Sepang: Red Bull experienced more issues with the contentious fuel-flow sensors during practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday, raising the prospect of another showdown with Formula One officials similar to the one that resulted in the team's disqualification in Australia.
Daniel Ricciardo was excluded from the results in Melbourne after finishing second, because race stewards said Red Bull exceeded the new fuel flow limit of 100 kilograms per hour. Red Bull blamed the issue on faulty readings from the FIA-approved fuel sensors and appealed the disqualification.
The sensors on Ricciardo's car malfunctioned again at Sepang, team principal Christian Horner said, showing a discrepancy with the team's own fuel-flow readings. In Melbourne, the team stood by its measurements and refused FIA directives to adhere to the reading on the sensor, and was subsequently disqualified.
Horner said he would talk with race director Charlie Whiting if the problem persisted on Saturday, in the hope of avoiding another post-race drama.
"If we don't (get synchronized readings) we will find ourselves in an awkward situation, but one we will try to work with the FIA on, but we will find ourselves in the same dilemma as Melbourne. We will have that conversation with Charlie and... hopefully we can agree on something that is sensible," Horner said.
The basis of Red Bull's appeal of the Melbourne stewards' ruling, which will be held on April 14, is that the sensors were faulty and the limit of 100 kilograms per hour fuel flow is a technical directive rather than a regulation and therefore is unenforceable.
Horner recommends scrapping the directive altogether, arguing that the associated limit of 100 kilograms per car for the entire race is easier to measure and self-regulating.
"We need a better way of measuring and monitoring the fuel flow, or say you get rid of it and you have 100 kilograms for the race and that's it. Personally, I think it would be easier to get rid of it," Horner said.
While Horner was determined to take the appeal as far as required, he acknowledged that post-race disqualifications and legal challenges were bad for the series.
"It's too complicated. Formula One is a sport and needs to remain a sport. When technology becomes too prevalent, too invasive and confuses the fans and confuses the teams, it's too much," he added.