Red Bull look to overturn Ricciardo penalty

PARIS (AFP) - World champions Red Bull believe they can overturn Daniel Ricciardo's Australian Grand Prix disqualification on Monday and reinvigorate their 2014 challenge.

The FIA's International Court of Appeal will meet in Paris to decide whether or not to reinstate Ricciardo's second-place finish in Melbourne.

He was stripped of his place after the team were found guilty of breaching fuel flow regulations.

A reinstatement would be worth 18 points which would lift the driver into third spot in the championship, albeit 31 points behind leader Nico Rosberg and 20 back from the German's Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

They would also propel the team into second place in the constructors championship where they would be 38 points behind runaway leaders Mercedes, ahead of next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

"Those points are vital. Every point is vital," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told

"We have got a very strong case. As more races have progressed, issues have become more evident - and new evidence has come to light, new understandings have come to light.

"So hopefully we can present our case fairly and get our second place back that Daniel deserves from Melbourne."

Widespread rule changes this year include a 100 kg (about 135 litres) cap on fuel as well as a fuel-flow limit of 100 kg per hour, designed to encourage steady use of fuel.

Red Bull insist Ricciardo's car kept to the correct fuel flow in Melbourne, saying a faulty FIA sensor wrongly showed it broke the limit.

"I think we need to look at a more robust system," Horner said as the controversy rumbled on into the second race of the season in Malaysia last month, adding that he had raised his concerns with technical officials.

"In many respects I think personally it would be easier to get rid of it and just say, 'You've got 100 kilos, use it how you like but that's all you've got'."

Horner said some teams were buying "boxes" of the sensors, which cost 15,000 pounds (S$31,000) to buy and calibrate, and testing them all to find out which gave the most advantageous readings.

Ricciardo, 24, has endured a roller-coaster start to his Red Bull career after replacing fellow Australian Mark Webber at the world champions.

His Melbourne disqualification was followed by a retirement in Malaysia where he also copped a 10-place grid penalty for the third round in Bahrain.

At the Middle East track, he qualified third, started in 13th spot due to his Malaysia rap before storming to a fourth-place finish, just missing out on a podium place.

"It was an awesome race; it was exciting," said Ricciardo, whose world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel managed just a sixth-place finish.

"We got close to the podium, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could. The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack."

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