/ Motorsport

Red Bull chief Christian Horner expects fuel-flow hearing victory

Updated: Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 16:15 | Comments

Podium smiles soon disappeared for Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull after being disqualified in Australia
Podium smiles soon disappeared for Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull after being disqualified in Australia

Christian Horner is confident Red Bull will be vindicated in the fuel-flow row that overshadowed Daniel Ricciardo's debut drive to second in his home race in the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month.

According to the FIA, Ricciardo's car was found to "consistently exceed" the flow rate of 100kg per hour, resulting in the 24-year-old being disqualified from the event at Melbourne's Albert Park.

Red Bull immediately lodged an appeal which will be heard at the FIA's Court of Appeal in Paris on April 14.

Team principal Horner has no doubt his organisation will be cleared, with Ricciardo reinstated into second behind race winner Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

"We're appealing on the grounds that we do not believe we've broken the rules," said Horner.

"We're extremely confident we haven't exceeded the 100 kilograms of fuel per hour that is permitted to be utilised by the car and the engine.

"That was the reason for our appeal, we feel we've a strong case, and it will be down to the appeal court to ultimately decide."

Horner maintains the sensor used to measure fuel flow, manufactured by UK-based Gill Sensors, is faulty, resulting in them using their own system to calculate, which was not approved by the FIA.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Horner added: "Our whole case, the whole dispute, is based on which reading is correct.

"We have a sensor (that of the FIA) that is drifting, isn't reading correctly, versus a fuel rail we know is calibrated and hasn't varied throughout the weekend.

"It has subsequently been checked, has been found to not be faulty, hasn't moved or varied at all since it was installed on to the car prior to the weekend.

"So our argument is very simple - that we haven't broken the technical regulations, haven't exceeded the fuel-flow rate, and the sensor, as we will be able to demonstrate in the appeal, is erroneous."

Horner claims there is a further discrepancy between a regulation and a technical directive as was handed down by the FIA who warned Red Bull on at least two occasions not to use their own system.

Horner said: "The problem with the technical directive, as we have seen in other cases whether it was the Pirelli tyre case or double diffuser case, is that it is the opinion of the technical delegate and is not a regulation.

"We are bound by the sporting and technical regulations, and 5.1.4 of the latter says you must not exceed 100 kilograms per hour of fuel usage. We haven't done that.

"Therefore our view is we haven't broken the technical regulations, and technical directives are - as I say - of non-regulatory value."

Whether there will be further arguments over the course of the next two weekends in Malaysia and Bahrain, ahead of the appeal hearing, remains to be seen.

"Hopefully we'll have a sensor that works in line with the fuel rail, that there isn't a discrepancy. That's the most important thing," said Horner.

"If there is a variance then it's something we'll probably have to discuss with the FIA, and we probably won't be alone in that position."

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