Red Bull’s fuel flow problems resurface during Sepang free practice

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

The Fuelgate saga is continuing in Malaysia a report emerging that, after Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification in Melbourne, Red Bull spent over $130,000 on five brand new FIA-mandated Gill sensors for the Sepang race.

“We are not taking any chances and we have gone out independently and bought sensors so we know that we will have at least one that works properly,” a team source told The Times.

Red Bull has appealed Ricciardo’s exclusion, and last week at Milton Keynes FIA figures had been invited to inspect the sensors the reigning world champions claim were faulty in Australia.

But the trouble hasn’t stopped there, as Auto Motor und Sport reports that, during the first practice session at Sepang, Ricciardo’s RB10 once again struck fuel flow sensor problems.

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday 27 March 2014.

And correspondent Michael Schmidt said the similarly Renault-powered sister team Toro Rosso also had problems getting a signal from the sensors.

A new sensor – costing $26,000 at full calibration – was fitted to Ricciardo’s car for second practice.

“So much for saving money,” Red Bull’s Helmut Marko bluntly observed.

More serious, however, is the risk of further disqualifications. What will Red Bull do now if, as in Melbourne, the FIA asks the team to reduce the Renault engine’s fuel flow?

“I don’t know,” team boss Christian Horner answered. “Maybe two sensors should be installed in different places, and the average value should be read in order to reduce the risk of incorrect measurements.” (GMM)

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Pffft! Knowing Red Bull, none of this is likely true.

  • Amos James

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you are right, hugo.

  • Raja Bomoh Nujum VIP

    Red Bull = Bull Red = Bur8

  • Dr. Azlan

    The sensors are sending correct signals, which means Red Bull exceeds the fuel flow limits.

  • Guillermo De Simone

    In my experience with different kind of sensors in the industrial enviroment, most of them are very sensible to the piping layout. We are not talking about a single part; we´re talking about a system. A system RB has no expertise at all

  • bobmendon

    So, you are privy to the data readouts? Isn’t it nice to have a comment from a Red Bull insider.

  • Will Powers

    My guess is, the Renault engine doesn’t provide enough power for 2013-style Vettel domination…. unless it gets more fuel than is allowed by the spec (within the nominal range). Solution? Ignore the rules! Threaten to leave the sport! Cause a “fuelgate” scandal!

    They know that with no flow sensors, the RB10 can probably put Vettel on pole and out in front of the Mercedes drivers, instead of battling with the pack in dirty air (where Newey’s fancy aero doesn’t work as well).

    Not surprisingly, the other teams and the FIA aren’t buying it. When big teams can choose which rules to follow, everyone loses.

  • Go Raikko

    What I do not understand is why other teams apply the rules (reducing engine’s fuel flow during the race) and that Reb Bull does not… If a $26,000 sensor is wrong, there’s a big problem with the technology and precision of F1. IMO they try to cheat but they’ll find a breach in the rule sooner or later.

  • Dr. Azlan

    Well what I’m seeing happening here is like blaming Pirelli for providing ‘faulty’ tires to a particular driver in a particular car. Others don’t have such problems.

  • Dave Bates

    Guess we will all have to wait on the lawyers ! But my logical conclusion airs on the Red Bull argument. At present they do not appear to have broken any so called rules, & yet many are so quick to blame them for only daring to make an argument. Thank goodness we still have free speech ( for now at least ) but meanwhile Ricciardo along with all other racing drivers who risk life when they race, held the trophy high & proud believing to have a result. Meanwhile we are learning everyday that ” grey area FIA rules ” again needed to be translated into black and white by the stewards in Melbourne. No wonder it took them so long,! If these so called rules are so clear, then why no black flag ? In my mind Ricciardo drove a brilliant race & the subsequent disqualification makes for a complete farce. I,m guessing that the FIA will already have a well greased back door exit plan & intend to leave and on the other side of it. For the sake of F1 i sincerely hope that this sensor is put to bed, then F1 can get on with some racing ! with race pace dictated by team engineers & not placed in the hands of calibration services with 3 ceo,s and formed only in 2013. I feel a little sympathy toward this enterprise, but in the end logic would dictate that F1 teams are better placed to control the race pace. reckon that FIA head of powertrain Fabrice Lom, deserves a firm 10 for his humour because he says without the flow sensor, F1 would not be safe ! Cars would go different speeds at different times he said, ” well really ! We can,t have this now, cos it might involve drivers having to overtake, and the FIA thought it was perfectly safe for cars with fresh rubber running alongside cars with tyres exploding from the rims in last years races. Again i reckon the FIA should place more trust in the teams & drivers to allow for these cars travelling at differing speeds, i,m sure drivers are well used to this dangerous activity. politicaly correct & nanny state safety rules & racing just don,t mix

  • Amos James

    Bobmendon is an insider. Insider da prison!