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Renault's lawyer described the team's one-race ban as unjustifiable at the FIA court of appeal hearing on Monday as the French team fights to overturn the decision of the governing body to suspend the marque from this weekend's European Grand Prix.
Renault is currently not part of the race in Valencia, leaving local hero Fernando Alonso on the sidelines unless the team overturns the decision of F1's governing body; the punishment was imposed when the FIA felt that the team was aware of the problem which resulted in Fernando Alonso's wheel flying off the car in hazardous fashion during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"This case does not deserve more than a reprimand," Renault lawyer Ali Malek explained to four judges at the Paris hearing to which Reuters attended. "Was there conscious wrongdoing from Renault? There was none whatsoever."
After the race, the FIA explained that the suspension had been imposed upon the team as it had failed to notify its driver of the problem via team radio. "The only people who knew were the two mechanics," Malek responded. "Nobody on the pit wall knew there was a problem and the driver did not know either."
FIA representative Paul Harris gave the federation's version of events: "The car should not have been left out on the track. (The mechanics) are employed by the team and their knowledge must be attributed to the team. Renault cannot simply rely on their flawed procedures to say they could not communicate. Two wrongs don't make a right."
"There was a series of unfortunate events but no conscious wrongdoing," Malek summed up.
The court's verdict will be published on Tuesday.
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