Daniel Ricciardo has been stripped of his second-place result only hours after becoming the first Australian to place in the history of the Melbourne Grand Prix.
Officials say Ricciardo’s Red Bull car was running with a fuel flow rate exceeding recently-introduced regulations. This year F1 moved from 2.4-litre V8 engines to more efficient 1.6-litre turbos. Red Bull plans to appeal and the blame is being pinned on the team rather than Ricciardo.
“This parameter is outside of the control of the driver, Daniel Ricciardo,” the FIA stewards said in their judgment.
When using the larger engines under the old rules, cars could start the race with 150kg of fuel. The current fuel flow rate Red Bull is accused of exceeding is 100kg.
A stewards report says the team changed out a recommended fuel measurement system and after being warned, still chose to rely on its own internal fuel flow model.
Red Bull, according to the stewards report, was also told during the race that the fuel flow to Ricciardo’s car was exceeding the 100kg limit.
“Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations,” Red Bull said.
As it stands, Red Bull will leave Australia will no points after Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire from the Melbourne race with engine trouble.
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