File picture: Maxim Shemetov / Reuters.
File picture: Maxim Shemetov / Reuters.

Renault F1 team stripped of Japanese Grand Prix points

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Oct 24, 2019

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MEXICO CITY - Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg were disqualified from the results of the Japanese Grand Prix on Wednesday after the sport's governing body ruled they had benefited from an illegal driver aid.

Australian Ricciardo and German Hulkenberg were classified sixth and 10th at the October 13 race in Suzuka but the Racing Point team protested the brake bias system used by the French manufacturer.

The governing FIA said in a statement ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix that Renault had until Thursday to appeal the decision.

Renault scored nine points in Japan, consolidating their fifth place in the constructors' standings.

It said the stewards had concluded after a telephone hearing that while the brake bias system "used innovative solutions to exploit certain ambiguities", it did not breach the technical regulations.

The system was, however, not allowed as a driver aid.

"The brake balance adjustment system in question acts as a driver aid, by saving the driver from having to make a number of adjustments during a lap," it said. 

As a result of the decision, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc moves up one place to sixth and is followed by Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso, Racing Point's Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.

Components impounded

Formula One's governing body moved to seal and impound the steering wheels and electronic control units of Renault's Formula One cars directly after the Japanese Grand Prix, after Racing Point initiated a protest.

The FIA said, after meeting team representatives, that the protest had been ruled admissible and would be heard at a later date.

Canadian-owned Racing Point had protested about an "alleged pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system" on the cars raced by Australian Daniel Ricciardo and German Nico Hulkenberg.

The FIA said a representative of the technical department had been directed to seal and impound the parts in preparation for a detailed analysis of them, as well as analysis of associated hardware, software and data.

Renault said in a statement that Racing Point had prepared a 12-page dossier.

"Renault F1 team intends to use this recess to prepare an equally detailed case to rigorously defend its position," said the French manufacturer team.


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