Red Bull blame “faulty sensors”
Christian Horner made a statement in the early hours of Monday morning in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo’s penalty relating to an irregular fuel-flow rate outside the FIA regulations. Horner re-iterated that Red Bull would appeal the decision based on evidence of “faulty sensors” up and down the F1 paddock.
“We’re extremely dissapointed and quite surprised” said Horner. “We will of course appeal. Through the appeal process we’ll claim that we complied with the technical regulations.”
If that was indeed the case then there are serious questions over why Red Bull would be disqualified. Horner went on to make a bold claim that some cars may have been competing in the grand prix without operating sensors.
“These fuel flow sensors that have been provided by the FIA have proved problematic up and down the pit-lane since their introduction since we started testing” Horner claimed. “There have been discrepancies and they’ve proved unreliable. There are some cars that may have run without them during the race itself or failed during the race itself.”
Horner was confident that Red Bull could successful appeal the FIA’s decision based on the team’s own calculations.
“We wouldn’t be appealing the decision if we weren’t confident that we had a defendable case. It’s just dissapointing that this has happened through no fault of Daniel’s. I don’t believe it’s the fault of the team’s. I believe that we’ve complied with the rules and the investigation and documents relating to the appeal will demonstrate that.”
The crux of the argument seems to be centred around Red Bull not following procedurein notifying the FIA of the fault, however Horner argued that Red Bull were asked to re-fit a sensor that had failed on Friday with an offset – one that the team was unhappy with.
Horner’s claim did seem to correlate with a rival team director interviewed by Autosports Adam Cooper. Saying that: “they ran at 96 kg/hr to ensure it didn’t spike above 100 kg/hr due to ‘interference’. And that cost power”
“The bottom line is that we had an issue with a sensor that changes readings” Continued Horner. “Then we had another issue with a sensor on Saturday that failed in qualifying. We were then asked to put the sensor on Friday back into the car and apply an offset. That offset we didn’t feel was correct and taking that into the race we could see there was a significant discrepancy between what the sensor was reading and our fuel flow, which is the actual injection of fuel into the engine. That’s where there’s a difference of opinion.”
Trent Price is an amateur race driver, former V8 race coach and FIA Accredited journalist from Melbourne, Australia. A former Race Editor for GP Week and contributor for ESPN, Trent is now the Editor of the WEC/Formula E magazine E-Racing; www.e-racingmag.com