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GP Week : Issue 198
FIA COMES TO ITS SENSORS' DEFENCE Motorsport’s governing body has come to the defence of the regulations and hardware that saw Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix. The FIA took the unusual step of arranging a media conference in Malaysia to explain its position, regarding the fuel flow sensors. Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting was quite clear that the rule will stand scrutiny. “Article 5.10 makes it quite clear in my view that the only way the fuel flow will be measured is with the homologated sensor,” stated Whiting during a media briefing in Malaysia on Friday. “As you know, Gill is the only sensor that is homologated by the FIA. To me it is perfectly clear.” The Article to which Whiting referred, Article 5.10.3, states: “Homologated sensors must be fitted which directly measure the pressure, the temperature and the flow of the fuel supplied to the injectors, these signals must be supplied to the FIA data logger.” The conference was also attended by the head of the FIA’s powertrain department, Fabrice Lom, who said: “We accept plus or minus 0.5 per cent [accuracy]. “A lot of them are much better than this, and little by little we will get it down as the target is 0.25 per cent.” Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has expressed confidence that his team will win its appeal, confidence that appears to be based on previous FIA rulings that Technical Directive’s hold no regulatory value. A TD was issued on March 1, setting out a backup method of maintaining a fuel flow rate under the maximum allowable 100kg/hour. After being alerted by officials in Melbourne that the car was over the limit, RBR followed its own methodology rather than the FIA’s . According to German publication Auto-motor-und- sport, Red Bull calculated that following the FIA directive to keep the reading under the limit would have actually compromised the flow in Ricciardo’s car to 96kg/hour at Albert Park, costing the Power unit as much as eight horsepower. There are also suggestions that RBR under-estimated the scope of the problem they suffered in Melbourne. Auto- motor-und-sport also reported that the team took only four of the sensors in Australia while other teams packed as many as 12. The units are said to cost as much as $26,000 once calibrated and installed. The Appeal is due to be heard in Paris on April 14. F1 >>> nEWs 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: