Formula 1 champions Red Bull were cleared of fraudulent behaviour but ordered to pay all costs of their failed appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix disqualification, a fuller version of the court ruling has revealed.
A summary of the hearing published by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) late on Friday said that Red Bull had exceeded a fuel flow limit imposed by the sport’s new rules.
“Considering the technical issues at stake and the fact that this was the first official race under this new technology, the court does not find that the appellant’s attitude in Australia was fraudulent,” the FIA international court of appeal added.
Ricciardo was disqualified from the season-opening race hours after the Australian had finished second in front of his home fans when his car was found to have consistently exceeded the permitted 100 kg per hour fuel-flow rate.
The court upheld the stewards’ decision after the hearing in Paris.
“After having carefully considered all the evidence…the court is not satisfied that the appellant (Red Bull) did establish that car No 3 (Ricciardo) did not exceed the fuel-flow limit of 100 kg/hour during the race,” it said.
As part of new rules aimed at making Formula One more efficient, the FIA has capped the rate of fuel permitted to flow to the engine.
Compliance is measured by a sensor homologated by the governing body but Red Bull – who had problems with the sensor all weekend – chose to disregard the sensor’s readings in Australia, believing them to be inaccurate.
The team, who accepted the court’s verdict, instead chose to use their own internal model to measure the rate at which fuel was flowing to the engine.