Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Silverstone, 2020

Racing Point and Williams also give notice of intention to appeal brake duct verdict

2020 F1 season

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Half of Formula 1’s 10 teams have given notice of their intention to appeal the FIA stewards’ ruling on Racing Point yesterday.

As RaceFans revealed, McLaren and Renault are planning to appeal the decision on the grounds the penalty handed down to Racing Point is too lenient. Ferrari said in a statement yesterday they have also given notice of their intention to appeal and Williams is now understood to have done the same.

Meanwhile Racing Point, which was handed a 15-point deduction and €400,000 fine for breaking the sporting regulations, has also declared its intention to appeal against the decision.

Teams had until 9:30am this morning to give notice of their intention to appeal the decision. They have a 96 hour-window to submit the appeals.

Several team bosses have indicated their displeasure with the decision. One contentious aspect of the ruling was that Racing Point may continue to use their rear brake ducts despite the stewards ruling the design process behind them had infringed the sporting regulations. Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said this was a “confusing element” in the verdict.

“This discrepancy between the sporting and technical [regulations] – in that you can run what has effectively been deemed an illegal part that shouldn’t have been put on a race car because it was, in effect, copied from another team, to a degree – to me, that isn’t right,” she said.

“It’s confusing for the fans to have that, to see now that a car that has been in breach of regulations, to still be allowed to run those parts. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me anyway.”

However Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer said it was “ridiculous” that they had been found in breach of rules for using data which they originally obtained legally.

“We started the process of getting some data legally from Mercedes on brake ducts in 2018 before they were even contemplating moving them from non-listed to listed,” he said. “And now we’re in breach of a sporting regulation process that says because we started with some data that we legally obtained from Mercedes, we’re in breach? It’s just ridiculous.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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31 comments on “Racing Point and Williams also give notice of intention to appeal brake duct verdict”

    1. RP brought about the awareness of a bug in the system, and the stewards needed to set a precedent for punishing teams who use it nefariously, now that they know it’s there.

      Very pragmatic. It warms my heart.

  1. I think the title might be a bit misleading, unless Racing Point have had a moment of self reflection and doubt

    1. Why?
      They are appealing the verdict.

      This can be done from both sides – “winner’s” and “loser’s”

    2. Why? They also appeal against it, just not for a harsher sanction like most others, but for a different decision.

    3. @bernasaurus Yeah I agree. Lumping Racing Point and Williams together saying that both are appealing is misleading, because you would assume they are appealing on the same side, not opposite. The previous headline was worse but this is still not clear. I think a longer headline might be required to make the meaning clear. I’m no writer, but maybe something like “Racing Point appeal against penalty decision, while Williams joins other teams in appealing for harsher penalty.”

      1. I read the headline and understood immediately what was meant. Why on earth would Williams side with RP?

        1. And why would RP go against itself?

        2. I have no idea. Maybe because they have used parts from another team in a similar way, and they were concerned about the precedent that has been set by deeming the RP brake ducts ‘illegal’? But whatever the context, that’s the way it reads to me. It’s an unusual situation in that teams are appealing against the verdict for completely opposite reasons. I don’t remember any legal situation I’ve read about where appeals over a decision come from both sides of an argument.

        3. I wasn’t confused by the headline. I’m not that confused over the issue either, except for them being able to run ‘illegal’ ducts, except that they’re legal physically. Best analogy I could come up with in response to Szafnauer’s quotes in the last paragraph of the article above is that if I purchase a legal firearm, or let’s say the plans to make my own legal firearm, and then I make one, and then the government deems it an illegal firearm, it doesn’t matter than when I bought or built my firearm it was legal. I now possess an illegal firearm. It should be confiscated. But one cannot confiscate their brake ducts. Should they be forced to alter them enough to satisfy the FIA? That seems silly too. They meet all the legal specs. They’ve been penalized otherwise for having/using them. So in no small way I can see why they are getting to keep them. It’s not like they’re a danger to society.

    4. Frederick Evans
      8th August 2020, 11:40

      What do they want racing point to leave f1

  2. Hope RP wins the case!
    The verdict has been based on such a thin logic, that it shouldn’t survive any further scrutiny.

  3. At this point FIA should also submit an intent to appeal their decision.

    1. Racing Point was saying that there should be no appeals after the decision but since it wasn’t in their favour they of course appeal.

      1. Ups, comment made in the wrong place.

      2. It was expected that parties will be protesting the outcome. Its nothing new.

  4. At this point RBR and Alpha Tauri should also join the bandwagon and drag Ferrari and FIA down in mud for their settlement as RP protest was made public while other was settled under the table. FIA will also be dragged down hard in this RP saga alone.

    1. The difference is ferrari didn’t cheat within the rules, the fia found nothing illegal. Here they have found something illegal. Ferrari executed perhaps the greatest loophole in rules with whatever they did, because they were never found to be outside of the rules.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        8th August 2020, 23:00

        We don’t know for sure what the FIA found regards the Ferrari engine. Its a secret.

  5. jonathan leggett
    8th August 2020, 11:25

    Surely the real problem is that the FIA had previously given the car a clean bill of health as well as hushing up the Ferrari engine debacle. Who is going to fine those involved with that?

    1. They had given them a clean bill of health based on all that they felt they needed to see. Once a protest was launched by a team, that forced FIA to have no choice but to formally investigate, meaning no stone unturned, and that’s when they found out the process towards which they designed and built the ducts was the issue. They couldn’t have known that just by looking at them, and just by looking at them they were fine.

      The Ferrari engine issue? Presumably they could not prove Ferrari were doing anything other than possessing a fuel flow ‘trick’ but couldn’t actually prove they were using it even though it appeared obvious to everyone that something was up. Again a protest caused an in-depth investigation beyond what we were seeing physically in terms of their performance.

  6. Shows they didn’t really look at the car particularly well back in March then doesn’t it. Kinda agree with other teams saying it makes the rest of the car quite suspect and highlights how bad a job the FIA did of looking into it the first time. If Racing Point have nothing to hide then I don’t see an issue with handing the FIA the entire car’s blueprints to examine.

    1. As I opine above, the ducts are physically and literally legal in every way by appearance. So the FIA would have looked at them and said ‘good to go.’ The protest forced the investigation to find out the process they used for the design and build was the issue. If nobody had protested, nobody would have found they used an illegal process. Blueprints would also should a duct legal in every way physically. Blueprints don’t show the timing or the process.

  7. If the verdict is that Racing Point have shown up with a car that while legal within the technical rules isn’t legal within the sporting rules then they’ve effectively taken one position from every car behind each of their cars

    Which in the case of Williams is a P10 finish and their only point

    Either those results don’t belong to Racing Point because the rules have been breached, or there’s sufficient cause to mitigate it because of the ambiguity in the rules where it wasn’t Racing Points fault and the results stand. Instead we have a mess of point deduction and a case of yeah it breaks the rules but they can carry on anyway.

    1. I dont get why the stewards decided that it is a sporting regulation when it is clearly a technical regulation breach, no wonder so many teams are appealing. The evidence is in, I expect more penalties for racing point when this escalates.

      1. The rear brake ducts are legal from a technical standpoint. They meet the correct dimensions physically. It is how they were ‘procured’ that is the issue hence the sporting reg breach.

  8. Someone close to a Mercedes tells me Lotus, Vanwall and Aston-Butterworth are also preparing appeals.

  9. I don’t get how this can heppen. If the FIA were happy with the car pre-season and advised the team that what they were doing/had done was legal, it doesn’t seem to be very fair to then punish them later.

  10. “Several team bosses have indicated their displeasure with the decision. One contentious aspect of the ruling was that Racing Point may continue to use their rear brake ducts despite the stewards ruling the design process behind them had infringed the sporting regulations. Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said this was a “confusing element” in the verdict.”

    “No, wrong Claire!” It is completely in accord with the new FIA policy that makes secret agreements with teams. “Yes most of us still cannot believe that actually happened!” Charlie will be spinning faster than a Ferrari turbo.

    It is apt that several teams are appealing, because so far the FIA have seemed to get away with official actions which some may think extremely dodgy. Once that level of interpretation of the regs has been allowed to settle and remain officially unchallenged, (Though unofficially condemned by almost all sides and all parties) it sets a new precedent, which some may interpret as an acceptance of a generally lower ethical standard. A poor portend for the future.

  11. I think F1 is not a sport anymore.
    I would like everyone to be allowed to buy and use any part they consider is the best for their car.
    The fight should be on the track not in a court house because of overregulations.
    In the last 7 years we have seen only one team winning almost every race.
    When a team start to be competitive then everyone jump on it to cut it off.

    Maybe is time for a different format of F1 where everyone can use any part from any company and finally we can see racing and not political fight.
    F1 should not be considered a sport anymore as the drivers start with thechnical handicap anyway and the whole race is not about the best driver anymore.

  12. When we have been so proud of Formula 1 in the way they managed the Coronavirus, we now have another soap opera with the Racing Point story…
    Maybe if Renault had built a better racing car in the last decades, this would not have happened.
    And Ferrari… the nerve… after being caught last year cheating on the engine, and made a under the table deal with the FIA that nobody knows what’s about…
    Every Formula 1 team tries to explore the rules to its maximum. Just because Racing Point did it right with practical results and kick the middle-field’s ass, all there competitors are crying wolf… (yes, Ferrari is a middle-field team).

    Just the make a point, I’m a Hamilton fan, a Mercedes fan, a McLaren fan, a Norris fan.
    And yes I like the pink panthers, but that’s it, no strings…

    I always say this – if you don’t want people to bend the rules/the law – MAKE THEM CRISTAL CLEAR!

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