Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 22nd March 2014


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Red Bull vows to ‘prove’ case on April 14 (GMM)

Grojean – Lotus need more staff (GMM)

Red Bull vows to ‘prove’ case on April 14

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, added that he backs the FIA and 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.


Grojean – Lotus need more staff

Lotus needs to recruit staff following a disastrous start to the 2014 season, team driver Romain Grosjean says. Although competitive, the Enstone based team had a dire end to the 2013 season amid obvious financial difficulties, losing Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari and later boss Eric Boullier to McLaren. But there are no longer any reports of financial difficulty, after Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA millions arrived, and reportedly 100 staff were shed.

Frenchman Grosjean said he supports the changes. “Things have stabilised and the atmosphere in the team is pretty good,” he told the French-language F1i. “All of the problems of last year are now behind us,” Grosjean added.

Technically, however, Lotus is in the midst of a disastrous early 2014, as although the Renault-powered E22 is innovative, it is severely lacking in pace and reliability.

Grosjean thinks the team needs some more staff. “We definitely need to recruit some people to support the smaller team,” he said, “but overall things are positive.”


61 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 22nd March 2014

  1. So, finally, another team says they we’re adversely affected by the file fuel flow meters. Presumably others gained a benefit that they are staying quiet about. You can bet your bottom dollar that the silver crowd would have squealed if RBR got over them on the day by some miracle.
    The empire has no clothes. I’m hoping RBR chuck a can of their horrible energy drink in the works. I’d be happy to see the FIA get a kick in the Jatz crackers.

      • Ha! I’m absolutely surprised that MW would seruptitiously go into bat for his ex-team and a fellow Straylian 🙂
        While I’m here I have to say MW put in some truly excellent guest commentry on the local TV coverage in Melbourne including spitting out a couple of thousand words over the top of Hamilton’s pole lap. Love his work 😀

      • It’s not only Porsche. In fact Audi said as well that the fuel meters are ‘not funny’, according to their motorsports chief Dr. Ulrich. The WEC uses the same items and they’re just as unreliable in the WEC cars.

    • quite obvious RB used the extra fuel to gain some much need hp, but the point is that, using more fuel the engine runs cooler than other using a leaner mixture, and heating was the main issue haunting RB the whole pre season, so if they’re forced to use a leaner mixture they will be hit twice, in hp and probably having to compromise even more to avoid heating

      • I’m not sure cooling is an issue with regard to fuel mixtures.

        Engines will be running at stoichiometric – therefore not running hot.

        You only need to go to lean burn i.e. greater than stoichiometric above 10,500 rpm.

        I think it’s more likely it’s the extra power RBR were looking for as all the Renault engine cars are slower in top speed than Merc or Ferrari cars.

        If you run the mixture rich below 10,500 rpm – in other words below the 100 Kg/h limit – you can produce more power than at stoichiometric.

        • You are aware that the stoichiometric ratio is the air-fuel ratio at which the maximum amount of heat is generated when it is burnt?

          It is specifically for this reason that engine tuners try to avoid running at this ratio for any length of time.

          • A stoichiometric amount or stoichiometric ratio of a reagent is the optimum amount or ratio where, assuming that the reaction proceeds to completion:
            All of the reagent is consumed
            There is no deficiency of the reagent
            There is no excess of the reagent.

            So I think it means all the maximum amount of fuel has been burnt

          • Correct – and so the maximum possible amount of heat has been generated, no more and no less!

          • To elucidate, although ICE’s are generically referred to as ‘heat engines’ they actually work by converting fluid pressure into mechanical energy. The fluid (gas) is the product of combustion. It is possible to generate higher fluid pressures when reagents are combusted at non stoichiometric ratios – explosives are an extreme example. Performance ICE fuel-air ratios are chosen to maximise fluid pressure not complete combustion (heat output).

          • @The Engineer, loving your comments my friend. It’s nice when people have in depth knowledge of a particular area and are able to explain in ‘normal’ English how the process work and effect each other.
            Looking forward to reading more.

        • Engines are never run on an exact stoichiometric mixture as it can damage the engine due to the intense heat.

          I found this it may be of interest
          A stoichiometric mixture is considered an air/fuel mixture that has just enough air to burn the entire fuel quantity. For typical gasoline that we put in our cars, this ranges anywhere between 12.5 to 13.3. In F1 fuels, this may be slightly lower (due to the additives that have the effect of lowering the stoichiometric ratio). In reality, however, cars never run stoichiometric mixtures. There are three main reasons for that: (a) a stoichiometric mixture burns very hot and can impart severe thermal stresses to the engine components, (b) the temperature is further increased because we no longer have the cooling effect of the fuel spray on the combustion chamber and, (c) due to the high temperatures, early detonation of the mixture is possible, causing the famous “knocking” effect under load. All cars therefore (even F1 single seaters) use rich mixtures (i.e. air mass / fuel mass less than the stoichiometric one).
          Gains in power once the fuel flow limit is reached are achieved by altering the ignition timing and the charge mixture.

          Putting more fuel into the combustion chamber does have a considerable cooling effect, a little less so with direct injection, but, there is still 30%of the fuel being introduced with the charge air, only 70% is directly injected.

          • @Clear View


            When I was installing and commissioning a system in the middle-east I finished early, so my company decided to ‘volunteer’ me to run some training courses. I quickly learned that it was easiest to keep descriptions simple and concise. I did get a Jag XJS for my troubles!

            I think you may be wrong with the 30% in the charge air. Tech spec para 5.10.2 forbids injectors upstream of the inlet valves.

    • No, another team are saying they were adversely affected by following the instructions of the stewards to ensure their fuel flow readings were legal ACCORDING TO THE FIA FLOW METERS.

      In other words, Red Bull were gaining an unfair advantage over teams who were obeying the stewards…

      • Two thoughts:
        Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men – Douglas Bader
        Just because someone tries to hand you a pile of horseshit doesn’t mean you have to take it – Henry Rollins

    • Why, presumably, did other teams gain an advantage? Surely all the obedient teams were hampered by up to half a second a lap?

      • Mercedes CLAIM that they lost half a second. They obeyed to turn their engine down, even though they were within the limit. It’s an easy thing to do if you’re 2 seconds a lap ahead of the rest.
        In fact other teams might have been over the limit of 100kg/h, but the sensor showed 99 kg/h

        • But that’s not really answering my question… How did any team that complied gain an advantage?

          • I wrote it above. Not every team was asked/forced to turn their engine down. Teams were only advised to run their engine in a way that the fuel-o.meter showed less than 100kg/h, irresppectably of what their own systems say.
            For Merc that meant reducing engine power for others it meant doing nothing and for others it could have meant turning the wick up, because the own system says 102 kg/h, but the fuel-Münchhausen says 100 kg/h <- clear advatage. So far we have only reliable accounts from Merc and RB, we don't know about the other teams

        • Unless the FFM were well and truly broken, that’s not possible. They are calibrated to return a margin of error -1% to 0. Essentially, if they are wrong, they will only be wrong on the side of overestimating the amount of fuel flow, therefore ensuring no team goes over the 100 kg/hr limit.

          If other teams telemetry read >100kg/hr it just goes to show how unreliable that data is. As has been pointed out, the only instrument for measuring fuel flow that is calibrated trackside is the FIA one. Everything else the teams talk about is based on technical specs provided by manufacturers.

          • F1 Team Rhetoric™, for public consumption… (re. rbr’s almost defamatory public statements against the FFM maker)

          • You would have loved life behind the iron courtain with an obedient mindset like that, Joe. you could’ve become general secretary of the Politbüro. I abhor that life. Authorities need to be challenged.

          • You would have loved life behind the iron courtain with an obedient mindset like that, Joe.

            Obedient? More like sophisticated and discreet, preferring to work for the common good outside the public’s eye – and only step into spotlight when it suits my purposes and self-interest…

            you could’ve become general secretary of the Politbüro. I abhor that life.

            Leadership has its privileges…

            China’s princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven

            Relatives of political leaders including China’s current president and former premier named in trove of leaked documents from the British Virgin Islands

            Tuesday 21 January 2014 16.00 EST

            “More than a dozen family members of China’s top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal.

            The brother-in-law of China’s current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show…”

            Moving on to more substantive matters…

            Authorities need to be challenged.

            Oh Hippo, we both know that RBR are only appealing out of very narrow self-interest, and not b/c they’re concerned about the general state of or welfare of the sport and/or believe there is an unjust rule that they will fight and in doing so champion the cause of the very same teams who they abandoned in order to subvert FOTA and undermine the collective bargaining in F1.

            Let’s be crystal clear on this: based on not just my beliefs, but my direct experiences, I believe that the most appropriate means to resolve “problems” w/ the rulebook is by working within the framework of legitimate behavior allowed for by the system, preferably in consultation w/ the other stakeholders, ideally behind-the-scenes to avoid creating unnecessary, damaging scandal and bringing the sport into disrepute – or at least making a mockery of it.

            By all means, RBR should pursue the appeal-function if their interest is purely rational and self-focused, but it’s disingenuous for Horner and those who support him to even SUGGEST that RBR is motivated in even the slightest way by altruism and concern for their fellow competitor’s fuel-flow managers.

            By the same token, I think athletes who “sue” when they fail to make a country’s World Championship or Olympic team are especially distasteful in their actions, even IF they might have a case on a technicality, for example.

            Likewise, if a team or athlete is caught cheating – whether EPO-doping or Fuel-doping, for example – they should just shut up and take the punishment like men and acknowledge that they got caught doing wrong. Attacking and seeking to undermine the very system that functioned effectively by detecting and punishing your anti-social behavior is the height of arrogance, conceit, narcissism and obsessive self-interest (sometimes even) at the expense of the “common good”.

            Truly unjust laws & rules and corrupt behavior should be challenged honorably and selflessly.

            But the actions of Red Bull Racing seem neither honorable nor selfless.

            “You can quote me now cuz I’m still talkin’ shit”! (-Eazy E, “Still Talkin'”)

  2. Not sure why Grosjean thinks all the problems of last year are behind them. Last year they were often the only team able to challenge Red Bull whereas this year they aren’t challenging anyone yet. Maybe they have more money but they’ve lost their lead driver, their team principal and their designer…can’t see them challenging for a win for a while yet…

      • I’d forgotten that! Maybe I’d assumed that he had got paid because his pay was so much less but I think I remember that Valsecchi complained about not getting paid…

        • While he (Valsecchi) also claimed to be on a ‘waiters salary’ – typing it I realise he probably didn’t mean someone who serves you at a restaurant but someone who gets paid for … waiting!

    • I guess Lotus is in a tricky position now. They definitely have less money than last year, even with Pastor. They’ve let 50+ staff go, to cut the budget – maybe they have less than Williams now, who knows. Pastor thought he was moving up, but the reality may be a different picture. Their best hope is probably to finish 6th in the WCC on their budget and reduced staff load, behind Williams-Mercedes and the top 4 teams.

      The big mistake was piling money into late 2013, and not securing 2nd in the WDC, and the £17.5m extra that would have meant they secured from their direct competition. Now, even if they have a good 2014 package, they are on the back foot until Europe at the earliest.

  3. also the whole flow meter issue serves as psychological weapon for Mercedes to intimidate even more their rivals

  4. I hope Red Bull are not only found guilty – if the (seemingly-overwhelming) evidence supports it – but also are punished additionally for abusing the appeals process after having been arrogant and hubristic.

    • I’m not sure what to wish for.
      Past rulings are clear: the letter of the rule is the rule, not the meaning or possible interpretations.
      However, what to do if you feel you’re treated unfair because some system like maybe the ECU isn’t working as it should?

      • Somewhere in recent rulings the International Court of Appeal stated that it is their job to ensure the rules laid down are applied correctly. The court’s opinion on the validity of the rules is irrelevant as long as they are workable, I guess. Most appeals are made against a steward’s application of the rules.

          • We didn’t bring down the Berlin wall by listening to warnings by the authorities. We toppled it by kicking the authorities in the goolies. go figure.

          • Cheating is cheating, however few people know about it.
            Perhaps you meant you’re only ‘guilty’ if you’re caught – which does NOT mean you are innocent if you’re NOT caught… 😉

          • Nobody has yet proven that RB used more than 100kg/h. The authorities only declared that to be so, because fuck you. Unless they can prove it, they have no case.

      • Most appellants want their disqualifications overturned as being too harsh a penalty.
        I’m not sure any one except RBR and the FIA know what’s in the appeal documents.

      • @theobeseone Flexing of wings is not determined by observing if the wing flexes, but by following an agreed measurement.
        That measurement might have some inherent faults or tolerances which are substandard. But everybody Has to deal with it.

        I do agree that it’s bullshit to have faulty flowmeters but I guess it’s unfortunate that there is no proper way to adress this. To me that’s the issue.

        • “faulty” = politically-motivated RBR-speak.

          While it’s true that some individual FFM’s have failed and needed to be replaced, RBR is underhandedly trying to influence the public’s perception by claiming the tech itself is faulty, which – based on my semi-professional opinion (lol) isn’t the case.

          What RBR’s REALLY guilty of is willfully refusing to submit w/o reserve to the FIA’s governance and administration of the Sport, which I find to be incredibly arrogant of them.

          Unless there IS some major cover-up/conspiracy to force teams to use fundamentally flawed technology for some corrupt purpose, I think RBR is doing more harm than good to F1 w/ their attack on FIA.

          • No @joe, I’m trying to make some sense out of this mess. I’m not on anyone’s bandwagon.
            From all info I gather, there is something wrong with the measurement. Now what?

        • It’s really a shame that RBR attacked both the technology of the FFM and the manufacturer of the valve and claimed that “up and down the pit lane” other teams were having the same problem and felt/thought about it the same as RBR” (paraphrasing) in a misguided attempt to shift public opinion in their favor, b/c it’s created understandable uncertainty amongst the fans as to the suitability of the tech + its application in this instance.

          And the idea of having to apply an offset…this bit of rhetoric on RBR’s part i found really shameful b/c of how it sought to sensationalize something rather unexceptional – off-setting the device. … When I was still competing, I both used and acted as an agent for SRM Powermeter system, which could cost upwards of $4-5.000 at the time. It was a system to measure power-output in watts on the bike at the crank, and required daily “calibration” via a simple 2-3 step process (pushing a few buttons and waiting, basically) AFTER coming to you from the factory w/ an offset slope already applied.

          But anyway, RBR is still in the wrong – if for no other reason than they refused to comply w/ the FIA tech delegate and willfully violated rules that they’d agreed to comply w/ fully and WITHOUT RESERVE (quite from FIA int’l sporting code) in exchange for their license(s) and being inscribed in the Championship.


    • Here Here!
      I’m no RedBull hater, but rules is rules and the FIA are the equivalent of God. So if you disobey a direct order, you should expect the face the full force of the disciplinary process (as the rules are rules and not law). I’m unsure what they are aiming to achieve by this action, it’s near futile to appeal.

      The only reason I can think of is that Merc and Ferrari are past just focusing on the reliability of their engines and are looking at the performance. Well if you take the comments above about fuel/air mixtures, then if you are having to run your car at 98kg/h rather then 100, the amount of available fuel at peak flow is less and will effect the fuel/air formula at full throttle (bear with me). If you are in the process of ‘tweeking’ your software to gain performance then the difference between 98 and 100kg/h peak flow is quite a bit. If this is the case, then Merc and Ferrari may be weary of putting lots of time and money into making these adjustments if there is a chance they may have to start over. This in turn gives Renault till after the Bahrain GP to keep there software boffins going at it hard, especially if they know RedBull will fail with their appeal. That means they have caught up the “month behind” claimed by Renault.

      Does anyone buy into this?

      • FIA are not the equivalent of god, else they’d be just as inexistant as the mythical father figure, who doesn’t give a shit.
        FIA is a wanna-be dictatorship thinking they can’t do wrong, but wonky fuel-o-meters isn WEC and F1 say otherwise. They’ll most likely knock down the appeal, because it’s them to select the judges together with the bumhurt teams, who are sick of being beaten by RB, but they’re not coming out of this without a lot of egg on their face.

        • Hippo, is that all you took from my post, I thought you of all people might be open to my line of thinking when it comes to the reasoning behind RedBull appealing when it us near pointless just to buy Renault a possibility of catching up a little on Merc and Ferrari.i feel it’s less about the sensors and more about stalling.

          Perhaps God is a wrong analogy, but it was just to get my point over that in a perfect world the rules, are the rules, are the rules to the letter and that the appeal is a waist of time, hence the question “why do they want to waist time?”

          • The appeal is not about to buy Renault time – they are hopeless anyway. It’s all about going up against the Politbüro.

          • I posted the other day that I thought it was a bit of kick put at the system, I mean on Monday morning RedBull Infinity Racing had its name in 2cm high letters, on either the front or back page of pretty much every major news paper in the developed world and a few in the undeveloped too. That is priceless, plus people read they were dsq from 2nd so they obviously make fast cars. I know it’s a bit “out there” but I’m just exercing my imagination.

  5. Being pedantic, just for the record:
    I don’t think Daniel was disq. (as stated by GMM). It was Red Bull – the car not the driver. As far as I’m aware Daniel did nothing wrong to have this smear on his reputation…

      • I can’t understand the FIA’s selective approach separating a driver from the team. In the recent past, they have punished both driver and team for infractions which could only have been the team’s responsibility, surely the settings to make the car burn more fuel and hence go faster would have been communicated to Ricciardo via radio and he would have acted accordingly, so its no different from a driver being asked to park a car on track or being released from the pits while another car is driving close by, or a car failing scrutineering due to a microscopic different in a measured dimension.
        The car was run illegally, much as I have sympathy for their situation.

        • I think if they were to punish DR directly they would have to put points on his super licence. Plus he has already been punished by plowing his 2nd place trophy and 18 points, I’m sure if they told him the score in race, he would have rather slowed up a little and pick up 4th or 5th and the points than a very very risky 2nd with the chance of nothing.

          Although he will never say it publicly (at least not while RedBull pay his sallery), but DR is an inocent victim as he was not privy to the information during the race and I’m sure he feels a little bit more than pissed off with the team and who could blame him. I already really like him and his easy going personality before he was signed with big boys. I would love to see him take a championship in the next few years.

          As for the team, I can only continue to ask myself WHY? What’s in it for them, what’s the bigger picture according to Infinity RedBull racing, where I’s this heading and what will be the repercussions through the paddock?

          I wish I was a fly on the wall in RedBull racing over the coming days and weeks.

          Here is some fireworks for you guys, I’m going in deep. If RedBull are made to adhere to the word of the rules as set down by the FIA, then they could argue that the FIA need to then look in-house at the rules they lay down to govern themselves. Perhaps emphasizing the possibly ‘corrupt’ selling of the commercial wrights to Formula 1. As we know Bernie is on his way out so no-one has to worry about upsetting him too much, he’s got his own battles. So if RedBull force the FIA to overturn the sale of the commercial wrights, the share value plumets, CVC want to get out quick, Bernie sells his shares too, RedBull buy it up cheap, simple as. They own 1 F1 track already so why not own the sport, buy up more tracks, no need to pay yourself hosting fees so all ticket, hospitalities and catering money is profit, also all track advertising is RedBull’s to do as they please with, the whole thing would be worth a freakin fortune, we all know how mut the RedBull head honcho is an out and out race fan, he could up the prize money, still make a fortune and not have to supplement the RedBull F1 team’s budget any more.


          • I think it was the ‘Jamaican style’ role ups my buddy bought round with him, rather than psychic powers! The thing is, that it’s such an outlandish theory, it really could happen. Let’s face it, when was the last season you can remember that F1 didn’t throw a ‘curve ball’ at some point

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