RENAULT F1 Team has chosen not to appeal against the FIA’s ruling that it forfeit its points scored in the recent Japanese Grand Prix because of a breach of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.
Rival Racing Point team lodged a protest claiming Renault had an unfair advantage with a ‘pre-set, automated brake bias system’ in its cars.
In a strongly worded statement the French team pointed out that its braking system was entirely legal — and proven so by FIA’s investigation — yet breached its Sporting Code.
It begs the question: is FIA’s Sporting Code contrary to its Technical Code?
The outcome has cost Renault its double points scoring in Japan, where Daniel Ricciardo ran 6th and teammate Nico Hulkenberg 10th.
“We regret the Stewards’ decision and, in particular, the severity of the sanction applied,” Renault said.
“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.
“Formula 1 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.”
Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have since said they are determined to make up as quickly as possible for the disappointment of losing their points finishes in Japan.
The lost points do not affect Renault’s fifth place in the constructor’s standings but they have put the Enstone team back into a battle with Toro Rosso and Racing Point, with just 10 points between them.
“Coming back with eight points was one of the biggest results of the year for us,” Ricciardo said.
“So, for sure, disappointed and reading the legality of it all, it seemed there was a good chance we should and could have kept it.
“But it is what it is now. All the team I feel have already put it behind us. We’ve got a back-to-back now to get some points back on the table. We’ve got a chance to get it done.”
“We are not the rule makers, we are not the FIA, but it is a bit confusing around the whole thing.
“We have to accept it now, it’s the past, and we move on from here.”
Next round is the Mexican Grand Prix, on Sunday.