Thursday, Oct 24 08:53am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Ricciardo, H├╝lkenberg disqualified from Japanese Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg have been disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix.

The pair finished sixth and tenth respectively for the Renault F1 Team at Suzuka Circuit. However, a protest by Racing Point led to an investigation by the FIA, which has revealed the team used a “pre-set lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system” on its cars.

As a result, Lance Stroll (Racing Point) and Daniil Kvyat (Scuderia Toro Rosso) move into the last two places in the top 10 finishing order.

Racing Point alleged the use of an automatic brake bias adjustment system is a violation of the Sporting Regulations, which requires that the driver has to drive the car unaided. They also alleged it was a breach of the Technical Regulations, which prohibits the use of powered devices altering the brake balance. Brake systems have to be made solely by the driver using a physical input.

However, the FIA determined the control system is not pre-set, lap distance dependant as alleged. The drivers used buttons mounted to the steering wheel to control brake balance. The FIA said the team used “innovative solutions” to exploit ambiguities in the Technical Regulations. Their system does not breach those.

Although not a breach of the Technical Regulations, the system is considered to be a driver aid, meaning it does not comply with the Sporting Regulations.

The FIA noted in their findings: “The brake balance adjustment systemin question acts as a driver aid, by saving the driver from having to make a number of adjustments during a lap. The Stewards note that there is a clear distinction between the system and one which provides actual feedback control, which would be a substitute for driver skills or reflexes. Nevertheless, it is still an aid and, therefore, contravenes [the Sporting Regulations].”