pig in testing to a silk purse in the race as he beat McLaren’s impressive rookie Kevin Magnussen to second place until – nearly six hours later – he fell foul of the race stewards.  

This year, each car’s fuel allowance per race has been slashed and is monitored by FIA-supplied flow meters. But instead of being heralded as a great step in making the sport more relevant to everyday road cars, the Ricciardo incident brought to public attention problems that have afflicted the meters since winter testing began in January.

The FIA found that the Red Bull had consistently exceeded the legal flow rate, and the fun began. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who lodged an immediate appeal, declared: “These fuel flow sensors have proved problematic throughout the pit lane since the start of testing. There have been discrepancies in them and I think some cars may well have run without them during the race itself, or even failed during it. We had a fuel flow sensor fitted to the car that we believe to be in error.

“We had an issue with a sensor that changed its reading through Friday practice. It was replaced on Saturday, but failed during qualifying. We were then asked to put the sensor from Friday back in the car, which we didn’t feel was correct.

“As we got into the race we could see a significant discrepancy between what the sensor was reading and what our fuel flow, the actual injection of fuel into the engine, was stating. That is where there’s a difference of opinion.

“We wouldn’t be appealing if we weren’t extremely confident we have a defendable case. It’s just extremely disappointing this has happened. It’s certainly no fault of Daniel’s. And I don’t believe it’s the fault of the team.”

However, the FIA’s race director Charlie Whiting countered that Red Bull were warned twice about their fuel flow after qualifying, and again five laps into the race, but chose to ignore it.

“Regardless of the team’s assertion that the sensor was at fault, it is not within their discretion to run a different fuel-flow measurement model without the permission of the FIA,” an official statement said.

F1 had a golden opportunity to showcase the successful inauguration of its new-look ecological formula, with its lean, mean and green 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid engines. Instead it ended up shooting itself in the foot.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk