Red Bull await verdict in Daniel Ricciardo appeal
Australian stripped of second in home Grand Prix after team found guilty of fuel infringement
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was stripped of second in Melbourne. Photograph: Jon Buckle/PA Wire
Red Bull are expected to find out on Tuesday whether they have won their appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.
The FIA’s International Court of Appeal in Paris heard the case on Monday and is likely to announce its decision in the morning.
Ricciardo crossed the line in second place at the season’s opening race in front of his home fans in Melbourne on his debut for Red Bull. But the best result of Ricciardo’s near three-year career was stripped from him after the race stewards found the team guilty of a fuel irregularity.
Ricciardo’s car was found to have consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow rate of 100 kilograms per hour, but Red Bull cited persistent issues with the sensors over the course of the weekend that forced them to take their own readings.
The FIA claims no other instrument, other than the permitted sensor, is allowed to measure the fuel flow, with Red Bull warned both after qualifying and five laps into the race with regard to the matter.
Red Bull also argued that the technical directive issued over the course of the weekend with regard to the fuel flow was not regulatory and therefore they should not be punished for disregarding it.
The team’s chief technical officer, Adrian Newey, and chief engineer of car engineering, Paul Monaghan, were questioned at the hearing while Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Williams and Force India all had representatives present.
Mercedes, who have won all three races so far, are calling for a further sanction, to be suspended until the end of the season, to dissuade Red Bull from doing the same thing again.
Should Red Bull win the appeal, Ricciardo will have 18 points reinstated, lifting him from 10th to third in the driver standings and taking the team from fourth to second in the constructors’ table.
Ahead of the hearing, team principal Christian Horner said: “Those points are vital, every point is vital.
“We believe we’ve a very strong case. As more races have progressed, issues have become more evident, new evidence has come to light, new understandings have come to light. Hopefully we can present our case fairly and get the second place Daniel deserves from Melbourne.”