Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo disqualified from the results of the Australian GP
Red Bull RB10 found to have breached technical regulations; Magnussen promoted to second and Button up to third; Red Bull were warned during race and will appeal stewards' verdict
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 26/03/14 1:43pm
Daniel Ricciardo has been denied a dream debut for Red Bull after being disqualified from the results of the Australian GP.
The Red Bull driver had finished in second place on the road behind the victorious Nico Rosberg but was subsequently excluded from the race result for a breach of Article 5.1.4 of the Formula 1 Technical Regulations, which states that, 'Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h'.
In a verdict delivered five hours after the end of the race and just before midnight in Melbourne, stewards disqualified the 24-year-old Australian after ruling that his RB10 had 'consistently exceeded the maximum fuel flow of 100kg per hour'.
Red Bull, however, immediately confirmed they would contest the result and had notified the FIA of their intention to appeal "with immediate effect".
"Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane," a statement from the World Champions read.
"The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations."
According to Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes, "Red Bull were warned during the race that the fuel flow was too high and were given the opportunity to reduce the fuel flow to within the limit. They chose not to. Christian Horner told me they took that decision because they believed their own readings were correct."
Horner himself told reporters: "We had an issue with the sensor that changed its reading through Friday practice. That sensor was then replaced for another sensor on Saturday which then failed during qualifying.
"We were then asked to put the sensor from Friday back into the car and apply an offset. That offset, we didn't feel was correct and as we got into the race, we could see there was a significant discrepancy between what the sensor was reading and where our fuel flow - which is the actual injection of fuel into the engine - was stated as."
Fuel flow is now limited as a result of this season's technical shake-up, with cars starting with a load of 100kg - about one-third less than last season - and electric power making up a much higher proportion of the total in the V6 turbo hybrids.
Red Bull clearly believe the FIA homologated sensors are unreliable. However, the governing body has stated that if a problem develops then it, rather than the affected team, should decide on a fix.
Therefore, the FIA asked Red Bull to apply an offset to the car's fuel flow to make it legal. But believing it placed them at a disadvantage, the World Champions ignored the request and persisted with their own fuel flow measurement throughout the race.
Speaking earlier in the week, the FIA's Race Director Charlie Whiting stated that the governing body would come down hard on teams that go over the limit.
"All cars will be fitted with an FIA homologated fuel flow sensor. That won't limit the flow, it will just monitor the flow. 100 kilos per hour is the maximum and I'm sure at most times they'll be quite close to that whenever they can be," he said.
"The other element is the amount of fuel cars use during the race, which is 100 kilos from when the lights go out at the start of the race to when they cross the finish line at the end of the race.
"The 100 kilos is a maximum, so if they go over they exceed the limit and there is no tolerance."
As a result of Ricciardo's exclusion, McLaren's already strong Melbourne result has been strengthened with Kevin Magnussen promoted to second on his debut and Jenson Button moved up to third, giving the team a double-podium result in the first race of 2014 after failing to finish on the top three in the whole of 2013.
Magnussen's second place represents the best result for a driver on their F1 debut since Jacques Villeneuve also finished runner-up at the Melbourne season-opener in 1996.
Ricciardo's demise also promotes Sergio Perez into the points-paying positions in tenth, giving Force India their own double points finish.
With Sebastian Vettel retiring early on in Melbourne, Ricciardo's disqualification also means Red Bull's title defence begins with a rare scoreless race - their first since the 2012 Italian GP and just third since 2009.
Revised 2014 Australian GP points positions:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes.
2. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren.
3. Jenson Button, McLaren.
4. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari.
5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams.
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India.
7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari.
8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso.
9. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso.
10. Sergio Perez, Force India.
The Red Bull statement in full
'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.'