Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Lose Melbourne GP Appeal

Red Bull Racing’s appeal against Daniel Ricciardo‘s Melbourne GP disqualification has been rejected by the Paris-based FIA International Court of Appeal.

The court upheld the decision on Tuesday to strip Ricciardo of his podium finish at the Melbourne Grand Prix from the Formula 1 season opener at Albert Park.

Ricciardo was denied a second place podium finish hours after the race for breaching fuel flow regulations. New rules limit fuel usage to 100kg (about 135 litres, 36 gallons) and a fuel flow limit of 100 kilos per hour.

“The court decided to uphold the decision of the stewards to exclude Red Bull Racing’s car No.3 from the results of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.”

The Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull defence was based on a faulty FIA-approved fuel gauge, forcing the team to use one of their own in Melbourne.

Red Bull lawyer Ali Malek described Ricciardo’s sensor as “obviously unreliable” and the FIA action to disqualify the 24-year-old Australian hours after the race was “flawed and incorrect”.

“We are dealing with new technology, a new problem, and new regulations,” he said. “It is quite plain that these fuel sensors have proved to be problematic.”

Mercedes launched a full-scale attack of Red Bull during the hearing, arguing the team should face a greater punishment than the now defunct BAR-Honda team received in 2005 for using hidden fuel tanks.

“There is a real risk that they will do it again,” said Mercedes lawyer Paul Harris before calling for “further sanction” to ensure the team does not break FIA rules again this season.

“Red Bull thinks it is entitled to pick and choose between the measurements whenever it suits Red Bull,” he continued.

Had the Red Bull appeal been successful, Ricciardo would have moved into third position in the championship behind Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

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Photo: Andrew Hone/Getty Images


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