Daniel Ricciardo has been excluded from the Australian Grand Prix for a breach of regulations.
On his debut for Red Bull, Ricciardo finished an impressive second in Melbourne to provisionally take his first ever podium after late pressure from Kevin Magnussen. However, after the race a report from FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer said that Ricciardo's car had "exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h” during the grand prix.
After a lengthy stewards' investigation, the FIA finally announced that Ricciardo had been excluded for a breach of regulations five hours after the race finished. The stewards' decision was three pages long and explained that - despite known issues with the fuel flow sensors - it is Red Bull's duty to ensure compliance with the technical regulations.
Red Bull had seen a difference in reading from the fuel flow sensor between runs in FP1 and again in FP2. Having run a different sensor on Saturday, the stewards' decision said that Red Bull "did not get readings that were satisfactory to them or the FIA, so they were instructed to change the sensor within Parc Ferme on Saturday night".
The team reverted to the original sensor which had given a difference in readings on Friday, and were instructed "to apply an offset to their fuel flow such that the fuel flow would have been legal".
However, Red Bull opted instead "to use their internal fuel flow model, rather than the values provided by the sensor, with the required offset" as it felt the sensor was unreliable.
"The FIA technical representative observed through the telemetry during the race that the fuel flow was too high and contacted the team, giving them the opportunity to follow his previous instruction, and reduce the fuel flow such that it was within the limit, as measured by the homologated sensor - and thus gave the team the opportunity to be within compliance. The team chose not to make this correction."
The stewards decided to exclude Red Bull because "the team chose to run the car using their own fuel flow model, without direction from the FIA" and "that regardless of the team's assertion that the sensor was faulty, it is not within their discretion run a different fuel flow measurement method without the permission of the FIA".
As a result, Magnussen has been promoted to second and Jenson Button third, with Sergio Perez now scoring a point in tenth place. CLICK HERE
for full results.
Red Bull immediately announced its intention to appeal the decision.