The FIA Court of Appeal has upheld Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix. The Australian Red Bull Racing driver finished second on the road in March but was removed from the results due to his car regularly exceeding the maximum permitted flow-rate of 100kg/h during the race.
“The Court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided to uphold the Decision #56 of the Stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s car #3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix,” said an FIA statement.
The five-man judging panel rejected the case of Christian Horner’s team that the team’s fuel flow sensor reading was more reliable than that of the FIA’s own reading. It was argued that the sensor, that is mandatory for all teams in 2014, offered three different readings with identical engine settings and was therefore unreliable. However the FIA said they should have stuck with the original meter.
The Court’s decision validates the use of the Gill Sensors-produced fuel-flow meter as the only way to police the fuel-flow rate and the 100kg fuel limit that a car can use during a race.
The team has accepted the ruling with a statement of it’s own, and aims to move on from the controversy.
“Infiniti Red Bull Racing accepts the ruling of the International Court of Appeal today,” said a Red Bull Racing statement. “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.”
The disqualification remaining in place means that McLaren duo Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button keep their second and third places from Australia, and it means Daniel Ricciardo is still waiting for his first podium finish in Formula 1.
Mercedes representative Paul Harris QC had asked for a far higher punishment for Red Bull Racing, such as a suspended race ban, but this was not granted, as at no point during the trial did Red Bull try to hide what they were doing.