F1 News, Views and Reviews

Renault Handed European Grand Prix Race Ban After Alonso Tyre Failure

The Renault F1 Team have been handed a suspension from the next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Valencia, the European Grand Prix after Fernando Alonso’s tyre incident in this afternoon’s Hungarian GP.

The Spaniard was released from the pits, his first scheduled stop with the front right hand wheel not correctly attached.  The wheel hun “spinner” then spun round at high speed, undoing the centre nut and releasing the tyre from its housing sending it bouncing down the Hungaoring circuit.  It was a tyre that hit Henry Surtees’ helmet in Formula 2 last week, killing the 19 year old.

The FIA reprimanded the team under safety breach 3.2 with article 32.1.i being broken, with the car being knowingly released from a pitstop without being safe.

The statement said that Renault “knowingly released car no. 7 from the pitstop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position, this being an indication that the wheel itself may not have been properly secured.”

It added that Renault, “being aware of this, failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pitlane….failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances, even though the driver contacted the team by radio believing he had a puncture.”

Renault will appeal the decision, with an appeal, the letter and 6,000 Euro fee being lodged around 20 minutes ago by Renault management at the circuit.  The hearing will likely take place within the next 2 weeks.

Alonsos Renault with the near wheel rim clearly out of position compared with the other Renault of Nelson Piquet passing.

Alonso's Renault with the near wheel rim clearly out of position compared with the other Renault of Nelson Piquet passing.

Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen was cleared of any wrong doing in connection with making contact with Sebastian Vettel, the stewards deemed he lost control of the car and touched in a “racing incident”.

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