Renault Banned From the European Grand Prix

Leo EvansContributor IJuly 26, 2009

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 25:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault drives on his way to taking pole position during qualifying for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 25, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Renault have been banned from the 2009 European Grand due to a compromise of safety in breach of Article 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations, and in breach of Article 23.1 after Fernando Alonso's right front wheel fell of because a problem in the pit lane during his first pit stop. Alonso, who started on pole, retired two laps after the incident.

The Statement from the Stewards said that Renault, "knowingly released car No. 7 from the pit stop 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."

It also added that Renault,  "being aware of this, failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pit-lane...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."

The incident comes one week after Henry Surtees was killed in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch when he was hit by a loose wheel bouncing along the track after an accident from another car. Many people believe this was one of the main reasons for the punishment.

This means that Fernando Alonso will miss his home grand prix in Valencia unless he finds another team to drive for.

If rumors are to be believed then Alosno already has a contract with Ferrari in 2010, but with Massa now surely out for the rest of the season, if not for his career, and with Alosno wanting a drive for the European race in Valencia could Alonso take over from Massa for the rest of the season?