Horner: We are extremely confident that we have not broken the rules

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday 14 March 2014.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is “extremely confident” that his team’s case to overturn Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from second place in the Australian Grand Prix, which will be heard at the FIA International Court of Appeal on 14 April.

Horner told Sky, “We are appealing on the grounds that we do not believe, we are extremely confident, that we have not broken the rules, that we haven’t exceeded the 100 kg/h of fuel that is permitted to be utilised by the car and the engine.”

The reigning world champions argument centres on the exact wording – in fact lack of wording in this instance – of the FIA’s Technical Regulations with Article 5.1.4 stating: Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100 kg/h.

According to Red Bull the rules do not specifically state that this reading has to come from the FIA provided sensor, thus they feel they can use their own measurements to prove they did not breach the regulations.

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“So that was the reason for our appeal, we feel we have a strong case and it will be down to the appeal court to ultimately decide. Our whole case is on the fact of which reading is correct.”

“We have a sensor that is drifting and isn’t reading correctly versus a fuel rail that we know is calibrated and we know that hasn’t varied throughout the weekend and has subsequently been checked and found to be not faulty and hasn’t moved or varied at all since it was installed on the car prior to the weekend.”

“Our argument is very simple – that we haven’t broken the Technical Regulations. That we haven’t exceeded the fuel flow limit and that the sensor, which hopefully we will be able to demonstrate in the appeal, is erroneous.”

“I think the problem with the Technical Directive is that as we have seen in the Pirelli tyre case or the double diffuser days, that the directive, as it now states on the bottom of the directive, is the opinion of the Technical Delegate – it is not a regulation, it is not regulatory, it is purely an opinion.”

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“We are bound by the Technical and Sporting Regulations. 5.1.4 of the Technical Regulations says you must not exceed 100 kg/h of fuel usage – we haven’t done that. Therefore our view is we haven’t broken the regulations and Technical Directives are of non-regulatory value.”

By the time the hearing takes place, Red Bull will have contested the Malaysian Grand Prix and Bahrain Grand Prix. Horner explains the plan for these back-to-back races.

“Hopefully we will have a sensor that works, and works in line with the fuel rail and there isn’t this discrepancy.”

“Fundamentally that is the most important thing and if there is a variance or a drift it is something that we will obviously have to discuss with the FIA and we probably won’t be alone in that,” concluded Horner. (GP247)

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