Monday, July 27, 2009

Renault suspended for next European GP in Valencia

Formula One race stewards have banned Renault from the next race, the August 23 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain, after the French team allowed driver Fernando Alonso to leave the pits with a wheel not properly secured during Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alonso started on the pole and held the lead when he first pitted on lap 11. Shortly after he returned to the track, the Spaniard's right-front tire came off and bounced on the track. Alonso limped back to the pits and later retired from the 70-lap event when his car was badly damaged from the incident.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton captured the lead after Alonso's mishap and went on to win his first race since last October in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Alonso wound up with an 18th-place finish.

F1's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), found Renault to be negligent in failing to secure the wheel, as well as letting Alonso to leave the pits when they were aware of the problem and then failing to communicate to their driver the issue.

Alonso's teammate, Nelson Piquet, will also not be able to participate in the European GP.

Renault said it will appeal the team's ban from the forthcoming grand prix.

On another contentious episode of the race, Hungarian Grand Prix stewards have decided that no action was needed following the investigation of an incident involving Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the start of the race.

Raikkonen was under investigation over his driving at the first corner after making contact with Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn, who finished in second place, escaped a penalty, however, as the stewards deemed it was just a racing incident.

Meanwhile, the Red Bull Racing team got a reprimand for the unsafe release of Mark Webber during a pitstop, when he came close to making contact with Raikkonen.

It was the second race in a row that Red Bull has been in a similar situation, having been fined and reprimanded for the unsafe release of Sebastian Vettel at the German Grand Prix two weeks ago.

No comments: