70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Racing Point will appeal against the stewards punishment for copying Mercedes’ brake ducts, while several other teams will appeal the lenient penalty.
Several teams have confirmed they intend to appeal the leniency of the punishment handed to Racing Point on Friday.
The team was given a 400,000 euro fine and docked 15 Constructor’s points from the Styrian Grand Prix, after a protest against their brake ducts was upheld by the race stewards. Two further protests from the Hungarian and British Grands Prix for the same offence resulted in reprimands.
In essence, Racing Point have been found to have copied the front and rear brake ducts of the Mercedes W10. However, this was legal to do last year when Racing Point bought the drawings from Merc. Due to a change of rules over the 2019/2020 break, Racing Point using the same brakes breaks the Sporting Regulations.
What’s drawn the ire of the other teams is that Racing Point can continue to use the same brake ducts, with the FIA saying they will only be reprimanded from now on for using them. However, at each race they’re used, the brake ducts continue to break the Sporting Regulations.
As a result, the teams want clarity on the situation. Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Williams have all appealed to the stewards to review the decision, as they feel the penalty imposed is too lenient for the extent of the transgression.
Meanwhile, Racing Point have also issued an appeal, albeit in the other direction. They don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong, and have lodged an appeal with the FIA to review the situation.
Speaking at the FIA Press Conference on Friday, team boss Otmar Szafnauer said that they felt they were fully compliant: “It’s a bit disappointing. We thought we are well within the rules and did absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. “We invited the FIA in March to come and view everything that we did. We had full disclosure.”
“Thereafter, they wrote to us and said we were completely compliant. So that’s a bit disappointing. However, we now have to assess the sanction that was given. The FIA have acknowledged the rules of non-listed parts going to listed parts were far from clear and ambiguous and they could be viewed from two different sides.” continued Szafnauer.
“The initial thought is that from our perspective, we did nothing wrong so that’s unfair. There’s always two perspectives, I guess. The FIA were the arbiters on this. We now have to discuss with the FIA what is going to happen going forward.”
Racing Point are risking a bigger penalty should the appeal go against them.