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F1 to switch to 'more reliable' fuel flow meter

Red Bull Racing, Getty Images

2 June 2014 by Ryan Wood

Formula 1 will likely switch to a new brand of fuel flow meter for the 2015 season following a spate of issues and failures this year.

The new technology was made mandatory this year due to the new fuel regulations which stipulate a maximum fuel flow of 100kg/h. 

Daniel Ricciardo's sensor failure was the most high-profile, with it eventually costing second place at the Australian Grand Prix when the stewards found he'd exceeded the maximum rate - which Red Bull blamed on a faulty sensor.

Currently Gill Sensors is the only FIA homologated supplier, but a partnership of three British companies, Reventec Sensors, Mikina Engineering, Polyhedrus Electronics and US-based Hyspeed have announced that they will jointly-develop a new sensor for the series.

Hyspeed originally worked with Gill Sensors, but split in 2013 allowing the company to join the new venture which is headed by Neville Meech, who for 13 years, was Gill Sensors' lead motorsport engineer.

He is confident in their approach to the new sensor which he believes will be more efficient, less likely to fail and comes in at just 250g - half the maximum allowed weight stipulated by the FIA.

"We remain convinced that the ultrasonic time-of-flight principle is the best way of measuring fuel flow on board a race car," he told Racecar Engineering.

"As a result, the FlowSonic is a compact and robust unit with the minimum of materials and parts, and hence less to go wrong."

The new FlowSonic sensor is due to go before the FIA for homologation at the end of the year. If it passes, it can very easily replace the current sensors at a greatly reduced cost.