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F1: Red Bull Vows To 'Prove' Case In April 14 Appeal, Could Take Weeks Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Mar, 24 2014 | 0 Comments

Red Bull's appeal against the Daniel Ricciardo disqualification will take place in Paris a week after the Bahrain grand prix, the FIA announced late on Friday.

"The decision will be published as soon as possible after the (April 14) hearing," said the governing body in a statement.

The hearing is an important one not only for Red Bull - pushing to recover from a disastrous 2014 pre-season - but also for the FIA as it governs the sport's revolutionary regulations change.

Ricciardo was excluded by the stewards because a mandatory flow sensor fitted to his car showed that its Renault engine broke the new rule limiting fuel consumption.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Bild: "The sensors are not accurate enough and we will prove it."

The FIA warned not only Red Bull but also other teams - including Mercedes - that although their own data may have shown their fuel flow complying with the rules, the sensors needed to be recalibrated and obeyed.

Mercedes' Toto Wolff, adding that he backs the FIA, said that complying with the FIA in Australia cost the W05 "between half a second and a second" of additional laptime.

If Red Bull wins the appeal, it might limit the FIA's ability to effectively govern the fuel flow rules in 2014.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull appeal could take 'weeks' - reports

It could be "several weeks" before the outcome of Red Bull's appeal against the Daniel Ricciardo disqualification is known.

On Thursday, the reigning world champions lodged the official appeal papers with the governing FIA, after stewards took away Australian Ricciardo's second place finish due to fuel flow irregularities.

But it is not known when the appeal - surely to be held in Paris - will take place.

"How long will it take? Several weeks," the respected correspondent for Italy's Autosprint, Alberto Antonini, predicted.

"With two races in sequence, Malaysia and Bahrain, it would be ideal to get a ruling before the end of next week," he added. "But the timing may not allow it."

At the very least, the FIA is expected to announce a date for the appeal hearing within the next few days.

But "When the case will be held is not known," agreed Tobias Gruner, the correspondent for Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Depending on the complexity of the information that is submitted, it could take weeks. It will probably not be before the third race in Bahrain," he added.

Eddie Jordan, an outspoken former team boss and owner, said he doubts Red Bull's penalty will be overturned by the international court of appeal.

"They say the (fuel flow) sensor was unreliable," he is quoted by the German-language T-Online, "but rules are rules."

Jordan, now a pundit for British television, said he thinks Red Bull's decision to go through with an appeal is therefore "quite arrogant".

(GMM)

 

Rivals think Mercedes has big advantage

Mercedes' advantage over its 2014 rivals might be bigger than is currently thought.

Nico Rosberg won the Melbourne race with a half-minute advantage, but Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was quoted afterwards by Auto Motor und Sport as suspecting the German was "playing with us" on the roads around Albert Park.

Indeed, Rosberg's best lap of the race was set on lap 19, with a still relatively high fuel load, while most of his rivals had their best pace in the last 20 laps, with lighter tanks.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suspects: "I think Mercedes were simply maintaining a pace without pushing hard.

"Probably they have some more tricks up their sleeve, so we have a lot of work to do," he is quoted by Italy's Tuttosport.

Horner said he thinks Red Bull is currently in a group behind Mercedes that also includes McLaren and Ferrari.

And he thinks Williams has the edge on that group.

"I'm sure they did not give their best and that they are at least second best at the moment."

It is clear that Red Bull's biggest handicap is with its Renault powertrain.

"90 per cent of the problems are associated with the software and how the ERS and the engine work together," Horner is quoted by Germany's Sport1.

Daniel Ricciardo, although disqualified, finished second behind Rosberg in Australia, but Horner doubts Red Bull is ready to challenge for outright wins.

"The break after Australia is just too short (to win in Malaysia)," he said.

Worse still for Mercedes' rivals is that the Brackley based team is not resting on its laurels.

The team took an updated front wing to Melbourne but decided not to use it.

"We only had two, and we didn't want to risk damaging one and then running one car with the new wing and one with the old wing," said Mercedes designer Aldo Costa.

The other issue is that the new, radically-short nose that goes with the new wing design reportedly failed the mandatory FIA crash test.

(GMM)

 

Melbourne GP stalwart Ron Walker steps down

The long-serving chairman of Australia's grand prix in Melbourne is stepping down.

Ron Walker, a stalwart of the almost twenty-year-old Albert Park race and a close friend and political ally of Bernie Ecclestone, will retire after the 2015 event.

"I'm 75 this year and it's good governance to let someone fresh take the reins," he told News Limited publications in Australia.

Walker, a former Melbourne lord mayor and a multimillionaire businessman, selected his own replacement, current cricket world cup chairman John Harnden.

"It's not public knowledge," said Walker. "We haven't made the announcements, because we wanted to continue to do what we do without any fanfare."

The fact that Harnden will only take over for the 2016 race is a clear sign that Melbourne wants to keep the grand prix beyond its 2015 contract.

Walker, who was recently battling lung cancer, revealed last week that he has negotiated a basic new deal with Ecclestone.

"I think the foreplay is over so to speak and it's now a case of talking to the government about whether it is worth it or not," he is quoted by the AFP news agency.

"I think everyone in the government wants the race. The assessment is going to be made over the price," Walker added.

He told News Limited: "We are asking for three extra years. We are not like the Arab states and some other countries -- we have to be very careful the way we spend taxpayers' money."

(GMM)

 
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