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.”

Hulkenberg agreed.

“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.

Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

CHECKOUT: Braking bad: Renault stripped of Japanese points

CHECKOUT: Protest as Racing Point gets stuck into Renault

No evidence, nothing to be gained -- Renault takes it on the chin


Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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