Renault cleared to race in Valencia

Renault will race in the European Grand Prix this weekend, after the FIA Court of Appeal decided to overturn the team’s one-race suspension.

Earlier today, Renault told the Parisian court that no conscious wrongdoing had been committed by the team, when Fernando Alonso was released from his first pitstop during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

On exiting the pits, Alonso’s right front wheel became loose and later detached itself back out on the circuit. In court, Renault argued that the team could not have stopped the Spaniard’s car, as it exited the pits, due to a lack of communication between the mechanics working on the wheel and the pitwall.

However the French manufacturer did concede that it had contravened the rules, by releasing Alonso when it was unsafe, and asked the court not to abstain from punishing the team, but instead to consider the harshness of penalty first imposed.

As a result, the court decided to uphold Renault’s appeal, issuing a reprimand and imposing a $50,000 fine, in place of the suspension.

An FIA statement said:

Renault admitted to the court that it breached the sporting regulations, in that it failed to ensure that car #7 complied with the conditions for safety throughout practice and the race, and that it released the car after a pitstop 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

Formula One’s governing body also added that the reasons behind the court’s decision will be released in the upcoming days.

The decision means that Fernando Alonso will race infront of his home fans, a decision which is bound to please race organisers and Spanish fans alike.