Renault's 'illegal' brake system has been used for years, Abiteboul reveals
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that the team's controversial brake system has been in use for "many years" before it got them disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg were stripped of sixth and 10th-place finishes respectively after an automatic brake-bias adjustment was deemed to be a driver aid following a protest from Racing Point.
Otmar Szafnauer confirmed in Mexico that Racing Point's objection came after the FIA had told them they would not be allowed to develop a similar system, but Abiteboul says it has passed scrutiny for a long time, with reports suggesting it has been on Enstone-based cars since the team's Lotus guise in 2015.
"It's not from this season. It's from before," he said.
"I agree that it's a driver aid just like we said before. A number of things are driver aids, so you need also to accept that there is an element of subjectivity.
"It's been used since so many years that we never thought that it could be put into question until what happened recently."
Abiteboul said the fact that the system could pass the scrutiny by one set of regulations, but not enough could set F1 up for more difficult cases in the future.
He said: "It was important for us to get across the message that a car is legal in accordance to the technical regulation.
"But we also recognise that you need to comply not just with one set of regulation, but with all sets of regulation: technical, sporting… tomorrow there will be the financial regulations.
"So as Formula 1 is evolving, regulations are getting more and more complex. Sometimes they can also even contradict themselves.
"The stewards have judged that it's not acceptable. So be it. For me it's harsh on the team. It's also even harsher on drivers because I think it's a very poor recognition of what they are doing. It's shading a negative light on what they are doing, the way that they are performing in the car."
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