Daniel Ricciardo’s runner-up finish in yesterday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix is under threat after his Red Bull car was found to have “exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow,” officials said.
Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) technical delegate Jo Bauer referred the matter to the race stewards in Melbourne, who were deliberating late yesterday whether to take action against the Australian.
Ricciardo’s podium finish was the first of his career, and in his first race with Red Bull, and was also the first achieved by an Australian driver in his home grand prix.
This year Formula One has introduced a fuel limit as well as a maximum fuel flow, which refers to the rate of use. Teams have been warned that violations will be punished by disqualification.
“During the race, car No. 3 [Ricciardo] has exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h,” Bauer said in a statement.
“As this is not in compliance with ... Formula One regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”
Ricciardo’s Red Bull team refused to comment on the matter and stewards gave no indication about when a decision would be announced.
Race director Charlie Whiting said ahead of the season-opener that there would be a zero-tolerance policy towards violations of the fuel limits, which are among a number of innovations this year.
“The 100kg is the maximum and, if they go over, they have exceeded the limit and there is no tolerance,” Whiting told reporters on Thursday.