Craig Scarborough explains the science of Formula 1’s 2014 fuel-flow regulations following the exclusion of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull from the Australian Grand Prix.
A formula based on RPM is used to determine and monitor fuel flow, with the full 100kg/hour available at 10,500 RPM. The flow restriction is designed to cap engine power — without it, teams would be free to burn lots of fuel at certain points of the lap while still adhering to the race-fuel limit.
This also applies to qualifying, where teams would otherwise be able to use specific engine maps that would not have to adhere to the race fuel limit. Running more fuel flow than the 100kg/hr restriction provides an obvious power benefit, and any team doing so, intentionally or by accident, is in clear contravention of the rules.