Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo stripped of Japan F1 GP points


Formula One's governing body moved to seal and impound the steering wheels and electronic control units of Renault's Formula One cars directly after the Japanese Grand Prix, after Racing Point initiated a protest.

Renault will not appeal their Japanese Grand Prix disqualification for breaking the rules on driver aids, the Formula One team said on Thursday.

Renault's brake-bias adjustment system contravened rules dictating that the auto must be driven alone and unaided.

However, the system was nonetheless found to be a "driver aid", which is a breach of the separate sporting regulations - even though stewards ruled that the drivers' "skills or reflexes" are not impacted.

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The Suzuka stewards had concluded after a telephone hearing that while the brake bias system "used innovative solutions to exploit certain ambiguities", it did not breach the technical regulations.

"We regret the Stewards' decision and, in particular, the severity of the sanction applied", a team statement read.

In the FIA's statement announcing their decision, it is revealed a former Renault employee informed the team of what they believed to be the system in place. "In our opinion, the penalty is not proportionate to any benefit the drivers derived, especially when used within the context of a system confirmed fully legal and innovative".

"It is also inconsistent with previous sanctions for similar breaches, as acknowledged by the Stewards in their decision, but expressed without further argumentation".

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Renault do not agree with the verdict but will not take the matter any further, stating they did not wish to engage further in "sterile debate".

The period of time Renault has to appeal the stewards' decision is longer than normal due to the timezone difference between Europe and Mexico City, where this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix will take place.

Although unhappy with the ruling, Renault said it will change its internal procedures to prevent a repeat of the disqualification which cost them ground in the race for fourth with McLaren.

"However, considering the subjectivity of the qualification of a system as a driver aid and the variability of the associated penalties in recent cases, Renault F1 Team will consider its next course of action within the timeframe laid out by the FIA".

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The original ruling from the FIA said: "The brake balance adjustment system in question acts as a driver aid by saving the driver from having to make a number of adjustments during a lap".