Renault will race this weekend after the International Court of Appeal of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Monday reversed a stewards' one-race suspension of the Formula One team. FIA and F1 Flags. Photo by...
Renault will race this weekend after the International Court of Appeal of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Monday reversed a stewards' one-race suspension of the Formula One team.
The ruling allows Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso to compete in this weekend's Grand Prix of Europe in Valencia, Spain. The race was moved to Spain in part because Alonso's success sparked unprecedented Spanish interest in Formula One.
The decision came at a hearing at FIA headquarters in Paris and overturned a stewards suspension issued at the Grand Prix of Hungary three weeks ago. Renault received a reprimand and will pay a $50,000 fine, the most a stewards' penalty allows.
Stewards acted after a wheel came off Alonso's car during the race. They maintained the pit crew sent Alonso onto the track knowing the wheel was not properly attached. Alonso radioed the team he thought he had a flat. Renault argued to the Court's panel of four judges that although two mechanics might have been aware of a problem, team managers on the pit wall were not aware, nor was the driver, hence his radio message.
Renault argued the penalty, assessed a week after a loose wheel resulted in the death of a driver at a Formula Two race in Britain and a day after Ferrari driver Felipe Massa suffered F1's worst accident in 15 years when hit by debris, was not consistent with other, similar incidents. Earlier in the season, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel had continued to drive with one wheel knocked askew after a collision. Red Bull was fined $50,000.
"The team acknowledges sporting regulations were breached during the incident in the pit lane of the Hungarian Grand Prix, which compromised safety," a Renault statement read. "The team therefore accepts the decision of the FIA to issue a reprimand, and a $50,000 fine is fair and balanced."
Renault's haulers reportedly are on the scene of Sunday's race. Not reported is who will drive a second car to Alonso's. His teammate, Nelson A. Piquet, announced on his Web site after the race in Hungary that the team has told him he is out. The team has neither confirmed that claim nor announced a replacement. Test driver Romain Grosjean is expected to step in.