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Formula 1

Racing Point slams Renault’s ‘poorly informed’ protest

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

The Racing Point Formula 1 team says Renault’s protest is “misconceived and poorly informed”, and believes it “satisfactorily addressed” all questions about its car’s design origins before the season.

Renault protested both Racing Point cars after the Styrian Grand Prix, claiming its brake ducts breached the rules that require a team to design certain parts themselves.

The similarities of the Racing Point RP20 with last year’s Mercedes have been known since the car was publicly unveiled at pre-season testing.

Racing Point has not shied away from the fact the 2019 Mercedes was the inspiration for its car design, but always maintained the ‘copying’ was done legally through extensive photography any other team could have commissioned.

It also said that the FIA had conducted some checks during the off-season and was satisfied with the results.

In the wake of the protest, Racing Point has responded with a statement presented to The Race that firmly rejects Renault’s accusation.

“BWT Racing Point F1 Team is extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest,” said Racing Point in its statement.

“Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.

“Prior to the start of the season, the team co-operated fully with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the design of the RP20.

“The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response.”

Renault’s protest was ruled admissible by the Styrian GP stewards and the FIA has impounded the front and rear brake ducts of Racing Point’s cars and ordered Mercedes to provide its corresponding 2019 parts as a result.

An FIA Technical Department representative has been directed to seal and impound those parts in preparation for conducting a detailed analysis, the findings of which must be reported to the stewards.

It must also include an assessment that matches those findings against the alleged infringements outlined in Renault’s protest.

Racing Point has had a strong start to the 2020 season although its results from the Red Bull Ring double-header were not as emphatic as they could have been.

In Sunday’s race Sergio Perez almost beat Red Bull’s Alex Albon to fourth place on merit, despite starting on the penultimate row of the grid, but clashed with Albon late on.

“I think everyone should be worried about the pace of the Racing Point,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner after the race.

“Perez was quicker than Mercedes at one staged of the race. Bearing in mind that Valtteri Bottas was on same age tyres, Perez was three or four tenths quicker.”

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