Formula One: Ricciardo stripped of second spot in home race over new fuel rule

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia speeds along the track in the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014. Ricciardo was disqualified from his sensational second-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix for br
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia speeds along the track in the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16, 2014. Ricciardo was disqualified from his sensational second-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix for breaching a new limit on fuel use, officials said on Sunday, March 16, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from his sensational second-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix for breaching a new limit on fuel use, officials said on Sunday.

After a marathon hearing, stewards announced that Ricciardo, who finished runner-up in his Red Bull behind Nico Rosberg, was excluded from the race result at the season-opener.

Stewards said that his car was not in compliance with F1 technical regulations and had exceeded the maximum fuel flow, or rate of fuel consumption, of 100kg/h.

Red Bull immediately said they would appeal against the decision, which made Ricciardo the first casualty of new limits on maximum fuel load and fuel flow introduced this year.

His podium finish was the first of his career, and in his first race with Red Bull, and was also the first achieved by an Australian driver in his home grand prix.

"Inconsistencies with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane," a Red Bull statement said.

"The team and (engine supplier) Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations."

The fuel flow is measured by a sensor sanctioned by FIA and owned and operated by teams. Stewards said Red Bull used a different sensor on Saturday and they were instructed to change it that night.

The Red Bull team chose to run the car using their fuel flow model without direction from FIA, which was in violation of the procedure within the technical regulations, stewards said.

The stewards said Ricciardo's car was out of compliance with the technical regulations and therefore was excluded from the result of the Australian race.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer reported Ricciardo to the stewards after finding his car "exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h".

As a result of the decision, Kevin Magnussen was elevated to second place with his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button third.

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