FIA releases full findings in Red Bull fuel saga

1 Comment

The FIA has released more information about its court of appeal’s decision to reject Red Bull’s appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.

After a hearing took place on Monday, it was confirmed on Tuesday morning that the stewards’ initial decision had been upheld after the team was adjudged to have exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h on Ricciardo’s car. Despite finishing second on track, the Australian driver was excluded five hours later.

Red Bull stringently denied that it had done anything wrong, claiming that the problem lay with the FIA’s measurements. The team had instead opted to use its own fuel flow meter, which apparently proved that Ricciardo had remained under the limit during the race.

Interestingly, the FIA’s full report suggests that even Red Bull’s own measurements showed that the car exceeded the limit despite the team arguing the opposite.

“The FIA [says] that the appellant’s [Red Bull] own estimation of its car #3’s fuel flow rate in Melbourne also showed that the car exceeded the the fuel flow limit during the Australian Grand Prix,” one part of the report reads.

Furthermore, the information supplied by Red Bull was far from reliable.

“The appellant’s measurement method is not based on physical means but purely on a software model that depends on input data, which cannot be checked by the FIA.

“The appellant’s data do not show all the relevant variables, and the four variables shown by the Appellant in order to validate its measurement method are not even equal.”

Despite its highly vocal argument heading into the hearing, Red Bull has accepted the decision of the FIA and decided to move on from the matter, turning focus to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

You can read the FIA’s findings in full here.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”