Designed to ensure teams do not use more than the allowed 100kg of fuel per race, or 100kg per hour, the FIA homologated a sensor which it could monitor in real time. However since it was implemented at the start of winter testing it has been found that there is 'noise' in the signal the sensor provides, leaving it open to criticism and (mis)interpretation.
Nowhere was that more evident than on Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull during the Australian Grand Prix when the team trusted its own calculations over readings given by an 'erroneous' sensor. It was a decision which saw Ricciardo excluded, a point the Milton Keynes squad has appealed though not without leaving a rather unsavory taste in the mouth just as new 'green' technologies look to revolutionize the sport.
However it has now come to light that, following the meeting at Sepang, the FIA has all but succumbed to concerns from within the paddock and even as early as this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix the fuel flow sensor could be scrapped with teams instead required to provide calculations and data upon request from the stewards.
Bizarrely, and in a true Formula One twist, the reinterpretation does Red Bull's ongoing appeal no favors as the new interpretation does not come in to affect until the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend. Consequently, Ricciardo's car remains non-compliant as it did not conform to the technical regulations in place for the Australian Grand Prix. As a result Red Bull will still be forced to prove it adhered to the fuel flow sensor regulations in order to win its appeal despite the fact that by that time (April 14) the rule will probably no longer be in force. Pitpass