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Racing Point protests upheld (Updated)

NEWS STORY
07/08/2020

FIA stewards have upheld the protest of Racing Point's cars at the Styrian, Hungarian and British Grands Prix.

While the team is reprimanded for the 'offences' at the Hungarian and British races, it is fined $200,000 for each car at the Styrian race as well as 7.5 points for each car, meaning a total deduction of 15 points.

In many ways, the findings are likely to prove as controversial as the FIA's investigation into Ferrari's 2019 engine in that more questions are posed than answered.

In essence, the stewards have deemed that the design of the rear brake duct on the RP20 was actually the work of Mercedes, which is a breach of the rules.

Indeed, while Racing Point insisted that it designed the brake ducts starting with a blank piece of paper, as reported by the German media earlier this week, Racing Point bought a complete set of Mercedes brake ducts (front and rear) in January.

Though the RP20's front brake duct is an evolution of the RP19, the rear brake duct is essentially the work of Mercedes.

"Since the RP20 RBDs (rear brake ducts) were not run on the RP19 in 2019 and since the Stewards believe that the design effort expended by Racing Point in adapting the RBDs originally designed by Mercedes for the W10 pales in comparison to the significance of the original Mercedes work, the Stewards conclude that the principal designer of the RP20 RBDs was Mercedes, not Racing Point," read the report.

However...

"The Stewards acknowledge that since the RBDs are compliant with the 2020 FIA F1 Technical Regulations, it is not realistic to expect Racing Point to re-design or re-engineer the BDs in a way that would effectively require them to "unlearn" what they already know," the report continued. "Therefore, the penalty imposed is intended to penalize the potential advantage Racing Point may have accrued in the BD design process which resulted in the use of LPs which were not designed by it."

While Racing Point is fined $200,000 for each car in Styria - along with the 15 point deduction - for the subsequent events in Hungary and Britain only a reprimand is issued.

Though the brake ducts, having been declared illegal, will continue to be used for the remainder of the season, the team will merely incur further reprimands.

Because the rule breach involved the Sporting Regulations, as opposed to the technical, disqualification was never on the cards.

Quite how rival teams feel remains to be seen, for Racing Point has essentially got away with a slap on the wrist.

Indeed, using Mercedes technology it will continue to gain points and thereby prize money.

However, at a time rivals are watching with interest, this protest has been about the brake ducts, and it is thought that Renault might now protest other parts on the RP20.

Though Racing Point has the right to appeal the decision, so does the French manufacturer.

This isn't over.

The full decision details can be found here (pdf)

Check out our Friday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 07/08/2020 21:52

"Brake ducts? What a tremendous performance enhancer!! Wow."

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2. Posted by Hondaunearthed, 07/08/2020 11:33

"Italian Job - that’s like saying if someone was assaulted or rapped isn’t it upto that person to go to the police, even though others are aware of wrong doing."

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3. Posted by Italian Job, 07/08/2020 10:29

"Maybe I am naive (OK, I AM naive) but if RP have copied one or more parts of last year's MB (without MB's consent?), shouldn't it be for MB to make the protest?"

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