Daniel Ricciardo has been excluded from the results of today's qualifying session after the Singapore stewards deemed that Renault exceeded the MGU-K power limit during Q1.
After hearing from the FIA Technical Delegate and team representatives, including the team manager and two of the engineers responsible, it was established in the hearing, beyond any doubt in the opinion of the Stewards, that the competitor exceeded the MGU-K power flow limit permitted under Appendix 3, per Article 5.2.2 of the 2019 Formula One Technical Regulations.
The method by which this limit is regulated is well known and understood by the teams and, according to the stewards, neither the fact that the car had exceeded the limit nor the methodology by which it is policed was disputed by the team.
The team's defence rested on two points. First, that the excess was very small and offered no measurable benefit. Second, that the excess occurred during the second fastest lap during Q1.
The team explained to the stewards how they believe the excess occurred, however the stewards considered this information to be confidential to the team, and not relevant to this decision.
Notwithstanding Renault's arguments, the stewards took note of the very clear wording of Article 1.2.2 ISC, which states that "If an Automobile is found not to comply with the applicable technical regulations, it shall be no defence to claim that no performance advantage was obtained".
In coming to this decision the stewards referred to longstanding precedents regarding technical infringements and the penalty which has been consistently applied is disqualification, and which does not consider when or if an advantage was gained. This principle has been very clearly affirmed by the International Court of Appeal.
The stewards therefore ordered that Ricciardo be disqualified from the results of qualifying.
Confirming that it will not appeal the decision, Renault subsequently claimed the issue gave Ricciardo an estimated advantage of one millionth of a second.
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