• Australian GP

Red Bull slams accuracy of FIA fuel flow sensors

ESPN Staff
March 16, 2014 « Ricciardo disqualified from Australian Grand Prix | Aussie organisers consider suing for lack of sexiness »
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Following Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix for exceeding the maximum fuel flow rate during the race, Red Bull has slammed the FIA's fuel sensors for providing inaccurate readings.

Five hours after crossing the line in second place, Ricciardo was disqualified from the race by the stewards of the meeting for exceeding the fuel flow rate of 100kg per hour. Red Bull is set to appeal the decision on the grounds that it ran within the fuel flow rate according to its own measurements, but that the FIA sensor was providing incorrect readings.

There were discrepancies between the readings of the team and the sensor during Friday practice and the FIA gave the team an offset to work to, but Horner believes that running to that offset would have made the car uncompetitive.

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

Asked about the FIA's warning that the car was exceeding the fuel flow rate, Horner said: "They informed us [during the race], but we informed them we had serious concerns over their sensor. We believed in our readings, otherwise we faced a situation where we would have been reducing significant amounts of power into the engine when we believed we fully complied with the regulations.

"It is immature technology, so it's impossible to rely 100% on that sensor which has proven to be problematic in almost every session we have run in. So it's surprising this stance has been taken."

Horner is confident his team's appeal will be successful.

"These fuel-flow sensors that have been fitted by the FIA have proved problematic throughout the pit lane since the start of testing. There have been discrepancies in them, even unreliable, and I think some cars may well have run without them during the race itself, or even failed during the race itself. We had a fuel flow sensor fitted to the car that we believe to be in error.

"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. I don't believe it's the fault of the team. I believe we have been compliant with the rules and the documents and investigation that will be submitted within the appeal will demonstrate that."

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