Red Bull dreading another fiasco in Malaysian GP
Red Bull Racing Team principal Christian Horner talks to the media following practice for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
After the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from second place in his first appearance for the team.
It was judged Red Bull had “consistently exceeded” the maximum allowed fuel-flow of 100kg per hour. Horner is appealing the decision. But last night he admitted: “We had a signal failure on Daniel’s car this morning, immediately [in free practice].
“We replaced it for the afternoon session and hopefully it will behave for the rest of the weekend. But if it doesn’t we will find ourselves in an awkward situation.
“We’ll try to work with the FIA but again you’re faced with the same dilemma as we faced in Australia two weeks ago . . . hopefully we can agree something that’s sensible.”
Red Bull’s chances of winning their appeal in Paris on April 14th are considered slim and Horner wants the “immature” technology abolished.
“When you’ve got a variance and an inconsistency in a sensor like this then we need to look at a more robust system,” Horner said.
“The biggest thing out of this, irrelevant of the hearing, is we need a better way of measuring and monitoring the fuel, or get rid of it entirely and say: ‘You’ve 100 kilos [of fuel] and that’s your lot.’ That would be the easiest thing for the FIA and the teams because the fuel-flow restriction is only really for qualifying as you can’t go to stupid revs in the race if you have a limitation on fuel.”
Mercedes continued their dominance of the young Formula One season as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – triumphant in Melbourne – won the morning and afternoon free practice sessions. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, however, almost matched Rosberg in the afternoon.
The F1 chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, appears to be coming round to the noise of the new engines after hearing them at the Sepang circuit yesterday.
He said: “It’s a little louder than we thought, so if we can just get it [the noise] up a little bit more then it would be all right.
“It sounds terrible on TV, but the problem isn’t that. It’s about the people coming here and the whole atmosphere of Formula One. People said you couldn’t hear anything, but it’s not true. It just needs to be a bit louder than we have now.” –