Renault today achieved something which doesn’t happen all that often; they successfully appealed a Formula 1 Stewards’ decision. The result is that they will not be banned from this weekend’s Grand Prix in Valencia and the Spanish fans will be able to see Fernando Alonso in all his glory. Remember that he was the pole sitter in Budapest (albeit fairly light on fuel) and we should expect more fireworks from him this weekend, no doubt.
We can also expect to have it confirmed that Romain Grosjean will take the place of Nelson Piquet in the second car. This is something of a poisoned chalice for Grosjean, but I will post on that over this weekend, when I’ve had a chance to examine his situation more closely.
As I posted yesterday the issue today in the appeal court was not really about guilt, but rather about the severity of the sentence, given the way situations like this have been judged in the past.
The judges felt that the sentence was too extreme and reduced it to a $50,000 fine, the same penalty as Red Bull received in Melbourne when Sebastian Vettel continued with a ‘dangerous’ car. This seems pretty fair to me.
The statement read, “Renault admitted to the Court that it breached the Sporting Regulations, in that it failed to ensure that car no. 7 complied with the conditions for safety throughout practice and the race, and that it released the car after a pit stop when it was unsafe to do so. However, it requested the Court to reconsider the severity of the sanction imposed by the Stewards.
Having heard the arguments of the parties, the Court has decided as follows:
1. to allow the appeal and overturn the sanction imposed by the Stewards in the Contested Decision;
2. to issue a reprimand and impose a fine of $50,000 upon Renault.”
So not even a suspended sentence, to go with the fine.