Renault have been banned from next month’s European Grand Prix after Fernando Alonso’s right-front wheel came off during today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The ban means the Spaniard will now miss his home race on the streets of Valencia.
Alonso had been leading the race from pole position when he emerged from his first pit stop without his right-front wheel sufficiently fitted. Alonso tried to recover to the pits, however the wheel freed itself and bounced off into the barriers.
The penalty is very severe and probably would not have been given had the Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa incidents not happened recently. But in this climate of heightened sensitivity to flying objects, the stewards felt that by allowing the car to continue until the wheel came loose, Renault had not taken sufficient regard for safety.
However, to penalise Mark Webber with a drive through last week and not hit Kimi Raikkonen with a similar penalty for his actions at the start today when he made contact with Sebastian Vettel seems inconsistent.
Renault have appealed the decision with a hearing likely to take place during the four week summer break.