The story appears on

Page A15

August 20, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Motor Racing

F1 rivals to Renault's rescue

FOUR rival Formula One teams helped Renault overturn a one-race ban that would have forced Fernando Alonso to miss this weekend's European Grand Prix, the sport's governing body revealed yesterday.

The International Automobile Federation, publishing the reasoning behind Monday's appeals court verdict on its Website, said Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Toyota had all written in support of Renault.

It said the court took the letters into account, noting that two teams said they had changed pitstop procedures after the incident at the Hungarian Grand Prix that resulted in the penalty.

The court, which changed the suspension into a reprimand and US$50,000 fine, said it would "be wrong in the circumstances of this case to ignore the other teams' views".

Stewards had punished Renault at last month's Hungarian GP for allowing double world champion Alonso to rejoin the race after a pitstop despite allegedly knowing the Spaniard's right front wheel was not properly attached. The wheel came off shortly afterwards.

The incident came a day after Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa had been seriously injured by bouncing debris in qualifying for the race in Budapest.

It also followed the death of Henry Surtees in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch after the 18-year-old Briton was hit on the head by a loose wheel bouncing across the track.

The FIA said the ban was overturned because there was no proof that Renault had acted deliberately.

"The court endorses the FIA's view that it is always necessary to have regard to the potential dangers which arise from a situation, as recent tragic incidents have proved," the governing body added.

Potential danger

"However, in assessing the penalty which is appropriate in an individual case, great care must be taken not to equate potential danger with conscious wrong-doing."

On the track, Red Bull's pursuit of championship leader Brawn GP resumes at the European Grand Prix, where Ferrari reserve driver Luca Badoer returns to Formula One's starting grid for the first time in a decade to fill in for Massa.

Badoer, who has tested for the Italians since 1998, will navigate the Valencia street race in place of Massa. It's his first race for Ferrari and first start since driving for Minardi 10 years ago. The 38-year-old, whose gap between F1 races is the second longest in history, also holds an unwanted record of never having scored a point from 49 races.

"I am very motivated to make the most of this opportunity even if I know I am facing a tough challenge," said Badoer, the first Italian to race for Ferrari since Nicola Larini in 1994. "It will effectively be a test session for me, but I will be trying my best to secure a good result."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend