MELBOURNE, Australia — Formula One's season-opener ended in rancor and controversy Sunday as initial second-place finisher Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was disqualified for a breach of fuel regulations, hours after Mercedes' Nico Rosberg won.
Local fans were jubilant that Ricciardo had apparently become the first Australian to finish on the podium at his home race. But stewards ruled his car had "exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow" and that the team twice refused instructions to change the fuel-flow sensor.
Red Bull said it would appeal. "Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane," a Red Bull statement said.
Rosberg's victory was not surprising given Mercedes dominated in preseason testing and over the weekend. But pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and defending four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel were among those who suffered engine failures, illustrating the reliability issues with the new V6 hybrid engines.
Ricciardo's disqualification meant Kevin Magnussen, 21, was promoted to second in his debut race. And Daniil Kvyat, at 19 years, 10 months, 18 days, finished 10th to become the youngest driver to score a championship point, eclipsing the mark set by Vettel at the U.S. Grand Prix in 2007.