How solid are the basis of Red Bull’s appeal?

After the exclusion of Daniel Ricciardo once the Gran Prix was over, Red Bull Racing announced they would have appealed the decision since the team didn’t agree with the statements of the FIA technical representatives in Melbourne.

But are we really sure that the Milton Keynes team has the upper hand to proceed with its action? As we know, the defending World Champions have been excluded from the race results because car #3, driven by the Australian pilot, breached Article 5.1.4 of Technical Regulations and Article 3.2 of Sporting Regulations.

Since the beginning, Horner has questioned the reliability of the FIA-homologated fuel sensor, the system designed by Gill Sensors to control the fuel flow rate, which is limited to a maximum consumption (stated in Article 5.1.4) of 100kg/hour once the car is over 10.500 rpm; Horner observed that the FIA sensor revealed inconsistencies on varying parameters – fuel density, temperature – without guaranteeing, therefore, the declared margin of error. On Thursday Charlie Whiting put in a good word for the system, declaring: “We are confident regarding the precision of the fuel sensor. It will always be correlated with the data of fuel injectors, to prevent any divergence”. He confirmed also a “zero-tolerance” policy with cases of noncompliance with the data of the FIA-homologated fuel sensor.

As indicated in the last days, the FIA Representatives warned several times team Red Bull to reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor and ad stated by Technical Regulations. Similar warning were directed also to Ferrari and Mercedes but, unlike Maranello and Brackley teams, Horner’s men chose not to make this correction, ignoring FIA indications. Here Article 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations comes into play, verbatim stating: “Competitors must ensure that their cars comply with the conditions of eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race”.

Independently from what has been affirmed by RB, the team ignored a precise sporting warning coming from FIA. Therefore the car, in that moments, didn’t comply with the conditions of “eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race” necessary to compete in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.