F1 links: Renault penalty criticised

The Spanish motor racing federation RFEA are trying to get Renault’s ban lifted so that local hero Fernando Alonso can race on home ground at Valencia.

Spanish federation slams Renault ban

"The federation has asked the ICA to rescind the ban or else substitute it with 'another form of penalty which does not affect the drivers’ right to take part in the European Grand Prix'."

Piquet lets Briatore have it with both barrels

"Piquet joins a list of disgruntled drivers who have found that being the number two driver in a Briatore team is not easy. That list includes Johnny Herbert, JJ Lehto, Alex Wurz and Jarno Trulli, all of whom had unhappy experiences."

Williams opposes Schumacher’s test

"In a similar situation, Williams would unhesitatingly use its current test driver. For the sake of consistency and fairness, therefore, we oppose Ferrari's proposal to test ahead of the European Grand Prix." So no test for Schumacher after all. Williams makes a fair point – what the point of having a nominated third driver if you're not going to use them?

Formula 1 set to go for Melbourne 2010

"The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is pleased with the announcement of the finalisation of the new agreement between the FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile), the FORMULA 1 Commercial Rights Holders and FOTA (Formula 1 Teams' Association). The agreement brings stability to the sport of Formula One and ensures the best teams will be participating in the championship for years to come and will all be at Albert Park in March next year."

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18 comments on F1 links: Renault penalty criticised

  1. Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 1:07

    I don’t really know what to think of the Renault ban, but the argument that the people of Valencia and the organiser will be hurt is the stupidest argument I’ve heard in a long time.

    What does seem ridiculous though is that the appeal date is set for august 18th. Only 3 days ahead of the race weekend start. Apparently it’s so closely timed that Renault will have to send their trucks to Valencia hoping the ban doesn’t go through. Otherwise, if the ban is lifted, they wouldn’t arrive in time?

    BTW Did Ferrari ever explain why they don’t use their designated third driver?

    • Oliver said on 4th August 2009, 1:38

      Race some race fans go there to support a driver not just to see cars go very fast. The penalty was pointless to begin with. It was a simple human error not a conspiracy. If they said the team deliberately didn’t attach the wheel nut retainer on all four wheels then it will make sense. But to claim that the team deliberately sabotaged their star driver is just plain ridiculous.

      In the not too distant past, Ferrari had declined the use of the their reserve driver when there was need to replace their main driver.

      • Matt said on 4th August 2009, 10:47

        I think the claim is they knew the car was unsafe and sent it out anyway, rather than saying they sabotaged it (and with that risk being a wheel that could come off – with what had happened in practice and also the incident a week prior killing a driver it was moronic on renaults part)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th August 2009, 20:28

      There might not be a polite way for the to say “because Schumacher is galactically better than the other two”.

  2. manatcna said on 4th August 2009, 1:16

    I see that the Spanish federation want to write the rules.

    To knowingly send a driver out on to the track with a wheel that is going to come off within a very short time, possibly injuring (or worse) another driver, or for that matter, anyone else is nothing less than criminal.

    The penalty should stand, or even be increased.

  3. Stephen said on 4th August 2009, 1:34

    “In a similar situation, Williams would unhesitatingly use its current test driver. For the sake of consistency and fairness, therefore, we oppose Ferrari’s proposal to test ahead of the European Grand Prix.”

    Ferrari needed the unanimous approval of all teams to get Schumacher to test, which means the German will not be able to try the F60 before the Valencia event.

    Thankyou, Frank Williams.

  4. Steve_P said on 4th August 2009, 3:13

    I think Frank is being a bit unfair here Stephen. Ferrari is free to choose whoever the team wants to drive its car. I support Williams, but that statement just seems to imply that Frank is scared or something. The test driver is a test driver. Nothing says the team cannot put someone else into the car. I do understand Frank’s point about setting some sort of testing precedent for the future, but come on….only one team opposes it?

    I am willing to bet all of my savings that Renault will be on the grid at Valencia.

    • manatcna said on 4th August 2009, 3:24

      Red Bull opposed it too

    • Stephen said on 4th August 2009, 3:42

      I completely agree, Ferrari could use anyone they want. But why should they feel they deserve to do a full day’s testing purley because their “new” driver hasn’t driven this car before?

      I guess you could argue that Torro Rosso with Alguersuari could have been given similair leeway if only they had asked, but the rule that states there was no in season testing meant there was probably no point in them asking!

      And if Ferrari were granted this one day’s testing then surely Romain Grosjean (or whoever ends up replacing Piquet) will have to also be given a day’s testing to familiarise himself with the Renault car.

      All that aside it will certainly be interesting to see how he goes!

    • TommyB said on 4th August 2009, 10:37

      People seem to be forgetting Frank mentioned the many reason was that Jaime didn’t get to drive so why should Schumacher.

      • Patrickl said on 4th August 2009, 12:58

        But then we still don’t know if STR really tried to get Jaime a test or that they simply inquired if a rookie would be allowed a test.

        • IDR said on 6th August 2009, 8:37

          I’m afraid, the reason why Jaime didn’t get to test was Frank Williams…

          This is a brief statement made by Ferrari in his web:

          A brief statement on the Italian outfit’s website reads as follows:

          Guess who opposed the test with the F60? A team that hasn’t won anything for years and yet didn’t pass over the opportunity to demonstrate once more a lack of spirit of fair play.

          Just for the record, the Scuderia Ferrari had given its approval to let Alguersuari test, but it seems even in this instance someone decided to stick to the precise wording of the regulations.”

  5. Martin said on 4th August 2009, 4:18

    I agree that the testing ban is rediculous, but its in place and everyone has to obey the rule. If they give Schumacher a day then they will say that Renault needs a day for its new driver and then the teams will start pitching number 2 drivers like crazy just to get a test day.
    I have stated that if it was my team and I wanted to test I would though as it would be my time and money for the rental of the track.
    Ferrari in this case should have gone aboout this differently. I believe that schumacher can and will test in other cars in similar configurations and will get the feel of the car and tires before the race.
    I also believe he will place well.
    Frank Williams is a principled man and I understand his not agreeing to this request.

  6. PJA said on 4th August 2009, 9:21

    No matter whose side you are on regarding the Renault debate I would have thought most people would agree that having the decision regarding the appeal made only three days before practice is a bit dumb especially when we are currently in the middle of the F1 summer break so it is not as if there is just a one week gap between races.

  7. The Ferrari case is very different then the STR and renault case.
    With STR en Renault the team sacked 1 driver and got a replacement. In the case of Ferrari they didn’t choose to replace Massa with Schumi, they were forced to do it.
    BIG difference!!

  8. Maurice said on 4th August 2009, 20:11

    From the comments on Ferrari’s website they were happy for STR to test Jamie but Williams were the ones who opposed that move. And, as has been mentioned, Ferrari did not choose to replace Massa it was forced on them by circumstances beyond their control. As for the Renault ban the wheel changer flicked the spinner before the car moved so I think that human error would be a more sensible conclusion than the view that they did it deliberately. Reduce the ban to a fine and let’s get on with the racing.

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