The Renault F1 Team has been disqualified from after it was found that both of the Enstone based team cars had an illegal automatic brake bias system.
The Renault team faced a protest from rival team Racing Point after the Japanese Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo’s car being impounded as a result.
Racing Point claimed that the system could be used to set a pre-determined lap distance- dependent brake balance system which requires the driver to drive the car unaided.
Renault argued that they did not use it and that the brake balance seen on the dashboard may change due to the operation of a specific Renault based system that was supplied in a supplementary document to the FIA.
The steward’s findings were that although Renault did not breach any current technical regulations, it was deemed that the system was a driver aid and therefore illegal under the rules.
Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg’s disqualification promotes all drivers who finished behind the Renault drivers move up a place with Charles Leclerc moving back up to sixth after being docked fifteen seconds for penalties, Pierre Gasly finishes seventh, Sergio Perez finishes eighth despite colliding with Gasly on the last lap, Lance Stroll gets ninth whilst Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat takes the final points-scoring position.
Less then twenty-fours after the decision was made Renault announced it will not appeal the decision
The statement from the Renault F1 Team reads:
We regret the Stewards’ decision and, in particular, the severity of the sanction applied. In our opinion, the penalty is not proportionate to any benefit the drivers derived, especially when used within the context of a system confirmed fully legal and innovative. It is also inconsistent with previous sanctions for similar breaches, as acknowledged by the Stewards in their decision, but expressed without further argumentation.
However, since we have no new evidence to bring other than that already produced to demonstrate the legality of our system, we do not wish to invest further time and effort in a sterile debate in front of the International Court of Appeal concerning the subjective appreciation, and therefore sanction, related to an aid that reduces the driver workload without enhancing the performance of the car.
We have therefore decided not to appeal the Stewards’ decision.
Formula One will always be an arena for the relentless search for the slightest possible opportunities for competitive advantage. It is what we have always done and will continue to do, albeit with stronger internal processes before innovative solutions are brought on track.