Renault to race at Valencia: Ban Lifted!

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After consideration of the arguments made by Renault, the FIA has released the following announcement:

Press Release
International Court of Appeal – Decision
17/08/2009

Reminder of the facts

On 26 July 2009, the Stewards of the Meeting suspended the competitor ING Renault F1 Team (“Renault”) from the next event in the 2009 Formula One World Championship (namely, the Grand Prix of Europe to be held in Valencia) for the following reasons:

– Renault knowingly released car N°7 (driver Fernando Alonso) from the pit stop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position;

– Being aware of this, Renault failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pit-lane;

– Renault failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances;

– This resulted in a car part detaching at turn 5 and the wheel itself detaching at turn 9.
The FFSA appealed the Stewards’ decision on behalf of Renault.

Decision

Renault admitted to the Court that it breached the Sporting Regulations, in that it failed to ensure that car no. 7 complied with the conditions for safety throughout practice and the race, and that it released the car after a pit stop when it was unsafe to do so. However, it requested the Court to reconsider the severity of the sanction imposed by the Stewards.

Having heard the arguments of the parties, the Court has decided as follows:

1. to allow the appeal and overturn the sanction imposed by the Stewards in the Contested Decision;

2. to issue a reprimand and impose a fine of $50,000 upon Renault.

The reasons for this decision will be published in a full judgment in the coming days.

The ban has been changed to a $50,000 fine and Fernando Alonso will be allowed to thrill the Spanish crowds this weekend. The right move, right decision and I applaud the FIA for having the wisdom to understand the ban was an overreaching action on their part.

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