FIA reject Red Bull appeal and uphold decision of stewards to exclude Ricciardo

World Champions "disappointed" but accept decision; Full verdict will be published at the end of the week; Mercedes called for further punishment during Monday's hearing in Paris

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 15/04/14 3:59pm

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Daniel Ricciardo: Appeal rejected

Daniel Ricciardo: Appeal rejected

The FIA have rejected Red Bull's appeal against the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from the Australian GP.

In a short statement released on the governing body's website, the FIA confirmed that the decision of the stewards to exclude Ricciardo from the results of the race last month had been upheld following a meeting of the International Court of Appeal.

Ricciardo had finished second on the road in his debut race for the team only to be disqualified five hours after the chequered flag had fallen when his RB10 car was adjudged to have breached fuel regulations.

A full explanation for why Red Bull's appeal has been rejected will be released later this week.

The World Champions had strenuously denied any wrongdoing, arguing that the fuel flow sensor at the heart of the case was "unreliable", "inconsistent" and "immature technology".

However, in a statement released on Tuesday, Red Bull said they accepted the decision.

"We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn't think we had a very strong case," the statement read. "We always believed we adhered to the technical regulations throughout the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

"We are sorry for Daniel (Ricciardo) that he will not be awarded the 18 points from the event, which we think he deserved. We will continue to work very hard to amass as many points as possible for the team, Daniel and Sebastian (Vettel) throughout the season.

"We will now move on from this and concentrate on this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix."

The team were repeatedly warned by Race Control during the season-opening race in Melbourne that they were in breach of new rules limiting teams to a fuel flow rate of 100kg per hour.

With the FIA-homologated sensor on Ricciardo's car giving faulty readings, Red Bull ignored requests to apply an offset to bring the fuel flow rate back to the legal maximum.

They opted instead to use their own fuel calculations and, adamant they hadn't exceeded the maximum rate, argued that the warnings - backed by a technical directive issued pre-season - lacked regulatory value.

The outcome of Red Bull's appeal was seen as a litmus test of the sport's new regulations and its governance, with representatives of Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus, Williams and Force India all in attendance on Monday for the hearing in Paris.

"I think this was the only decision that the FIA could come to," declared Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz. "To allow Red Bull's appeal would have been open season for all the other teams to choose which technical directive and which regulation they ignore and which they obey.

"It would have been chaos in Formula 1. We would have ended every race not knowing who was really the winner, because we were going to get a stewards' enquiry and perhaps a court case after the rest of it.

"I think this was really the only thing that the FIA could do. They accepted that perhaps by their own measurement, Red Bull had only used 100 kilos per hour, but that's not the rule; the rule is that you have to go by the FIA's way of measuring this fuel flow rate.

"I think sense has prevailed."

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 have propelled 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.

The FIA's statement in full:
'On 16 March 2014 the panel of the stewards decided to exclude car N°3 (driver Daniel Ricciardo) from the results of the race as it was found to be not in compliance with the Technical Regulations (the Technical Delegate reported to the Stewards that car N°3 exceeded the required fuel mass flow of 100kg/h).

'On 20 March 2014, the Österreichischer Automobil-Motorrad und Touring Club - Oberste Nationale Sportkommission für den Motorsport (ÖAMTC-OSK) on behalf of its licence-holder, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, decided to appeal this decision before the International Court of Appeal

'Decision of the International Court of Appeal

'The Court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided to uphold the Decision N°56 of the Stewards by which they decided to exclude Infiniti Red Bull Racing's car N°3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.

'The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Harry DUIJM (Netherlands), and included Mr Rui BOTICA SANTOS (Portugal), Mr Philippe NARMINO (Monaco), Mr Antonio RIGOZZI (Switzerland) and Mr Jan STOVICEK (Czech Republic).

'The full decision will be available on the website by the end of the week.'

Red Bull's statement in full:
'Infiniti Red Bull Racing accepts the ruling of the International Court of Appeal today. We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn't think we had a very strong case. We always believed we adhered to the technical regulations throughout the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. We are sorry for Daniel (Ricciardo) that he will not be awarded the 18 points from the event, which we think he deserved. We will continue to work very hard to amass as many points as possible for the team, Daniel and Sebastian (Vettel) throughout the season.

'We will now move on from this and concentrate on this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.'

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