Haas ex­cluded for floor in­fringe­ment

Autosport (UK) - - RACE CENTRE -

Ro­main Gros­jean was ex­cluded from sixth place at Monza after the floor of his Haas was found to be il­le­gal fol­low­ing a protest by the Re­nault team. The stew­ards ruled that the ref­er­ence plane – the low­est point of the car other than the wheels – did not com­ply with Ar­ti­cle 3.7.1d of the tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions. This states:“the sur­face formed by all parts ly­ing on the ref­er­ence plane must have a 50mm ra­dius (+/2mm) on each front cor­ner when viewed from di­rectly be­neath the car, this be­ing ap­plied after the sur­face has been de­fined.” The stew­ards also ref­er­enced a sub­se­quent tech­ni­cal di­rec­tive, is­sued on July 25, that clar­i­fied the reg­u­la­tion be­cause it was “be­ing ap­plied dif­fer­ently by sev­eral dif­fer­ent teams”. This re­quired Haas to mod­ify the floor, which has run in this con­fig­u­ra­tion since June’s Cana­dian Grand Prix, by the Ital­ian GP. Haas had in­formed FIA head of sin­gle-seater tech­ni­cal mat­ters Niko­las Tom­bazis in an email that it aimed to do so for Septem­ber’s Sin­ga­pore GP, ar­gu­ing that the manda­tory sum­mer shut­down de­layed pro­duc­tion of a new floor. Stew­ards con­firmed Tom­bazis did not re­spond to that spe­cific point, re­ply­ing to tech­ni­cal de­tails in the same email, which Haas took to mean it could con­tinue on its time­line. But as Tom­bazis con­firmed he had told Haas head of aero­dy­nam­ics Ben Agath­angelou in con­ver­sa­tion that this would leave Haas open to a protest, the stew­ards ac­cepted no such ex­ten­sion had been granted. The in­fringe­ment re­lates to the T-tray at the front of the floor, which must be shaped in a cer­tain way. The 50mm ra­dius was ad­hered to for the floor it­self, but the con­nec­tion of a new foot­plate de­sign to the split­ter changes the way in which the ra­dius was viewed from di­rectly be­neath the car, as stip­u­lated by the rules. Haas served no­tice of its in­tent to ap­peal on Sun­day night, but as Au­tosport closed for press had yet to con­firm it was pro­ceed­ing.

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