It's judgement day for Red Bull as World Champions await appeal verdict
Paris hearing attended by a host of rival teams; Verdict expected this morning; Reinstatement would propel the team to second in the Constructors'
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 15/04/14 10:45am
Ricciardo was stripped of second place in his debut race for the team for an alleged breach of F1's new fuel regulations.
A six-hour hearing of the FIA's International Court of Appeal in Paris ended without public resolution on Monday. Jean-Christophe Breillat, General Secretary of the International Court of Appeal told reporters as he left the hearing: "We will announce the decision tomorrow morning at the latest."
Red Bull have consistently denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the FIA-provided fuel sensor which detected the team had exceeded the fuel flow limit of 100kg per hour to Ricciardo's RB10 during the Melbourne race was 'unreliable', 'problematic' and 'immature technology'.
"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 100kg/h of fuel that is permitted to be utilised by the car and the engine," team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes.
"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."
The team were warned of their alleged infringement during the grand prix, but opted to ignore the warnings as they were considered to lack regulatory value.
"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," said Horner.
The outcome of Red Bull's appeal is being seen as a litmus test for the sport's new regulations and its governance, with representatives of Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Williams and Force India all in attendance on Monday.
In an unexpected development, Mercedes, represented by Paul Harris QC called for an additional punishment to be meted out against the World Champions in the form of a deterrent against further infringement.
"We are frankly concerned that Red Bull have shown such a flagrant and deliberate disregard for the rules," said Harris. "There is a real risk that they will do it again. We must have a level playing field. The most effective way of ensuring that Red Bull do not flout further written and oral instructions from the FIA for at least the remainder of this season is for this court to recognise the severity of their infringement and to impose a further sanction upon them."
Reinstatement would propel Red Bull into second place in the Constructors' Championship, 58 points behind runaway leaders Mercedes, ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.