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Red Bull warns of Australia repeat amid fuel flow issues

ESPN Staff
March 28, 2014 « Problems for both Renault and Lotus - Grosjean | FIA rules out ditching fuel flow rule »
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Christian Horner says Red Bull could find itself in the same situation as it did in Australia regarding the fuel flow on Daniel Ricciardo's car.

During Friday practice the team suffered a failure of its fuel flow sensor and has yet to discern whether the new sensor is giving the correct reading. If the sensor does not match up with Red Bull's readings from its measurements, the team would find itself in the same position as it did in Australia, and Horner said his team would be forced to make another tricky decision as to whether it ignores the sensor and flirts with the possibility of a another disqualification.

"We had a signal failure on Daniel's car this morning immediately and we have replaced that for this afternoon's session and we haven't heard the results," he said. "Hopefully it's reading as per the fuel rail [feeding the engine] and will behave for the rest of the weekend. If it doesn't we find ourselves in an awkward situation, but obviously it's one we will try to work with the FIA on. But again you are faced with the same dilemma as two weeks ago.

"I think we'll have that conversation beforehand, so it's clear if we do see a variance. Hopefully we can agree something that's sensible."

With one hearing already hanging over the team following Ricciardo's exclusion from the results in Australia and Red Bull's subsequent appeal, Horner hinted that Red Bull would be willing to risk ignoring the fuel sensor if its readings are a long way off.

"Firstly we need a sensor that is consistent with the fuel rail, that's the most important factor. Thereafter we will have to make that judgement in the race depending on what the sensor is saying. If it's 0.25% you can live with it, if it's 2% you can't live with it. It depends on what the value is. The rules are very clear, [Article] 5.1.4 of the [technical] regulations very clearly states what the fuel flow permitted into the engine is. We can clearly demonstrate we have not exceeded that.

"Technical directives, of which the sensors are included within, are not regulations. We know that from the Pirelli case, the double diffuser case, and following the Pirelli case it even says on the bottom of them: 'This is not a regulation it is purely an opinion and has not regulatory value'. I think we're pretty confident in our position over the Australian Grand Prix."

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