Racing Point filed a complaint against the brake system of the Renault team at Suzuka, claiming that the Enstone squad was using a pre-set up lap distance-dependent brake bias adjustment system.
It was determined that Renault was not at fault for what Racing Point had originally protested against.
However, the stewards came to the conclusion that Renault used a system that “constitutes a driving aid and is, therefore, not in compliance with Article 27.1 [of the] FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations”.
The stewards acknowledged that both Renault drivers "used buttons mounted on the steering wheel to control brake balance in compliance with Article 8.6.3 of the Technical Regulations".
However it was found that 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.
“The stewards note that there is a clear distinction between this 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 Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations."
Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finished the race in 6th and 10th place respectively, however in light of the disqualification, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez have moved up into the 6th, 7th and 8th positions.
At the German Grand Prix earlier this year, Alfa Romeo received 30-second time penalties for both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for also breaching Article 27.1, as the team was found to have used driver aids at the start of the race.
The stewards clarified that the gains from the two separate occasions were "specially assessed and the penalty here (Renault) resulted from that assessment.
The statement from the FIA highlighted that Renault may choose to appeal the decision if it wishes to do so.
"Because of the unique circumstances and timing of the protest hearing, the stewards, under the power given to them by the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Regulations Article 10.1.1, hereby extend the normal appeal period for this decision to expire at 10:00am Central Daylight Time, the local time in Mexico City, on Oct 24, 2019, where the majority of those impacted by the circumstances will be located."
Renault's hopes of taking McLaren's fourth place in the championship have taken a hit following this development, as the gap between the two reads 43 points instead of 34, as it was after the provisional Japanese Grand Prix results.
Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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