Renault’s hopes of stemming Ferrari’s advance in the title battle have been dealt a blow after an innovative design on their car was ruled illegal. The court of appeal of Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, said on Wednesday that the team’s “mass damper” contravened the sport’s rules.
The FIA views the “mass damper” – a counterweight mounted within the nose of the car – as a movable aerodynamic device, even though it never comes into contact with the airflow around the car.
“I really do not believe the FIA can win the appeal on the grounds they have said,” Renault engineering director Pat Symonds said before ruling, “but if they do then we really have to start to relook at the definition of what a racing car is – its suspension, everything. If the FIA choose to interpret in the particular manner they are doing now, then there are many, many other parts on the car open to interpretation.”
Will the ruling really hurt Renault that badly ? Given the performance of their car in Hockenheim it seems so. Will get to see the truth this weekend in Istanbul.