Renault released a statement today concerning the $50,000 fine that was leveraged against them in lieu of the one-race ban set for Valencia this weekend. All things given, they would rather pay a fine than be relegated to the sidelines while an F1 race starts without them.
“The team accepts that the decision of the FIA to issue a reprimand and a $50,000 fine is fair and balanced.
“The ING Renault F1 team now looks forward to concentrating on preparations for racing this weekend in Valencia.”
Is $50,000 too stiff? Not stiff enough? What price should a team pay for a loose wheel? There are details that one can presume the FIA presented as to when Renault knew the wheel wasn’t secured, why they failed to mention it to their driver etc. In the end, perhaps the fine is a small price to pay for a valuable lesson learned…that any other team who loses a wheel during a grand prix should get a business book out and prepare to write a $50,000 draft.
I am still bereft of the detail that showed Renault knew the wheel was unsecured in the fraction of time it takes for an F1 car to bolt out of the pits and on to the track. Replay showed the wheel man trying to fix the nut as Alonso was given the green light to go and by the time the person would have told the race manager, Alonso would have been through turn one. At that point it is mitigating damage as the extent of what happened was probably not entirely known. That’s all supposition of course and I would be interested in seeing what the FIA’s evidence was other than citing the sporting regulation.