State University of New York Institute of Technology
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F1 controversy as Red Bull Racing fights disqualification from Melbourne Grand Prix

On Sunday, March 17, 2014, an Austrailian F1 racer by the name of Daniel Ricciardo achieved second place at the Melbourne Grand Prix. He was the first Austrailian to obtain a podium finish at Melbourne in F1 racing history. With this said about five hours after his historic finish, Ricciardo and his Red Bull sponsored racing team were notified that they had been disqualified. The reason behind this being the fact that the Red Bull car used more fuel than what is allowed in F1 racing. According to F1 rules, the race car is not allowed to use more than 100 kg of fuel per hour during any point of the race. This is because racing officials have determined that more fuel consumption occurs by an engine with bigger fuel injectors and that leads to more power and faster times. Breaking this rule will and has ended in the driver and teams disqualification from the race. The racing team has stated that the disqualification is wrong because the meter they were using was not functioning properly. Apparently racing official had to replace the meter once before for a discrepancy that had happened in the practice runs before the actual race took place. Since this meter was also experiencing problems they reinstalled the new one. Officials believe their case will prevail and result in the driver’s disqualification but the investigation could take into two weeks to solve.

F1 racing is a very competitive sport. Every driver is going to do his best to finish at the best possibly position. In that sense each driver has different driving styles where one might be pedal to the floor all the time and others may take more strategic options. With that a person who is driving their car harder will use more fuel. I think it is hard to effectively limit and monitor the consumption of fuel per team. Obviously cheating on the professional level is wrong, and if the limit is exceeded by an obsessive amount it would be obvious they are cheating. But if the amount is exceeded by a small amount I don’t think that necessarily means they are cheating. With this being said I feel like there should be some type of leniency towards this rule. If the amount over is questionable then they should look more into it. But there is also other factors like the possibility of spilling fuel or a faulty meter that could create an inaccurate reading of how much fuel the car actually used.

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