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F1: Red Bull Formally Appeals Ricciardo Exclusion, McLaren Weighs In Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Mar, 21 2014 | 0 Comments

It is now confirmed, Red Bull has appealed Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.

Immediately after the Melbourne stewards' verdict was published, boss Christian Horner said the team would file an appeal.

An FIA source said on Monday that Red Bull served notice of its intention to appeal, but formal documentation was not due to be lodged for four days.

Those papers were indeed lodged on the fourth day, Thursday, media agencies Reuters, the Associated Press and Press Association reported.

F1's official website, and a spokesperson for the reigning world champions, confirmed the news.

(GMM)

 

McLaren chimes in on Red Bull fuel controversy

McLaren has chimed in on the fuel flow controversy.

After Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified in Melbourne, Red Bull argued that it went its own way with the new fuel consumption rules because FIA's mandatory sensors were not accurate enough.

However, engine supplier Renault's rivals Mercedes and Ferrari backed the FIA in the wake of the ruling, while the sensor supplier Gill insisted it has the full support of F1's governing body.

Now, Mercedes-powered McLaren says it was aware of some problems with the sensors for some weeks.

Former F1 driver Mika Salo thinks the Ricciardo controversy will not be the only fuel-related rule drama in 2014.

"I believe we will see it quite a lot," he told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.

Salo said Red Bull will appeal the disqualification, so "let's see what the FIA does. The teams have complained about it a lot."

However, McLaren team boss Eric Boullier insists: "The FIA made clear in Bahrain that their sensors were the only reference for the calculation of the flow.

"We knew we had to be extremely careful," he is quoted by Italiaracing.

"It is true that there were some problems, but it is also true that in the end we were consistent (with fuel flow) during the race and, like almost all the teams, even during the whole weekend," the Frenchman added.

(GMM)

 

Rivals begin chase to catch Mercedes

Given Mercedes' dominance in Australia, the German marque's rivals have now begun their chase.

Second on the road in Melbourne was the later-disqualified Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

"When you think about where they were three weeks ago," said Mercedes' Toto Wolff, "then we need to be really aware of what they are capable of.

"We are yet to see a reliable Vettel, and when that happens he'll be really fast," the German told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.

Williams is currently regarded as the second-fastest team behind Mercedes, but technical boss Pat Symonds is expecting a tough fight in 2014.

"Look at how quickly Renault has caught up," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "Three weeks ago they were nowhere, suddenly they have a car that can be second."

Indeed, a lot of the responsibility for Red Bull's issues is in engine supplier Renault's court.

"It is obvious that we are slower on the straights than Mercedes," the French marque's Remi Taffin is quoted by Italiaracing.

"I don't know if it's a second, and it's definitely more than a tenth, but there are no unsolvable problems," he insisted.

Also chasing Mercedes hard are McLaren and Ferrari.

"We believe that their (Mercedes') advantage is between five tenths and three quarters of a second," McLaren team boss Eric Boullier is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo.

"From our side we wanted above all to develop a reliable car, as we think it is essential to win a lot of points early in the season.

"Then we will have a very aggressive development," said Boullier.

"We need to catch up with Mercedes but also other teams that will be successful when their engine is as well."

Ferrari agrees that, despite a disappointing opening weekend in Australia, nothing is lost in terms of the overall battle for the 2014 title.

"I honestly believe that there is time for this team to fight for this world championship," boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

"Sure, it will not be easy, but of course there is time and we have the resources to do everything possible to bring it about."

(GMM)

 

F1 cannot just turn up the volume - Lauda

It is "absurd" to suggest formula one should urgently turn up the volume of the new turbo V6 engines.

That is the view of Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, who days ago in Melbourne admitted the sound of the 22 cars charging to the first corner left him underwhelmed.

Williams technical boss Pat Symonds agrees: "For me the start is the most exciting part of the race, and I loved it when the 22 drivers revved up their engines.

"I don't generally complain about the sound, but at the start (in Melbourne) it did seem a bit quiet," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Lauda, however, said: "The debate about the engine noise is absurd -- you can't change that now.

"It was decided by all parties five years ago that they wanted turbo engines, and so we put in a turbocharger before the exhaust.

"It has a different sound, any child knows that," the great Austrian told Osterreich newspaper. "If you take the turbo away, you don't have hybrid engines anymore."

As for the duller sound, "We have to get used to it," Lauda insisted.

With a slightly more open attitude, however, is Lauda's Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff.

"I'm not much of an engineer," he told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper. "These things will be looked at.

"If it is decided that something must be done, then we would have to think about it carefully.

"I would think that it is possible, but whether it is right, I don't know.

"The V8 engines sounded fantastic, but I saw this race (Melbourne) up close and I can assure you that F1 is still the top of motor sports, it's not GP2.

"This (move to V6) was the right step," Wolff insisted.

(GMM)

 

New F1 to struggle in Malaysian heat

'Cooling' will be the buzzword in Malaysia, according to Mercedes.

The German marque dominated in Melbourne, but Sepang is always among the very hottest destinations on the F1 calendar -- and the new 'power unit' rules for 2014 are posing much greater cooling problems for the teams.

"New GP, new problems," Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda told Osterreich newspaper.

He also told German broadcaster RTL: "Malaysia will be more difficult (than Melbourne).

"In Sepang actually we are starting from scratch because of the high humidity and temperature -- I doubt it will be below 35C.

"In such circumstances, effective cooling of the power unit would indeed be a problem. We will have to make changes to the car to resolve the issue."

Lauda's Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff agrees: "I think all the teams are seeking to create the most efficient cooling system.

"Every test or race weekend has been more difficult than we expected, so it will be difficult to cope with the heat in Malaysia," he admitted.

(GMM)

 

Williams still second best after Mercedes

Williams remains one of the top favourites in 2014, despite the events in Melbourne.

Piloted by Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, the new Mercedes-powered FW36 was a standout of the winter season, but it struggled in the wet qualifying session last weekend.

In the race, Massa was punted out at the first corner while Bottas finished sixth, fighting through the pack after hitting the wall and damaging his wheel.

Pat Symonds says the Finn should thank former team driver Pastor Maldonado for the robustness of the car's suspension.

"Our suspension is very strong," Williams' technical boss told Auto Motor und Sport. "Pastor pushed the limits very often in the past and that probably had an influence on the design."

Symonds said that if Massa and Bottas had clean races, they would have set their sights on the podium.

Former F1 driver Mika Salo told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3: "Williams' car is the second fastest after Mercedes."

According to Turun Sanomat newspaper, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff agrees: "If their weekend had gone normally, most likely they would have been driving for the podium."

Asked if Williams can now challenge every single team except Mercedes, Symonds insisted: "I want to beat Mercedes as well.

"Our view is that Mercedes is at the front, and then there is a group of cars and we feel that in optimal conditions, we are narrowly at the front of that group."

(GMM)

 
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