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Red Bull tweaks Mercedes over attempt to increase ‘Fuelgate’ punishment

Apr 22, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China Getty Images

Red Bull’s “Fuelgate” episode that cost Daniel Ricciardo a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix appeared settled after the FIA rejected the team’s appeal last week.

But after the release of the full verdict – which noted that rival Mercedes lobbied for “a ban of no less than three races plus a disqualification for a further six months, suspended for a year” against Red Bull – the reigning World Champions apparently decided that a final shot was in order.

In a piece on their official webpage, Red Bull’s anonymous “Spy” talked about the subject as follows:

“The big news we’re digesting is that the playful scamps at Merc decided to have a good old sticky-beak at our appeal and requested we receive a three-race ban.

There’s a few pursed lips from our management at that but they’ve decided to rise above it and not comment – but down here at the coalface you can be sure we’re telling out mates in the next garage along where they can shove that three-pointed star.

Actually, it’s quite reassuring: it means we’re getting close enough to get them rattled and sweating a bit. Back in February, that looked pretty unlikely.

At least that’s what Spy thinks: it seems we’ve undergone a change in the last couple of weeks. It’s going to be a long time before we completely understand this car but we’ve gone past the stage of just trying to get it to work and are now into the stage of trying to make it go faster.”

A good tweak by the Bulls, but the fact remains that Mercedes has had them – and everyone else – covered through the first four races of the season.

While Ricciardo has been delivering a stiff challenge for Red Bull’s leader crown against the formerly invincible Sebastian Vettel, the ‘Silver Arrows’, with points leader Nico Rosberg and winner of the last three races, Lewis Hamilton, have opened up a sizable lead in the Constructor’s Championship on the strength of a superior engine and a solid car.

But there’s still lots of racing left to come, and we’ll see if the European rounds bring about a shift in fortunes for both squads.

  1. fireblade22 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    “Ricciardo has been delivering a stiff challenge for Red Bull’s leader crown against the formerly invincible Sebastian Vettel”

    Lot’s of heavy breathing in the press on this subject. But the reality is that Vettel is leading Ricciardo in the WDC standings at present. And Webber was ahead of Vettel at many times in 2010 and 2012.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    …and if Ricciardo didn’t lose all of his points from “fuelgate”, he’d be ahead of Vettel who is clearly being out-driven by his teammate at every race so far this year. How many times did Webber’s tires fall off? How many times did Webber’s KERs fail? How many times did Webber out perform Vettel and then his car mysteriously slowed in the race? When you look at all the facts instead of picking and choosing to support your POV, we find that Seb is a snot nosed punk with a bad attitude who is routinely beaten by his own teammate in the exact same equipment.

    As far as “fuelgate” is concerned the FIA illustrated their gross incompetence once again. I’m surprised they didn’t give Riccardo his points back and apologise to the scumbag cheating Red B.S. Racing group for making them follow the rules like other teams do. I agree with Mercedes that Red B.S. Racing should have been banned for at least one race but Mercedes should have been banned for three races in 2013 and they got nothing – not even a slap on the wrist for their illegal tire test. The FIA is such a disgrace to the racing world… the last time they got anything right was when they fined McLaren $100 Million for industrial espionage.

  3. wiscpaul - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    “shove that three-pointed star”

  4. crunge4461 - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I have one small question about the fuel bit. Can someone explain why F1 does not just give the teams a said amount of fuel, an amount that will require some fuel save during race, and then if you use too much you run out of gas? I do not understand this complicated fuel-flow non-sense. Fuel saving has been part of racing for as long as I can remember, drivers save fuel by short shifting, rolling in, turning the turbo boost back, I just do not understand why there should be this fuel flow measurement sensor. Just give em an amount of fuel and if you use too much you run out of gas, simple, everyone would understand it…just don’t get this, instead we get some faulty sensor, a driver robbed of a great race at his home GP and nonsense off track spectacle. F1, IMO, over thinks everything from track construction to convoluted and sometimes arbitrary rules.

  5. photog645 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Now children, children; children! Play nice!. This is auto racing, it ain’t life and death, even though both of you think so! Do your talking on the track with your race cars!

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