Renault was right in the protest with Racing Point. From the Styrian Grand Prix onwards, the French team has already protested against the cars of Racing Point and today the FIA has decided that Renault is right. The car of Racing Point is illegal. It concerns the brakes of the RP20, which are a copy of Mercedes.
Racing Point have been deducted 15 world championship points and fined €400,000 after FIA stewards upheld Renault’s protest about the legality of the design of the team’s RP20 car.
Racing Point raised eyebrows at Barcelona testing when they unveiled a car that looked remarkably similar to last year’s championship-winning Mercedes. The team – who take an engine as well as several parts, including the suspension, from Mercedes as per the rules –admitted taking inspiration from the car, but consistently insisted what they had done is within the rules.
After the Styrian, Hungarian and British Grands Prix, Renault lodged a protest with the stewards, alleging that Racing Point’s brake ducts had been directly copied from the 2019 Mercedes.
And on Friday in Silverstone, the stewards delivered their verdict, upholding Renault’s protest.
Racing Point were fined €200,000 for fielding Sergio Perez’s car in Styria and the same amount for fielding Lance Stroll’s. They were also deducted 7.5 world championship points per car. Protests for the Hungarian and British Grands Prix were also upheld, with Racing Point reprimanded for using their car in both events.
But they said it did not apply to the rear brake ducts because Racing Point did not use Mercedes’ data for the 2019 version of those parts, and therefore knew that doing so for 2020 would be the basis of the design of Listed Parts – “so could not be designed using the CAD models for the Mercedes W10 brake ducts”.
They said that Racing Point had opportunity to explicitly clarify its intention to use the Mercedes data for 2020 and that the FIA would have expressly forbidden it had it been presented.
The stewards said they were issuing “by no means an unfair or retrospective application of the rules”.
Mercedes was ordered to provide the front and rear brake ducts of its W10 for examination, so the stewards could make a comparison to the parts from the RP20, but the championship-winning team has been cleared of any consequence.
The stewards said a parts transfer between Mercedes and Racing Point on January 6 this year does not “constitute a breach of the regulations worthy of censure as the parts in question were both not used and did not expand the information that had previously passed from Mercedes to Racing Point quite legitimately under the regulations in 2019”.
Neither team has commented yet on the stewards’ verdict but Racing Point had made it clear it would appeal if it lost. It has until Saturday morning to notify the FIA of its intent to appeal.
Renault and other teams concerned that the Racing Point model is effectively a customer car by the back door will likely be extremely encouraged by this decision.
McLaren has previously stated the outcome of this protest as key to deciding whether or not F1 becomes a “copy championship”.
Ferrari has also professed itself ‘perplexed’ that the process used to create the RP20 can be considered a ‘design’ in line with the sporting regulations.
The suggestion so far has been that even if Racing Point was vindicated in this instance, the rules should be tightened up so that such close alliances and replica designs are not possible in the future.
racing point fined 400000 racing point fined 400000
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Russia ||27 Sep|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|