Ricciardo excluded from qualifying for MGU-K energy breach

Marina Bay, Singapore

Singapore Grand Prix – Daniel Ricciardo has been excluded from qualifying in Singapore, following an investigation into an energy usage breach during Q1.

Daniel Ricciardo has been excluded from qualifying at Marina Bay in Singapore. The Renault driver initially qualified in P8, heading a Renault 8-9 with teammate Nico Hulkenberg slotting in a tenth behind Ricciardo.

However, an energy anomaly was detected on the Renault and, hours after qualifying, a representative from Renault was summoned before race stewards to explain.

Following the meeting, the stewards ordered the exclusion of Daniel Ricciardo from the standings. He will thus start from the back of the grid. The full stewards enquiry is below:

“It was established in the hearing, beyond any doubt in the opinion of the Stewards, that the competitor exceeded the MGU-K power flow limit permitted under Appendix 3, per Article 5.2.2 of the 2019 Formula One Technical Regulations. The method by which this limit is regulated is well known and understood by the teams.

Neither the fact that the car had exceeded the limit nor the methodology by which it is policed was disputed by the team.

The team’s defense rested on two points. First, that the excess was very small and offered no measurable benefit. Second, that the excess occurred during the second fastest lap during Q1. The team explained to the Stewards how they believe the excess occurred, however the Stewards consider this information to be confidential to the team, and not relevant to this decision.

“Notwithstanding the team’s arguments, the Stewards take note of the very clear wording of Article 1.2.2 ISC, which states that “If an Automobile is found not to comply with the applicable technical regulations, it shall be no defense to claim that no performance advantage was obtained”. In coming to this decision the Stewards referred to longstanding precedents regarding technical infringements and the penalty which has been consistently applied is disqualification, and which does not consider when or if an advantage was gained. This principle has been very clearly affirmed by the International Court of Appeal.”

“The Stewards therefore order Car 3 disqualified from the results of Qualifying.”

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Thomas Maher

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