Horner urges F1 to scrap `complicated` fuel rule
Sepang: Red Bull boss Christian Horner urged Formula One to scrap complicated fuel-flow rules that saw Daniel Ricciardo stripped of second place in Melbourne, as the Australian hit similar trouble Friday.
Horner said policing the newly introduced limit on fuel flow, or rate of fuel use, "confuses even the teams" and should be axed with teams simply given a cap of 100 kilos (about 135 litres, 35 gallons) per race.
He was speaking after Ricciardo`s fuel sensor again played up in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, meaning Red Bull may be faced with the same dilemma which caused them problems in Australia.
"It`s kept Formula One in the news for 10 days. Ultimately is it good for the sport? No, because it`s too complicated," Horner told reporters at the Sepang circuit.
"I think Formula One is a sport and it needs to remain a sport and when technology becomes too prevalent and too involved, and it confuses the fans, it confuses even the teams, it`s too much.
"And I think that`s where we need to be a little bit careful."
Widespread rules changes this year include a 100 kilo (about 135 litres, 36 gallons) cap on fuel as well as a fuel-flow limit of 100 kilos per hour, designed to encourage steady use of fuel.
Red Bull insist Ricciardo`s car kept to the correct fuel flow, saying a faulty FIA sensor wrongly showed it broke the limit. Their appeal will be held in Paris on April 14.
"I think we need to look at a more robust system," Horner said, 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 ($25,000) to buy and calibrate, and testing them all to find out which gave the most advantageous readings.
Red Bull replaced Ricciardo`s sensor for Friday`s second practice session and if that also does not "behave", they will have talks with race officials to avoid a repeat of Australia.
"Hopefully we can agree something that`s sensible," Horner said.
Reigning drivers champion Sebastian Vettel only lasted a few laps in a disastrous season-opener for Red Bull, but Horner played down comments from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz suggesting they might quit the sport.
"He`s a pure petrol-head. He loves Formula One but he wants to see, in a pure way, fast cars, man and machine at the limit and for Formula One to be exciting and he`s very keen that Formula One keeps its DNA," he said.
But Horner said the controversy in Australia, which took hours to resolve and has provisionally robbed Ricciardo of his first podium finish, was damaging for Formula One.
"I think it`s not great for the fans. An Australian driver finishes on the podium in his home race, he collects the trophy, the fans all leave the circuit happy that the home boy`s done well," he said.
"And then five-and-a-half hours later the result changes... that`s damaging for Red Bull, that`s damaging for Formula One."
An FIA technical official said without fuel-flow regulations, teams would opt to use vastly different amounts of fuel at different times, creating potentially dangerous differences in speed between the cars.