Renault will today make their appeal at the International Court of Appeal against their race ban for next weekend’s European Grand Prix at Valencia. The Anglo-French concern were hit with the ban by Hungarian GP stewards after the Renault pitwall failed to notify Fernando Alonso of a badly-secured right front wheel, which later came off the car.
The stewards adjudged the actions (or inaction) of the team reckless. The image of Alonso’s tyre bouncing down the track did not help Renault, coming a week after Henry Surtees was tragically killed in an F2 race by a loose wheel, and only a day after Felipe Massa was hospitalised by a stray rear suspension spring.
Renault may well argue that the ban is disproportionate, and that the stewards were reacting in a knee-jerk fashion. The ban as it stands means that Fernando Alonso will not be able to compete in his second home grand prix, and the Spanish motorsport federation will be praying that Renault’s appeal is successful today.
Meanwhile, the Enstone team are thought to be preparing the announcement of Romain Grosjean as Nelson Piquet Jr’s replacement. After a series of fallings-out with the team and unsatisfactory performances, Piquet had to go, but it is more than likely he will get a seat with one of the new F1 teams to join the grid next year, as his top level experience will be invaluable.