Japanese Grand Prix – The Renault team have acknowledged the protest lodged against them by the Racing Point team.
In the wake of the protest lodged against their cars after Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, Renault have had their electronic control units and steering wheels impounded by the FIA. This is for the purpose of conducting a detailed analysis of the hardware itself, as well as a detailed breakdown of the software and data contained and associated with them.
This is to kickstart the official investigation into Renault’s braking system, which is alleged to have been running with a pre-set lap distance dependent brake bias adjustment system on both cars.
The alleged system was protested against by the Racing Point team after the Japanese Grand Prix, with the stewards ruling the protest as admissible after Racing Point produced a twelve page dossier outlining their findings. The FIA say that “the protest met all requirements specified in Article 13 of the International Sporting Code and is, therefore, admissible.”
The FIA’s Technical Department representative is now authorised to seek assistance from both teams in order to complete their assessments. The next step is for a submission date of this technical assessment to be determined, in order for the stewards to set up the next meeting to assess the claims.
Renault have acknowledged the protest, saying: “Renault F1 Team acknowledges the protest lodged by SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team concerning its brake bias system following the Japanese Grand Prix. Team representatives have met with the Stewards of the Event at Suzuka, but due to the complexity of the 12-page dossier prepared by SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team, a further meeting will take place at a future date, to be defined. Renault F1 Team intends to use this recess to prepare an equally detailed case to rigorously defend its position.”
For now, the results of the Japanese Grand Prix stands but it’s not known how long Racing Point have been sitting on this dossier for. The protest appears to be related to Article 11.1.4 of the Technical Regulations, which state: “Any change to, or modulation of, the brake system, other than any movement of the minimal flexible parts described in Article 11.4 to 11.6, whilst the car is on the track must be made by the driver’s direct physical input or by the system referred to in Article 11.9, and may not be pre‐set.”
If found to have breached the Technical Regulations over many races, the implications are huge for the championship as Renault could face exclusion or disqualification.