Report: Red Bull explains how it plans to appeal Australian DQ

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The issue of regulatory language is in Red Bull’s belief that it didn’t commit a violation of Formula One’s new fuel flow regulations.

That’s how the team admits it’s planning to appeal the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from second place in the Australian Grand Prix, per an Autosport report.

“Technical directives are not of regulatory value,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Autosport. “They are the opinion of the technical delegate – as was made clear in the Pirelli case [the Mercedes secret test], which clearly stated that opinions of Charlie are not regulatory.”

Essentially, Red Bull is saying that technical directives issued from the FIA are not binding, and that if the car’s fuel flow rate was within F1’s technical regulations, it was legal.

The appeal hearing is set for April 14 in Paris; how the ruling comes down will go a long ways toward determining who holds the ultimate control of power and regulations in F1. If teams can run legally with their own fuel sensors, this could open the floodgates for teams to work against the sanctioning body.

As it is, it’s an early case of the off-track news getting more ink – or web space – than the on-track product.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”