Renault argue Valencia ban too harsh

Renault figures on Monday argued the team's suspension from the European Grand Prix is an excessive penalty. The French team appeared at the FIA's International Court of Appeal in Paris in an attempt to overturn its exclusion from the Valencia...

Renault figures on Monday argued the team's suspension from the European Grand Prix is an excessive penalty.

The French team appeared at the FIA's International Court of Appeal in Paris in an attempt to overturn its exclusion from the Valencia race.

Lawyer Ali Malek told the judges that the incident involving Fernando Alonso's flying wheel did not "deserve more than a reprimand" and that bans should be reserved for things like cheating.

He denied the Hungarian GP stewards' charge that team figures knowingly allowed the Spaniard to enter the Hungaroring circuit with a dangerous car.

"The only persons who knew ... were the two mechanics," said Malek. "Nobody on the pitwall knew there was a problem and the driver did not know either."

Afterwards, team manager Steve Nielsen told reporters: "We feel the penalty is unjust. We admit we did some stuff wrong, but we don't think that the penalty fits the crime."

Representing the FIA, however, lawyer Paul Harris said attributing the knowledge to mechanics does not absolve Renault of blame.

"(They) are employed by the team and their knowledge must be attributed to the team," he said.

"Renault cannot simply rely on their flawed procedures to say they could not communicate ... Two wrongs don't make a right."

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Series Formula 1