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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.”