Renault have won their protest against the Racing Point team for allegedly copying the 2019 Mercedes design with the later being fined and stripped of points.
Speculation began at pre-season testing in Barcelona when Racing Point revealed it’s 2020 challenger. People immediately pointed out how similar it was the last years title winning Mercedes W10, given that Racing Point uses Mercedes engines and buys many components from the German outfit many became suspicious of how the cars looked so similar.
The first protest was launched by Renault after the Styrian GP and then again after the Hungarian GP. It was expected to be launched again during last weekends British GP but it is believed Renault did not due to the situation wither Sergio Perez.
The issue raised is to do with listed parts which are parts that all teams must design themselves rather than buy or copy them from another manufacturer. As of 2020 brake ducts are now considered listed parts and this is were Renault focused their protest. They argued that front and rear brake ducts of the RP20 are too similar the W10 to be considered a individual design.
Racing Point responded by saying that while they did take pictures of the Mercedes to base their design off, it was only as inspiration and that the ducts were an individual design. They also said that the new rule make brake ducts listed parts only came into effect one day before FP1 in Austria. However the FIA has ruled again Racing Point saying that while the front brake ducts were legal the rears were considered a Mercedes design.
As a result Racing point have been fined €200,000 and stripped of 7.5 points per car resulting and in a total loss of €400,000 and 15 points for the team. The two drivers however will keep their individual championship points.
They will however be allowed to use the ducts moving forward as it would be unrealistic to expect the team to redesign them as it would be fundamental change to the cars design. Racing Point have not stated if they will appeal the decision with team principal Otmar Szafnauer saying the decision was “unfair”.