Renault suspended after wheel loss
Monday 27 July 2009
The ING Renault team have been suspended from the European Grand Prix, following the loss of the right front wheel on Fernando Alonso's car on the 13th lap in Hungary yesterday.
The FIA is extremely sensitive about structural integrity after a detached wheel killed 18-year-old Henry Surtees in the Formula Two Championship at Brands Hatch the previous Sunday, when wheel tethers failed to do their job.
Hours after the race at Hungaroring, stewards argued that Renault "knowingly released" Alonso from the pits without one of the wheelnut safety retaining devices being secured; that they failed to take any action to prevent the car leaving the pits, and that they failed to inform Alonso of the problem or advise him to take appropriate action even though he had immediately contacted them by radio believing he had a puncture.
However, this is being perceived by some as thinly disguised payback for the Renault team principal Flavio Briatore, a leading member of Fota and a strong advocate of a breakaway grand prix series. Some cynics are asking why Renault could escape punishment when they were found in 2007 with McLaren intellectual property so firmly embedded in their computer system that it is said still to be there – when McLaren were fined $100m for the allegation that their former chief designer Mike Coughlan had handled intellectual property stolen from Ferrari – yet is suspended for what seemed to be an error made in the heat of the moment in Hungary.
Speculation is rife, with Felipe Massa injured and Alonso said to be heading to Ferrari for 2010, that the Spaniard could drive at Ferrari in the European GP at Valencia or the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps, depending on the timing and outcome of the appeal Renault lodged via the Federation Française du Sport Automobile.
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners given boost in hunt for Marco Reus, why Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista, no move for Cheick Tiote
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account