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"Car is completely legal," insists Szafnauer

NEWS STORY
07/08/2020

Speaking in the moments after the stewards announced their decision in terms of the protests lodged against his team, Racing Point boss, Otmar Szafnauer, admitted that though he is pleased his car has been declared legal, he is bewildered at the ruling in terms of the design process.

"The good news from the judgement was that the car is completely legal from a technical perspective," he told Sky Sports F1, "so we can continue to run the brake ducts.

"It's just a matter of process which is in the sporting regulations," he continued. "We read the sporting regulations, there is nothing specific in there which says we couldn't do what we did.

"Other teams have done exactly the same," he insisted, "probably even more than what we did in a way.

"It's a bit bewildering," he admitted. "However, we now have to decide whether our punishment is one that we should appeal. But like I said, the good news is we can continue to run this car as it is here, and thereafter, and it's legal."

The stewards did not accept Racing Point's claim that it designed the brake ducts starting with a blank piece of paper, stating that Mercedes had in fact been the principal designer.

"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 crux of Racing Point's argument has been that brake ducts were not listed parts last year, though now they are deemed to be.

"There's only one part of the car that went from a non-listed part to a listed part, which is brake ducts," said Szafnauer. "I was there in the strategy group meeting when we voted for this.

"I supported this, going from a non-listed part to a listed part," he continued. "Some teams didn't want this to happen, others did. I think we were the swing vote.

"I supported Cyril (Abiteboul) wholeheartedly on this," he added. "We started this process well before the brake ducts were even contemplated moving from non-listed to listed. So it pains me and surprises me that the process has now been deemed not within the regulations when the regulations aren't clear."

The full decision details can be found here (pdf)

Check out our Friday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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