The FIA’s International Court of Appeal has denied Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull from the results of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix over a breach of the fuel flow rate regulations.

Ricciardo finished second in the race, but the stewards disqualified his RB10 for “consistently” surpassing the fuel flow rate of 100kg/h, after Red Bull went against a technical directive and used its own measurement device.

In court, Red Bull said the relevant technical directive, entitled ‘TD/016-14′, was not regulatory, thus claiming that it could not have acted illegally by brushing aside the FIA’s persistent requests to reduce its fuel flow rate.

Mercedes, Lotus, McLaren, Force India and Williams also sent representatives to the one-day appeal, while Race Director Charlie Whiting and head of powertrains Fabrice Lom attended for the governing body.

After the arguments of all parties were heard, the judging panel, led by Harry Dujim, along with Rui Botica Santos, Philippe Narmino, Antoniio Rigozzi and Jan Stovicek, chose to uphold the stewards’ original decision.

“The Court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided to uphold the Decision    N°56 of the Stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s car N°3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix,” read an FIA statement, which added that a full report will come later this week.

Red Bull says it “accepts” the decision of the International Court of Appeal to uphold Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix, and says it will “move on” ahead of this weekend’s Chinese event.

Despite claims that it did not break the regulations, the World Champion squad ultimately lost its appeal.

“Infiniti Red Bull Racing accepts the ruling of the International Court of Appeal today,” read a team statement.

“We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn’t think we had a very strong case. We always believed we adhered to the technical regulations throughout the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. We are sorry for Daniel (Ricciardo) that he will not be awarded the 18 points from the event, which we think he deserved. We will continue to work very hard to amass as many points as possible for the team, Daniel and Sebastian (Vettel) throughout the season.

“We will now move on from this and concentrate on this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.”

The decision places the Australian 10th in the championship standings, while the Red Bull team occupies fourth.


Hi, I have been a Formula 1 fanatic since 1987 when my family took me to the Adelaide GP. I now enjoy close friendships with team members at Ferrari and within the Holden Racing Team (V8Supercars).
  • UAN

    whew! what a relief, from all the yammering on the Internets and the media by fans and pundits alike, if RBR had won their appeal there would have been massive chaos and lawlessness in the paddock, a veritable Death Race 2000 :).

    It doesn’t look like Mercedes somewhat self-serving, and somewhat vengeful from last year, request for further sanctions against RBR was considered or acted on.

    Overall, this disagreement and appeals was good for the sport. It’s good to see there’s a process in place that are open to teams to follow and that the process worked. Even before the hearing, it was clear from Malaysia onward that RBR and Charlie Whiting had come to a working arrangement that both sides could live with it on dealing with the sensor, nor has the sensor been an issue with RBR getting a P3 and P4 over the last two races.

    Plus we need a special shout for Ferrari. After AUS, it seemed everyone was claiming RBR was putting F1 into disrepute and throwing a tantrum for not being competitive. In this regards, a HUGE hat tip and thanks should be extended to Luca D and those fine folks at Ferrari for bringing perspective on the matter of what it really looks like for a powerful team to start throwing its toys (and Team Principal) out of the pram and crying to Daddy (Bernie) that the rules just aren’t fair! lol.

    Now off to China where the aforementioned Mercedes shall once again put a spanking to the field.

  • Andreas

    An inevitable call. The consequences of throwing out the Stewards’ decision would have been far too big. If the fuel flow sensor were to be thrown out, there would be no way to measure and uphold neither the max fuel flow rule, nor the one concerning total fuel used (100kg from lights out to finish line). They’d be left to letting the teams police themselves, and we all know how that ends…

    The decision to (from Barcelona onwards) not allow any modifications to the sensor, including the mounting points etc, is also a good clarification.

  • TurboPhoenix

    While I had hoped for a miracle because I like Dan and don’t think that he personally should have been punished for a decision he had no part in, I feel like this was always going to be the outcome. Red Bull were warned and told multiple times that they could not use their own sensor, and refused to comply. It’s more than fair that they be slapped with a penalty (though as stated I feel like it should have been the team; a large fine or loss of constructor’s points, and not Dan)

    • UAN

      Dan gets caught up in it – you can’t separate out that RIC gained an advantage, that is specifically why RBR went with their own data over Race Control and accepted that they may get excluded and that they would probably appeal if they were.

      You could say it’s not fair to MAG or BUT not to have the points from P2 and P3 respectively.

      I think RBR actually had a strong case that they didn’t gain an unfair advantage per the actual regulations – I don’t think they went over the 100kg/h flow rate. However, the Technical Directive said they needed to use the Gill Sensors and the court of appeals upheld that. It may actually be that while RBR says it didn’t need to follow the TD, that doesn’t mean that Charlie is wrong to follow it, or that the stewards were wrong to use the TD as the basis for determining whether RBR was out of compliance with the regulations.

      I don’t think RBR cheated as so many have said, since they were clear and upfront with what they were doing, and that there were known consequences and processes depending on what the stewards were going to decide. Either they were right and should have their points, or they were wrong and they get no points, and RIC gets no points as well. Win and lose as a team. RBR gambled on a really long shot and loss. The only thing that would be bad, imho, is if they whined about losing. From their statements, they aren’t. And I’m glad they took the gamble. We celebrate F1 drivers for pushing the boundaries, why not teams?

  • Rapierman

    In a sense, it’s not that RBR was or was not cheating. It was that Red Bull had a whole bunch of arrogance and bad attitude to ’em, and the FIA needed to make an example of ’em to discourage others from taking that kind of attitude. Poor ol’ Ricciardo was just unavoidable collateral damage in this battle of wills.

  • jiji the cat

    well it would have opened a huge Pandora’s box had RB won. Whilst i am glad this has not happened, i am feeling for Smiley as i think he deserves a lot more than 10th in the championship.

  • Wow, FIA’s release is illuminating:

    First, there’s no definitive definition given for a technical directive; unsurprising, but disappointing. In this doc, it’s merely mentioned that as a Directive defines an officially approved method of conforming to a Regulation, ignoring said Directive risks sanction, and that burden of proof for compliance befalls the team.

    Regarding the actual fuel flow issue, it looks like RBR based it’s figures on predictive modeling, and furthermore that modeling was based upon its runs in free practice, not the race. So, it wasn’t actual measurements, rather computer modeling of predicted fuel flow.

    Furthermore, the review ruled RBR’s own measurements failed to prove more-consistent flow measurement over the FIA meter AND also showed Ricciardo exceeded the flow rate, contrary to RBR’s assertions, based on the data provided by RBR.

    The document doesn’t detail exactly how RBR modeled its software, nor what parameters it gave as proof for adhering the the FFR, but I’d guess it’s injector duty cycle and spray pattern based upon the throttle input and injector design. Either way, pretty shocking.

    Relevant notations in section entitled “On the Substance.”

    #38 Mercedes’ written observations
    #52 RBR’s measurement variations
    #59 Predictive software modeling and compliance

  • “Futhermore, the review ruled RBR’s own *predictions* failed to prove…” Predictions, not measurements. My mistake.