Singapore is one of the last places you want to start from the rear of the grid, and Renault believes Daniel Ricciardo has a right to feel aggrieved following his qualifying exclusion.
Ricciardo dropped his R. S. 19 into eighth at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday, but was scratched from the results following a technical breach.
The Motor Generator Unit — Kinetic (MGU-K) on Ricciardo’s power unit encountered a sudden power spike on his second-fastest lap in Q1 before he snuck through in P12.
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He was later removed from the final classification after the MGU-K was found to have exceeded the maximum permitted power output.
After the stewards’ ruling came down, Renault elected not to appeal the decision. However, the team argued the spike occurred during Ricciardo’s Q1 lap and “offered no measurable benefit” to his eventual P8 result.
The team also claimed that the advantage had been a miserly 0.000001s.
“Renault F1 Team acknowledges the decision from the FIA Stewards to disqualify Daniel Ricciardo from the qualifying session of the Singapore Grand Prix,” the team said.
“He benefited from an advantage measured at one-microsecond due to a kerb hit that caused his MGU-K to overrev on his slowest lap of Q1. The decision will therefore not be appealed.”
The defence was dismissed by the stewards.
“The team explained to the stewards how they believe the excess occurred, however the stewards consider this information to be confidential to the team, and not relevant to this decision,” an FIA statement read.
“Notwithstanding the team’s arguments, the Stewards take 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 order car three disqualified from the results of qualifying.”
It was a body blow for the team and the driver, with Ricciardo wildly impressing last time out in Monza.
Renault demonstrated clear progress at the power-hungry Italian circuit, with Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finishing fourth and fifth — the first time both works Renaults finished in the top five since Japan 2008.
Ricciardo has four podiums on the streets of Singapore but will be hard-pressed to make it No. 5 on Sunday, while the pole sitter has won six of the last seven races.
Pole fell the way of Ferrari wunderkind Charles Leclerc, who ousted Lewis Hamilton by nearly two tenths to claim his third pole on the bounce.
The Singapore Grand Prix gets underway at 10:10pm AEST on Sunday.