FORMULA 1 : FIA AGAINST DESIGN BY PHOTOGRAPHY (RACING POINT)
Racing Point’s been found guilty of producing its rear brake ducts by using Mercedes data illegally in a complex ruling that said a similar (but not identical) process for the front brake ducts was OK.
But it can continue to use those rear brake ducts, because the FIA says it would be unreasonable to expect the team to design new ones that are fundamentally different now it has the knowledge.
FIA head of single-seater technical matters Nicholas Tombazis has confirmed Formula 1’s sporting regulations will be changed to prevent teams adopting Racing Point’s ‘design-by-photography’ philosophy.
Racing Point was hit with a 15-point constructors’ penalty and a €400,000 fine after being found guilty of failing to design its own rear brake ducts following a protest from Renault.
The team has since lodged its intention to appeal the verdict, but now faces four teams in opposition who it is understood believe the punishment to be too lenient.
To avoid a similar furore in the future, Tombazis has said changes will be made to the sporting regulations for 2021.
“We want to give a very strong message to teams that they should not be starting doing this now for next year’s car because that will simply not be allowed,” said Tombazis.
“We, the FIA, and Formula 1 have been spending quite a lot of time discussing this topic and we think it is important to explain a few concepts and what we are thinking to do about it.
“First of all, copying has been taking place in Formula 1 for a long time. People take photos and sometimes reverse engineers them and make similar concepts or, in some areas, even identical concepts, or close to identical as other teams.
“We do not think this can stop in the future completely, but what we do think is that Racing Point took this to another level.
“They clearly decided to apply this philosophy for the whole car by doing what I would call a paradigm shift, or they actually used a disruption in the process of what has been the norm of designing a Formula 1 car in the last 40 years.
“So one should not penalise them for that because they were original in deciding to follow this approach.”
Ferrari’s former chief designer, however, feels now is clearly the right time to end such a practice by making the rules clear.
“However, we do not think this is what Formula 1 should become,” added Tombazis. “We don’t want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes’, or copies of Mercedes, on the grid where the main skill becomes how you do this process.
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“We don’t want this to become the norm of Formula 1, and we do plan in the very short notice to introduce some amendments to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this from becoming the norm.
“It will prevent teams from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way that Racing Point has done.
“We will still accept individual components to be copied and local areas, but we don’t want the whole car to be fundamentally a copy of another car.”
FORMULA 1 : FIA AGAINST DESIGN BY PHOTOGRAPHY (RACING POINT) FORMULA 1 : FIA AGAINST DESIGN BY PHOTOGRAPHY (RACING POINT)
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