Ross Brawn is dubious as to whether Renault changing the engine in Fernando Alonso's car after Sepang qualifying was necessary or simply a tactical ploy, and wants clarification from the FIA on the rules. Alonso spun off in qualifying and had to...
Ross Brawn is dubious as to whether Renault changing the engine in Fernando Alonso's car after Sepang qualifying was necessary or simply a tactical ploy, and wants clarification from the FIA on the rules. Alonso spun off in qualifying and had to start from the back of the grid for the race.
Renault decided upon an engine change, for precautionary measures according to Pat Symonds, and was awarded a demotion penalty for the change. BAR's Takuma Sato was also at the back after failing to set a time in qualifying and he too had an engine change, being awarded the same penalty. The pair only lost one grid place apiece.
"I would like to have an understanding of what we're allowed to do because it's not entirely clear and we need to understand whether you're allowed to make that decision as a tactical ploy or if you need to show you have a problem," said Ferrari technical director Brawn.
"Alonso did go off the track (in qualifying) so maybe Renault was able to show that the engine was full of rubbish or was a risk. I was told that if teams made that decision on a regular basis for tactical reasons, then the FIA would do something."
"It was always the obvious thing that you'd go to Monza, put the car on pole with a qualifying engine, then change to your race engine, go ten places back but then have a very strong engine for the race. I don't think we want to see that, so the rules needs tightening up a bit."
Renault's Symonds said after qualifying that the engine change would give no advantage in performance, it was simply better to start with an engine with lower mileage. Jordan's Giorgio Pantano was also penalized under the engine rule for swapping to the spare car between the first and second qualifying sessions, after a gearbox problem on his racecar.