Horner insists Ricciardo's fuel flow rate was legal
16 March 2014 – Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has insisted that Daniel Ricciardo's RB10 was within the fuel flow rate during the Australian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo finished the race in second place but was later excluded from the results after stewards discovered that his car had exceeded the maximum fuel flow limit of 100kg/h.
Red Bull relied on their own measuring equipment across the first race of the year after faults meant that the team did not trust the FIA's sensors.
"These fuel-flow sensors that are provided by the FIA to measure fuel have proved problematic down the pitlane since their introduction in testing," Horner said after Ricciardo was excluded from the race results.
"There have been discrepancies and they have been unreliable - indeed some cars may well have run without them in the race itself or failed in the race itself. We had a fuel-flow sensor that was fitted to the car that we believed had an error. Based on our calculation on the fuel that the injectors are providing to the engine, which is a calibrated piece of equipment and is consistently standard across the pitlane, there is zero variance."
The stewards' report revealed that Red Bull ignored several warnings during the race that Ricciardo's car was exceeding the limits but ignored them as they did not trust the FIA's sensor.
"They informed us [that the limit was being exceeded], and we informed them that we had serious concerns over their sensors," added Horner. "We believed on our reading, otherwise there was a situation where you are reducing significant amounts of power in the engine at a time when we believe we fully comply within the regulations.
"We end up in a situation where, depending on the calibration of your sensor, of plus or minus, it will dictate who is going to be competitive and who isn't."
Red Bull immediately announced their intentions to appeal the result and Horner is confident of seeing the result reinstated.
"[We're] extremely disappointed, quite surprised and we will of course appeal," he said. "And hopefully through the appeal process, it will be quite clear the car has conformed at all times with the regulations."