sport

Red Bull avoid further punishment

Red Bull avoided further punishment from the FIA this week upon the basis they did not act fraudulently during the Australian Grand Prix.

On Tuesday, motor sport's world governing body announced Red Bull had failed in its appeal to reinstate Daniel Ricciardo to the runner-up place he initially achieved at his home race at Melbourne's Albert Park on March 16.

Ricciardo was disqualified on the basis his car consistently exceeded the new-for-2014 regulation regarding fuel-flow rate, which is set at 100 kilograms per hour.

Due to issues with the fuel-flow sensors fitted to the car throughout the course of the race weekend in Australia, Red Bull were forced to use their own readings, ignoring technical directives not to do so.

After presenting their case to the International Court of Appeal on Monday, the five judges who presided over the case opted to uphold the original decision made by the stewards in Melbourne.

Mercedes, who presented their own argument during the appeal, had also suggested a ban of no less than three races be imposed, plus a disqualification for a further six months suspended for a year.

But in releasing the findings of Court, it was decided the original sanction of disqualification was a sufficient punishment.

The Court noted that "considering the technical issues at stake and the fact this was the first official race under this technology, the Court does not find the appellant's (Red Bull) attitude in Australia was fraudulent".

Appreciating the Court's findings, team principal Christian Horner told Press Association Sport: "We went through it (the appeal) in a huge amount of detail.

"We presented our case in a very fair and concise manner, and I think the one thing that was clear was that all concerned in the jury could see there was no intent to break any regulations.

"It was not a blatant intent to challenge or break any regulations. It was purely a question of what do you believe."

In terms of going forward with regard to the sensors Horner has long complained about, he added: "It cannot be disputed there has been quite a few issues with these sensors.

"Hopefully with more experience and time they will become more and more reliable.

"We didn't have those issues in (the last race in) Bahrain and hopefully that will continue to be the case."

As for Mercedes' attempt to increase the penalty, Horner said: "They took the position they did. It was surprising, it was their position."

For Red Bull and Ricciardo, they are now 18 points further off the pace in the constructors' and drivers' standings after failing to have the 24-year-old Australian reinstated into second place.

"It is just 18 more points we have to recoup," said Horner.

"It would have been handy to have them, but we haven't. We have got what we have got and we have to close the gap, or at least mitigate the damage while we are closing the gap with the power unit.

"More important than that, it would have been good for Daniel because he drove such a great race at his home grand prix.

"It is a great shame for him, not just the team, that it won't go down in the history books as a great second place for him."