Formula 1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn says Racing Point’s controversial 2020 car based heavily on last year’s title-winning Mercedes is not a first in the sport.
The Silverstone-based outfit has come under scrutiny for the RP20’s design, resulting in Renault lodging a protest over its legality at the past two grand prix’s.
In response to allegations it has not complied with F1’s technical regulations, Racing Point insisted all areas had been designed by themselves only using photos of the 2019 Mercedes.
In his post-Hungarian Grand Prix column, Brawn wrote of how teams copying from one another was “standard” in F1, believing Racing Point has just done a more complete job than previous examples.
“My view is copying in Formula 1 is standard,” Brawn said.
“Every team has, in normal times, digital photographers in the pit lane out there taking thousands of photos of every car for analysis, with a view of copying the best ideas. We used to give our photographers a shopping list.
“Racing Point have just taken it to the next stage and done a more thorough job. There is not a single team in this paddock which has not copied something from another.
“I’d ask every Technical Director in the paddock to raise their hand if they haven’t copied someone else. You won’t see any hands. I have certainly copied others.”
Racing Point’s brake ducts has been the main focus of Renault’s protest, which it believes is against regulations brought in for this season.
A tweak surrounding listed parts means the team is not permitted to use the brake ducts from the 2020 Mercedes, it must design its own version.
Brawn reckons it could prove a “tricky problem” for the FIA to resolve, with a hearing on the matter expected prior to the British Grand Prix.
“Last year, Racing Point had access to, and could use, 2019-spec Mercedes brake ducts because they were not a listed part. This year, brake ducts are listed parts, so you have to design your own,” Brawn said.
“However, Racing Point cannot forget the knowledge they acquired using the 2019 Mercedes brake ducts. I think it is illogical to think they can wipe their memory banks. It is a tricky problem and one for the FIA experts to resolve.”