Racing Point has filed a protest against the legality of Renault’s car at the Japanese Grand Prix that has been ruled “admissible” but won’t be decided on for a number of days.
Following Sunday’s race, Racing Point lodged a protest against both the cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg for an “alleged breach of FIA Formula 1 Sporting and Technical Regulations, FIA International Sporting Code against cars 3 and 27 (relating to a) pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system.”
Ricciardo originally finished seventh but was promoted to sixth by two post-race penalties for Charles Leclerc. Hulkenberg was classified 10th, splitting the two Racing Point cars.
Racing Point currently sits 23 points behind Renault in the fight for fifth in the constructors’ championship, and five points adrift of Toro Rosso in sixth.
Both teams were summoned to see the stewards on Sunday evening at Suzuka and after a hearing that included a 12-page dossier submitted by Racing Point the protest was deemed admissible, with further steps outlined by the FIA.
“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 stewards stated. “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.”
As the issue is ECU-related, the FIA should be able to identify whether any wrongdoing has taken place and at which races if more than Japan. Renault said in a statement that it will rigorously defend its position.
“Renault F1 Team acknowledges the protest lodged by SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team concerning its brake bias system following the Japanese Grand Prix,” the statement read. “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.”