SACRE bleu! What is F1 coming to?

Renault’s good performance at Suzuka, where Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth and Nico Hulkenberg 10th, is now in doubt after a protest – about the French team’s steering wheels and electronics – by the rival Racing Point team.

As a result, the FIA governing body has sealed and impounded the electronic control units and steering wheels of both cars “to conduct a detailed analysis of those pieces” and the “hardware, software and data associated with them.”

Racing Point protested against Renault after the Japanese Grand Prix over an alleged “pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system” on its cars.

Meanwhile, Renault has not lost its double-points finish in the Japanese GP, but their results are provisional, pending the outcome of the protest.

This could take some time, and may involve “outside technical assistance” being called in, including Renault and Racing Point team members, while conducting the analysis.

Racing Point has apparently prepared a 12-page dossier of moans about the steering wheels and ECUs, but the French team responded with “Renault F1 Team intends to use this recess to prepare an equally detailed case to rigorously defend its position.” 

protest - japanese grand prix 2019 01 - Protest as Racing Point gets stuck into Renault
Ricciardo snapped as he passes Perez.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.