Szafnauer tired of 'Pink Mercedes' jibes


From the moment it took to the track in Barcelona it began, as the media and fans observed the similarity between aspects of the Racing Point RP20 and the Mercedes W10 - the German outfit's 2019 contender - the Silverstone's car was referred to as the 'Pink Mercedes' and (t)Racing Point.

Ahead of the hearing which will hopefully decide the legality of the car, team boss, Otmar Szafnauer says his colleagues are frustrated and insulted by the constant jibes.

"Not for me so much," he told Reuters, "but for the guys in the factory, who worked really hard to develop this car to where it is and are still working hard to make further developments.

"For their work to be discounted, to say 'Ah, you've copied', or 'plagiarised' as I heard somebody say, it's absolutely not true and it has gone too far," he added.

His comments come at a time the German media is reporting that the Silverstone-based team has admitted buying a set of Mercedes ducts before they became listed parts, while also suggesting that Renault's protests are fuelled by a former Racing Point employee who has now joined the French team.

Renault claims that it is protesting the legality of the brake ducts for the future of the sport, with McLaren's Andreas Seidl warning that the sport risks becoming a "copying championship".

"In 2019, the transfer of information on brake ducts was completely legitimate," argues Racing Point technical director, Andrew Green. "And we used that data as a reference, a starting point for our brake ducts, completely legally. Renault are trying to impose the 2020 regulations on 2019, making it retrospective."

Szafnauer, who grew up near Detroit, compares the situation to the 1970s, when Michigan raised the drinking age from 18 to 21.

"You can't retrospectively look back and say 'now the drinking age is 21, last year when you were 19 you had a beer and you're going to jail'," he said.

"We've been accused of doing something that other people claim they don't do, which is absolutely wrong," said Green.

"It's absolutely been rife in Formula One for decades, to look at people's concepts and ideas and take them and make them your own. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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Published: 04/08/2020
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