Both Renault cars have been disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix after SportPesa Racing Point launched a post-race protest over a brake bias adjustment system.
The original allegation from Racing Point said they suspected Renault were ‘using pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system’ but, in Renault’s written defence, they claimed that this allegation came from an ex-exployee who ‘was not aware of all the pertinent details of Renault’s brake control system’.
At an FIA meeting in Geneva on Wednesday, the governing body ruled that whilst the Renault cars were not guilty of any technical regulation infringement relating to using presets, the brake bias adjustment system used by both drivers has been deemed to be a driver aid and thus breached another regulation.
“The brake balance adjustment system in questions acts as a driver aid, by saving the driver from having to make a number of adjustments during a lap,” the stewards judged.
“The stewards note that there is a clear distinction between this system and one which provides actual feedback control, which would be a substitute for driver skills or reflexes. Nevertheless, it is still an aid and, therefore, contravenes [the regulations].
“Because of the unique circumstances and timing of the protest hearing, the stewards, under the power given to them by the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Regulations Article 10.1.1, hereby extend the normal appeal period for this decision to expire at 10:00am Central Daylight Time, the local time in Mexico City, on Oct 24, 2019 where the majority of those impacted by the circumstances will be located.”
The verdict means both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have lost their respective P6 and P10 finishes and have now been disqualified.
As it stands, the official Japanese Grand Prix classification is as follows with Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat now in the points and Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez all scoring more points as a result of their higher finishes.
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 11.376s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 11.786s
4 Alex Albon Red Bull 61.152s
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren 69.081s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1 LAP
7 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1 LAP
8 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1 LAP
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1 LAP
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1 LAP
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1 LAP
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 1 LAP
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 LAP
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1 LAP
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 LAP
16 George Russell Williams 2 LAPS
17 Robert Kubica Williams 2 LAPS