March 16th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Daniel Ricciardo's dream-come-true second place in the Australian Grand Prix has been taken away from him, after his Red Bull Racing car was found to have exceeded the premitted fuel flow rate limit. Red Bull have announced their intention to appeal Ricciardo's disqualification.
Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Red Bull were expected to struggle in the race, after reliability issues plagued the team throughout pre-season testing. So it was an impressive achievement by the team to get one car to the finish at all. Not only did they do that, but the car that finished, that of Daniel Ricciardo, finished second, showing good pace and reliability.
For Ricciardo the result had a few layers of personal significance. It was his first race for Red Bull, and he thoroughly justified the confidence the team had shown in him when they signed him from Toro Rosso at the end of 2013. It was Ricciardo's first podium finish in Formula 1, something every F1 driver looks forward to. It was also the first time an Australian had finished on the podium in a World Championship Australian Grand Prix. On the podium, the drivers were interviewd by Alan Jones, Australia's last World Champion, who could not disguise his delight at Ricciardo's result.
After the race, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported the following to the stewards:
"During the race car #3 has exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h.
"As this is not in compliance with Article 5.1.4 of the 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration."
The stewards examined the available evidence, upheld Bauer's findings and disqualified Ricciardo from second place, which means he and Red Bull lose 18 valuable World Championship points.
Red Bull have expressed surprise at the disqualification and announced their intention to appeal the decision. The team issued the following statement:
"Following the decision of the FIA that Infiniti Red Bull Racing is in breach of Article 3.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations with Car 3, the Team has notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect.
"Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations."