Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Red Bull Ring, 2020

FIA aims to rule on Racing Point legality dispute before next race

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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The FIA aims to rule on Renault’s protest against Racing Point before the next round of the championship at Silverstone.

However the governing body’s head of single seater technical matters, Nikolas Tombazis, said the dispute may not be settled until late August if the decision is subject to an appeal.

Renault lodged a protest against Racing Point over their brake ducts following Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix. The stewards seized parts from Racing Point’s car and also requested Mercedes supply examples of the ducts from their championship-winning W10, which they raced last year. The protest concerns whether Racing Point have copied Mercedes’ design in a manner which is compliant with the rules.

Racing Point have been given three weeks’ time to submit a document in response to the charges, Tombazis explained. “I think it is fair to say that Racing Point are likely to finish this work earlier than three weeks. So I expect they would have a submission to make in the coming week.

“So I expect the stewards would convene sometime, probably, I would say the week before Silverstone. But again that depends on when Racing Point complete their submission and we, the FIA technical department, complete our submission.

“But a likely, possible adjudication date is a week before the first Silverstone. Under normal circumstances the stewards would decide within a few hours or a day or so from that hearing.”

The matter could rumble on for another month, however, if anyone lodges an appeal against that decision.

“Teams who have the right to appeal, I think they’ve got four days to appeal,”said Tombazis. “So theoretically the team that is less happy with the stewards’ decision can then decide to go to appeal and go to the international court of appeal.

“Then of course it’s another set of preparations and lawyers and submissions involved. So that could probably take us to the week after the Spanish Grand Prix or something along those lines. All of that is to be confirmed.

“So theoretically their decision is going to be the final one. So we’re talking towards late August that we could have a final decision if teams decide to to go to the ultimate step of appealing.”

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14 comments on “FIA aims to rule on Racing Point legality dispute before next race”

  1. If it took Renault 3 weeks to build the case then RP should be given 3 weeks to provide counter evidence.

    1. They are being given three weeks.

      1. Lol somebody above can’t read :D

  2. Only Facts!
    17th July 2020, 18:50

    The technicality and confidentiality of the matter gives room for 1 possible solution: a la Ferrari – FIA says it’s satisfied, and Renault has to pursue greater instances if they want more clarification.

    Did someone from the Mercedes team assisted RP? Did Ferrari assisted HAAS in their first year? Has Newey ever received a phone call from TR aerodynamicist?
    Was there any technology transfer among fuel suppliers? Good luck trying to prove or deny that.

    What RP did is the HAAS customer model to the full extent. Something that Williams were noble to refuse, but at the cost of their own survival.
    I say Renault shouldn’t bother, since they’re in F1 to beat the top team, whoever it is and whatever model it follows. But I get their point: the B teams will have no other choice than to adapt to the full customer model. And Renault has no B team.

  3. Don’t forget Renault executive director is no one but Marcin Budkowski, apart from being a highly rated aerodynamicist. He was the head of the FIA technical department. He used to audit teams facilities, he was the one that lead the inspection mission mandated by the FIA in 2015 when Ferrari was accused of benefiting from wind tunnel and CFD testing conducted on behalf of Haas after a clarification request from Mercedes.

    The FIA race stewards then issued further restrictions that outlined what cannot be shared between the teams. In the case of RP, I think it is exactly the opposite, It’s quite easy for Renault to prove the technology transfer.

    1. Sorry, that was a reply to the previous post of Only Facts!

    2. In the case of RP, I think it is exactly the opposite, It’s quite easy for Renault to prove the technology transfer.

      Racing Point seems pretty certain they won’t be able to prove technology transfer.

      What do you know that they don’t?

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        18th July 2020, 0:33

        For me it’s fairly simple – they say they looked at pictures that anyone else has has access to and copied from them. If that’s the case, there will be internal parts that you can’t see from pictures that will be different. If they are identical and RP can’t provide the photos they looked at and copied from, they must have been given that information from Mercedes.

      2. What do you know that they don’t?

        Have you read the entire post ?

  4. If RP hadn’t made their nose exactly like the Mercedes, with that rounded front section, no one would have realized that they copied the Merc. That nose section was the obvious giveaway, and then everyone looked at the rest of the car.

    1. Dave rainey
      30th July 2020, 11:51

      I think you are totally correct if they had made it look a bit different we would not be where we are now

    2. That might affect the aerodynamics and the car may turn out to be a dud

  5. Dave rainey
    30th July 2020, 11:50

    I think as they had the 2019 brake ducts they used them as there starting point it will now come down to how much of a change they have made to the ducts also as they were allowed to share ducts in 2019 if you kept the 2019 ducts as was are you breaking any directive as you were allowed them RP can have the 800 plus drawings but that does not prove that they were design drawings they could be made up drawings just so they can show they done some design work but basically reverse enginnering
    To me this is going to be very difficult to decide either way but the stewards might come down hard on RP to make the future developments more individual

    Just my feelings

  6. The fact that FIA overlooked brake ducts in their initial investigation says more about the nature of that investigation. There are other areas that need suo moto investigation by the regulator. This is just unacceptable.

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