Renault has been suspended from taking part in the European Grand Prix at Valencia after a wheel came off Fernando Alonso’s car in Hungary.
Alonso had been leading the race up until his first pit-stop, but his efforts came to nothing after his right-front wheel was not fitted properly. It worked its way loose and flew off the car later in the lap, ending up against the crash barriers.
Following a post-race discussion with the stewards, it was deemed that the team had breached the regulations enough for it to be suspended from the next event.
A statement released by race stewards said, “Renault knowingly released car no. 7 from the pitstop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position, this being an indication that the wheel itself may not have been properly secured.
“Being aware of this, [Renault] failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pitlane, failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances, even though the driver contacted the team by radio believing he had a puncture.”
Renault has appealed the decision and its case is likely to be heard in Formula One’s summer break before the next race on 23 August.