Judgement day looms for both FIA and Red Bull

13 April 2014 by Ryan Wood

Monday sees the International Court of Appeal convene to oversee Red Bull's appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from second place at the Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull are fighting to get that second place and those all important 18 points back, whilst the FIA is fighting for its credibility.

Should Red Bull succeed, they will move up to second in the constructors' championship, but more importantly, it will have wide-ranging implications on the sport itself.

Red Bull are not only challenging a ruling, they're challenging the FIA, the way it governs the sport and the way the technical regulations are written.

Red Bull chose to ignore a technical directive from the governing body explaining what to do in the event a fuel flow sensor 'drifts' of fails completely.

Ricciardo's did drift, according to the team, so they chose to use a back-up system which hadn't been pre-approved by the FIA. Because the team ignored the FIA's advice during and before the race, they were disqualified.

Team principal Christian Horner claims they had every right to ignore the FIA's advice - via a technical directive - because it's exactly that, advice, not legally binding as per the technical regulations.

If the Milton Keynes outfit succeeds, it will throw into question how much credence the FIA's advice holds and whether technical directives can be largely ignored, opening up a world of potential complaints, protests and appeals.

As Marussia's Graeme Lowdon put it, "it would open the floodgates."

"That's why we have this system where the FIA give their opinion. It happens on things all the time," he explained. "We seek Charlie Whiting's opinion on a lot of things and he gives it and I think there's a general view that it's good for the teams to follow that advice, even though it might not necessarily constitute a part of the regulations.

"It is an opinion and if we were just to ignore all of those opinions and constantly test them in a court then the sport would just stutter along endlessly."