Formula 1 - Horner: Fuel sensors could decide races

Formula 1 risks having the outcome of races decided by the accuracy of fuel-flow sensors if the sport's chiefs do not find a more reliable way of policing matters, warns Red Bull.

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Formula 1 - Horner: Fuel sensors could decide races
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Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attends the official press conference following practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia (Getty)

Next month's FIA Appeal Court hearing into Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification is being viewed as a test case for the success of the new fuel efficiency regulations.

But beyond the outcome of that hearing, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called on the teams and the FIA to get together to discuss the wider implications of fuel-flow sensor accuracy.

He fears that if the situation is left unchecked, with many teams questioning the accuracy of the current sensors, then those with more favourable readings could be gifted performance benefits.

"We have got to find a better way - especially when the margins are so fine and the knock-on in performance is so significant," Horner said.

"Depending on the calibration of your sensor, it will determine your competitiveness, which is completely wrong.

"Teams will end up buying hundreds of sensors, as some manufacturers already have, to try to pick the best.

"It ends up like the tricks in go-karting, where you go through carburettors to try to find the best ones. I don't think that is an acceptable way of moving forward."

Horner reckons that teams and the FIA need to agree on a plan that leaves everyone happy that the fuel-flow sensor readings are as accurate as they can be.

"We know that some cars' fuel sensors didn't work at all in Melbourne - so we need to find a more robust and reliable way of having confidence in the FIA measurements," he said.

"And I think that is for the teams, and the technical guys at the FIA to find a solution, because there is too much at stake to be reliant on a sensor that is drifting around or unreliable.

"F1 costs millions and millions of pounds. There needs to be a better form of measurement than what we currently have."

Horner has suggested that perhaps F1 is wrong to rely on a single fuel sensor in the car.

"On an aircraft they have three sensors and they believe the mean between those sensors," he said.

"If one shows a drift then the other two count. I think it is very immature technology in F1 and we are trying to rely on a sensor that has proved to be problematic."

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