Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix will remain after the FIA dismissed Red Bull's attempts to overturn the decision that saw the Perth-born driver pushed away from second on home soil.
Jon Noble of AUTOSPORT.com confirmed the news via Twitter:
Red Bull has lost its appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix. Court upholds stewards' decision.— Jon Noble (@NobleF1) April 15, 2014
A brief statement was released on the FIA's official website, with full details to be published later this week.
Red Bull responded with a statement of its own, in which the team accepted the ruling and apologised to its driver for the mishap:
Ricciardo's disqualification came after he "consistently" overshot the allowed fuel-flow of 100kg/h, according to Edd Straw of AUTOSPORT.com.
Five judges—Harry Duijm, Rui Botica Santos, Philippe Narmino, Antonio Rigozzi and Jan Stovicek—decided the verdict in a Paris meet, punishing Red Bull for using its in-house fuel-flow system, rather than the FIA-approved technology produced by Gill Sensors.
Do Red Bull deserve to have their appeal overturned?
Team principal Christian Horner saw his driver lose 18 points with the stewards' decision, which came a painstaking five hours after the Melbourne race concluded. As reported by Ian Parkes of The Independent, Red Bull had been warned "both after qualifying and five laps into the race with regard to the matter."
Horner belittled Gill Sensors' fuel-flow sensor as "immature technology," per Straw, before maintaining that Red Bull regulates through its own means. Horner said his team possesses a "very strong case" to have the disqualification overturned prior to Tuesday's decision, noted by Parkes.
Ricciardo was forced to retire in Malaysia and finished 10th in Bahrain following his initial punishment. Three races into the season he stands 10th overall, knowing the additional 18 points would have thrust him into third, 31 points behind leader Nico Rosberg. Right now, Ricciardo's total stutters at 12, per the official Formula 1 website.
Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports' F1 channel (via Sky Sports' Pete Gill) stressed the importance of such a ruling:
I think this was the only decision that the FIA could come to. To allow Red Bull's appeal would have been open season for all the other teams to choose which technical directive and which regulation they ignore and which they obey.
It would have been chaos in Formula 1. We would have ended every race not knowing who was really the winner, because we were going to get a stewards' enquiry and perhaps a court case after the rest of it.
Kravitz's final point is certainly an important one. The FIA's regulations have been added "to promote fuel efficiency" and, just like adhering to the correct type of tyre or weight limits, can have a major influence on the overall result.
Red Bull's decision to ignore previous warnings was a foolish one, as right now, Ricciardo faces a real challenge to compete for this season's top accolade. While he was only an outside shout to claim the Drivers' Championship prior to the Australian Grand Prix, it's a shame his career's best finish has turned out to be one of his worst, and indeed, most controversial.