Haas prepare to face Court of Appeal

The Haas F1 Team will face the FIA’s International Court of Appeal on Thursday in an attempt to overturn their Italian Grand Prix disqualification.

Both Haas cars were disqualified in Italy after a post-race protest launched by Renault. The disqualification cost Haas 8 points – as well as the chance to move into fourth place in the Constructors Championship. Since the disqualification, Renault’s lead over Haas in the championship extended to thirty points.

Thursday’s court appearance will be held in Paris. Renault Executive Director Marcin Budkowski told Autosport in September that Renault wished to be heard as an interested party at the hearing, but he was unsure if they would be able to do so. 

Romain Grosjean on-track during the Italian Grand Prix, ironically with a Renault trailing him in the background (Image courtesy of Haas F1 Team). 

The outcome of the case is now relatively unimportant, as Renault took full advantage of Mexico’s altitude on Sunday to solidify fourth place in the Constructors Championship. Whilst Nico Hulkenberg gained eight points with his sixth place, Haas was busy squabbling at the back of the field, coming home last of the classified finishers. Team Principal Guenther Steiner said there was nothing good to take away from the weekend. 

The two rival teams have continued to squabble over the disqualification in the five Grands Prix since Italy. On Thursday at the US Grand Prix, more than a month after the disqualification, Romain Grosjean corrected a reporter who said he’d scored 31 points in the last nine races, quipping, “I got eight stolen in Monza.”

Immediately after the disqualification, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner accused Renault of breaking a Formula 1 ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that teams don’t protest against each other post-race. Ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, Steiner said Renault’s protest was motivated by their desire to finish fourth. 

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner thinks Renault lodged the protest for a competitive advantage (Image courtesy of Haas F1 Team). 

“That gives you a good indication of how tense the battle is,” Steiner said.

[Read more on how Guenther Steiner assessed the disqualification situation ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.]

Grosjean was disqualified post-race in Italy because the FIA noted a reference plane on the floor of the Haas VF-18 was not in compliance with a newly enforced technical directive. Renault’s Marcin Budkowski told Autosport after the race that Renault was “not happy” racing against an illegal car.

The technical directive was first issued to teams in July, with the Italian Grand Prix acting as the compliance deadline.

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Steven Walton is an 18-year-old Journalism Student at the Ara Institute of Canterbury. He previously attended St Andrew's College in Christchurch, where he excelled at History and Classical Studies. Steven is the Editor-in-Chief at Green Flag F1 and spends most of his days living, breathing, and immersing in the Formula 1 world.

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