Martin Brundle has suggested that Renault’s ban for the next race was a knee-jerk reaction from the FIA, influenced by Felipe Massa’s accident on Saturday.
The Renault team will not be allowed to race in Valencia at the end of August because they did not warn star driver Fernando Alonso that his right front wheel was not secured properly after a pit-stop. Alonso’s wheel fairing and then wheel came off, luckily coming to rest against the barrier.
But Brundle, writing for his BBC column, said that the image of a tyre bouncing down the track was very shocking coming after Massa’s injury – caused by flying debris – and Henry Surtees’ fatal F2 accident the weekend before, in which a stray wheel hit the 18-year-old.
“The team almost certainly would not have been penalised for the same situation at the previous race. We have seen many cars lose a wheel without retribution,” he said.
Brundle was sitting next to Henry Surtees’ father John during the fateful F2 race at Brands Hatch. His own son was participating in the race, and the commentator wrote an article yesterday in the Sunday Times in which he described his emotions.
Renault intend to appeal against the ban, which would see Fernando Alonso miss his second home grand prix.