Japanese Grand Prix – Racing Point have challenged the legality of the Renault RS19 cars, throwing the French marques double-points finish into doubt.
The sixth and tenth place finishes secured by Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg are now at risk following Racing Point’s decision to lodge a protest against technical aspects of the Renault cars.
The protest is against an alleged use of ‘pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment systems’ in both cars. The stewards have since reviewed the case with members of both teams and determined that the protest is admissible and will be investigated further.
In response to this, the control units and steering wheels of the Renault team have been impounded for detailed analysis.
The stewards statement read:
“The FIA Technical Department representative was directed to seal and impound the FIA standard electronic control units and steering wheels of cars 3 and 27 in preparation for conducting a detailed analysis of those pieces.
“The representative is further directed to conduct a detailed analysis of the hardware, software, and data associated with them and, when complete, provide a written report to the Stewards with their findings, to include an assessment that matches those findings against the potential technical infringements detailed in the protest.
“The representative is authorized in the name of the Stewards to call upon such outside technical assistance, including representatives of the Renault F1 and SportPesa Racing Point F1 Teams, in the conduct of their assessment.
“When the likely submission date of the assessment can be determined, the FIA Technical Department representative will communicate that to the Chairman of the Stewards so that the next meeting time to assess the claims made in the protest can be scheduled.”
A disqualification of the Renault cars would result in Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll being promoted to eighth and ninth respectively and gain the team an extra four world championship points.
Renault are currently fifth in the constructors’ championship with 77 points and Racing Point are in seventh place with 54 points, five behind Toro Rosso, who would also gain three points from a Renault disqualification.