Ricciardo Australian GP disqualification upheld by FIA

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Following a hearing and testimony, the FIA Court of Appeal has upheld the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull from the Australian Grand Prix, and rejected the team’s appeal.

Ricciardo’s car was bounced from the race for exceeding the maximum fuel flow rate.

Red Bull had argued that by using its own fuel calculations, the car was good to the regulations. It cited “inconsistencies” in the FIA’s calculations for opting to go that route, and felt confident it could win out.

Here’s the official statement from the FIA, via its official website:

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.

The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Harry DUIJM (Netherlands), and included Mr Rui BOTICA SANTOS (Portugal), Mr Philippe NARMINO (Monaco), Mr Antonio RIGOZZI (Switzerland) and Mr Jan STOVICEK (Czech Republic).

The full decision will be available on the website by the end of the week.

Meanwhile here was Red Bull’s reaction, via the official Formula One website:

“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 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.”

As it is, Ricciardo got his best finish with his new team in Bahrain two weeks ago, and seeks his first podium – again – this weekend.

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.”