70th Anniversary Grand Prix – FIA stewards have upheld Renault’s protests against Racing Point, docking the team 15 points and hitting them with a fine.
The FIA have sided with Renault in their ongoing protest saga against Racing Point, after the French team have protested the RP20 for three consecutive races.
Renault protested the brake ducts on the RP20 after the Styrian, Hungarian and British Grands Prix, arguing that the parts were essentially the same as the Mercedes W10 from 2019. With Mercedes being the engine supplier to Racing Point, Renault were unhappy with the possibility that the design of the brakes came from Merc. The brake ducts are, specifically, listed as a part that teams must design for 2020.
Renault’s argument was that the brake ducts were just replicas of Mercedes’, rather than being an original design from Racing Point.
Having met with both teams on Wednesday, the FIA issued their ruling for the three races under protest. They concluded that Mercedes were the ‘principal’ designer of the brake ducts and Racing Point are thus in breach of the rules.
Racing Point admitted that they bought Mercedes’ 2019 front brake ducts in 2019 when, crucially, these parts were not listed. They then used Mercedes’ CAD data in order to replicate the part. This was deemed as legal by the stewards, as they were adapted from Merc’s spec in order to be applied to the RP20. As a result, Racing Point are still permitted to continue using the brake ducts.
The same can’t be said for the rear brake ducts, as the team carried out the same replication process. However, this was done for the 2020 rear brake ducts and not the 2019 ones – breaking the ‘listed parts’ rule.
As a result, Racing Point have been fined 200,000 euro per car for the initial protest, ie. the Styrian Grand Prix. They were also docked 15 points. They were given reprimands for the Hungarian and British Grands Prix.
Mercedes have been cleared of any wrongdoing, stating that a parts transfer between Merc and Racing Point did ‘not constitute a breach of the regulations worthy of censure as the parts in question were both not used and did not expand the information that had previously passed from Mercedes to Racing Point quite legitimately under the regulations in 2019.”
The team now have until Saturday to decide whether they want to protest the decision against them.