Kansas City – Two bits of news are just in from the Formula 1 Press Office, both of which could decide the course of the season to come. Firstly, longtime Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali is quitting the team effective immediately. The second piece of big F1 news is of course the FIA’s ruling against Red Bull’s petition on behalf of Daniel Ricciardo for his fuel sensor issues at his home Grand Prix in Melbourne a month ago.
Despite the fact that one of the current headlines (as of 21.17 CDT on Tuesday 15 April 2014) on F1.com is announcing the team’s plans for becoming the second best in the sport, Domenicali’s departure mirrors the woes felt by the lads from Maranello over the three races already run this season. So far this season, Ferrari’s drivers Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) have yet to qualify or finish a race higher than 4th. Not only that, but the situation has proven even more distressing for the Italians in that they were beaten to the podium in Bahrain by the Force India of Sergio Pérez.
Meanwhile, yesterday in Paris a committee of the FIA met to rule on Red Bull’s appeal on behalf of Daniel Ricciardo in regards to his disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix in March after finishing in 2nd. His disqualification came as a result of Red Bull’s choice to rely on their own fuel calculations in Melbourne rather than those provided by the FIA. According to the Red Bull technical staff, the FIA fuel sensors were not working, an issue which has repeated itself since.
A Red Bull spokesperson said today on the ruling that “We are of course disappointed by the outcome and would not have appealed if we didn’t think we had a very strong case.” (F1.com) In regards to the Red Bull ruling, I am not too surprised. I would have preferred to see at the very least Ricciardo’s points restored from the race proper, as he had very little if nothing at all to do with the sensors.
All of this leads into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, which is sure to be an interesting Easter Sunday spectacle. The race begins at 14.00 Shanghai (02.00 Chicago, 07.00 London) this Sunday.