Following the incidents during the Hunagaroring race last weekend, when Fernando Alonso's car dropped a tire on the track in his very out-lap, the FIA stewards decided to hand Renault a one-race suspension. The reasons for that decision were fully disclosed by the ICA yesterday.
“On 26 July 2009, the Stewards of the Meeting decided to suspend the Competitor ING Renault F1 Team (“Renault”) from the next event in the 2009 Formula One World Championship for the following reasons:
- Renault knowingly released car N°7 (Fernando Alonso) from the pit stop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position
- being aware of this, Renault failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pit-lane
- Renault failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances
- This resulted in a car part detaching at turn 5 and the wheel itself detaching at turn 9.
The stewards' decision, as confirmed by the international body shortly after it was announced, does not include the drivers of Renault F1 team, but only the outfit itself. Therefore, if either Fernando Alonso or Nelsinho Piquet find a drive (theoretically) for the European Grand Prix, they will be allowed to race.
Apart from Renault, the organizers of the Valencia race have also urged FIA to scrap the penalty as it will have a considerable impact on ticketing for the Spanish event. They argued most of the Spanish fans have already paid money to see their local favorite Fernando Alonso to play and might look for refunding their tickets in case the Spaniard won't make it to the grid.