Horner: Personally I think it would be easier to get rid of the fuel flow sensor

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner called for the removal of fuel flow sensors after the Formula One champions suffered more issues with the new system in Friday practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished second for Red Bull at the season-opener in Melbourne two weeks ago only to be disqualified for exceeding the fuel flow limit of 100 kg per hour.

The team queried the accuracy of the sensor and have appealed, with a hearing scheduled for Paris on 14 April.

Horner said he would talk with International Automobile Federation (FIA) technical delegate Charlie Whiting before Sunday’s race in Sepang after Ricciardo’s sensor failed and needed to be replaced on Friday.

The Briton added that he knew of other teams who have experienced problems with the system.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

“If we don’t [get synchronised readings] we will find ourselves in an awkward situation, but one we will try to work with the FIA on, but we will find ourselves in the same dilemma as Melbourne,” Horner said.

“We need a better way of measuring and monitoring the fuel flow, or say you get rid of it and you have 100 kg for the race and that’s it.

“Personally, I think it would be easier to get rid of it.”

The FIA attempted to ease the confusion around the fuel flow system by holding a briefing to explain how it works and how the regulations applied, suggesting that they have no interest in modifying or removing it.

Fabrice Lom, the FIA’s head of powertrain, said there were safety considerations.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

“If you have no fuel flow limit, the fastest thing is to use a huge boost at the beginning of the straight and then lift off,” he claimed.

“There will be huge and very dangerous differences of speed [between cars] on the same lap, with a driving style that is not really F1.”

Fuel flow sensors were not the only problem for Red Bull, however, with world champion Sebastian Vettel requiring a new electronic power control unit for Saturday Qualifying and Sunday’s Race.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

The four-time champion finished Friday’s second practice session third quickest with Ricciardo seventh to give the team hope that they can win points to get off the mark in Malaysia.

“I think we had a good day, obviously Friday timings are not the most important thing in the world but it’s good to be up there and in range of the top guys,” Vettel said after finishing 0.61 seconds behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

“I think we had a decent day, not a completely smooth day for both of us, there are still some things to solve on the software side and the programming, but that’s the way it is. I think we have to learn a lot but all in all, I’m quite happy.” (Reuters)

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  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Of course he thinks that. They probably have a solution lined-up that would give them a huge advantage if they didn’t. The trouble is, the rules are the same for everyone.

  • Robb

    Apparently, there can be a pretty good variance between individual sensors. The difference between having a good one which will actually allow you to run over 100kg/hr, and having a bad one which will prevent you from even being allowed to run at a true 100kg/hr can be huge.

    The teams work hard, and invest millions to find just two or three tenths, it’s a travesty if something like a stupid sensor can determine race outcomes by affecting performance by even more than that amount.

    Whatever method they use to measure needs to be dead accurate, there’s too much at stake.

  • DCloudy777

    And 10 other teams don’t seem to be having a problem with it….

    I agree that the fuel-flow limit is stupid, but RB needs to just shut up, take their punishment, and follow the rules.

  • Robb

    No, actually some other teams did have problems with with it. They just chose to listen to the FIA.

    I’m not a RedBull fan, and am neither persecuting, or defending them, but it’s important that the races are determined by the performance of the teams, not by who got lucky with the sensor pool.

  • Dave Bates

    So true ! At last i have found a sane comment ! regards DB.

  • Severn

    “It will be the third time the German has had to replace a part of the
    power supply unit with only five changes permitted over the 19-race
    season before grid penalties are imposed.”

    Replacing the ECU does not count against the five allowed engine replacements. In fact replacing a “part of the power supply unit” does not count. Who writes this stuff?

  • Severn

    “There will be huge and very dangerous differences of speed (between cars)”

    Back in the 1980’s it was common to see huge differences in the speed of the cars. What the FIA wants is to make F1 a spec series while pretending it’s still something else.

  • Dave Bates

    I have never been a Red Bull fan in the past, however my opinion is rapidly changing. This ball,sie approach to the FIA is admirable in my book. The flow sensor represents FIA control of races ” real time” and should,nt have a place today or in the future. My written approach on this subject isn,t toward the FIA as a whole, because otherwise they do a very good job in keeping F1 clean, but on this occasion their involvement into the tecnicalities of flow rate is beyond sensible policing. I hope for F1 that this policing is delayed for a time when it can be proven reliable, otherwise it will be negative headline news for the rest of 2014. regards DB

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Actually, if you replace the whole power unit, it counts, well, as a power unit. However, if you replace part of it, it counts as 1/3 of it in a way, if i understood the rules correctly. So if the engine is made of 3 elements, you can change each one, individually, up to 5 times.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    «The teams work hard, and invest millions to find just two or three tenths, it’s a travesty if something like a stupid sensor can determine race outcomes by affecting performance by even more than that amount.»
    First of all, no teams likely run at the full 100kg/hr. So the playing field is even again. The differences between the engines themselves, whose development was frozen before the seasons started (you want a real problem? there’s one) is a lot more than 1kg of fuel over 305kms…
    On top of that, how about they use a very small % of those millions to buy a ton of sensors, test them against their own, and only use the ones that are the most accurate? Better yet, they can return the inaccurate ones for a refund.
    But no, it’s way easier to use the one that’s inaccurate and use that as grounds for an appeal. And in the meantime, who knows, dump more fuel in the engine and pretend that you didn’t, based on your in-house sensor that’s not approved by the governing body.

  • Krunksoft

    I think they should have suspended that rule for this season. The 5 power units over 19 races is OK, but parts too?? Not so good.

  • Dave Bates

    Quote.. ” dump more fuel in the engine ” ? regulations allow 100kg per car from Start to finish. would dumping more fuel in get them to the flag ?

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Follow me here. They have 100kgs of fuel (should be measured in liters IMHO since this is liquid, but I digress). The fuel rate is limited to 100kg/h. Now, not every second of every lap is at full throttle, but they have 100kgs, and can use all of it, but not more, in an hour. Races last what… 1h30, 1h40? Right there, they need the other systems to come into play and replace the traditional combustion engine for parts of a lap. Imagine now if you could make these other systems way more efficient, so much so that if you could use a higher rate of fuel upon exiting a turn, but rely on said systems elsewhere (or the other way around, use the systems on exit, and 125kg/h for better top end), you’d have a definitive power advantage. Or use 125kg/h early in the race, build a gap when other drivers ruin their tyres chasing you, and use 75kg/h towards the end of the race. You’d have a 100kg/h average, made it to the finish line, yet cheated all the way. The possibilities are endless, hence why the mandated meter is a good thing.

  • Dave Bates

    Assuming your above statements are correct, the playing field for all teams would be ” Equal ” to use & abuse your tactical suggestions. You imply that only 1 team use these kind of tactics at the expense of others, this is simply not true. All teams for sure will have different stratagies throughout the race, some will include these bursts & cruise tactics, but you have to factor in extra heat during sprint parts & tyre cooling during the cruise phase. I can agree with Christian Horner that ask if these flow sensors are necessary when there is already a fuel limit in place. I believe Red Bull would not make these suggestions if they were not an alternative. I,m not a fan of Red Bull, but logic is certainly on their side. I suggest you address your visions of F1 and your tacticle suggestions regarding fuel flow to Mr Horner. I believe he has overlooked something.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    I’m not saying the rules are entirely logical. I’m saying that these are the rules, period. The meter is there, it’s inaccurate, well boo-f*cking-hoo, same deal with everyone, installe the most accurate one or lobby to have the rule removed. Till then, dura lex, sed lex.

  • Dave Bates

    Appologies, I should not have posed the original question, the lobby is in progress.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Should the lobby succeed, it should still only apply from here on out. :-/

  • BS

    Severn, Christian Horner called…his balls are sore and he needs them rubbed.

  • fools

    Mr. Horner…jolly good. You dont say 😉

  • Robin Ducker

    Personally I think it would be better if RBR obeyed the rules like everyone else…