Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Ferrari and Renault confirm appeals over FIA’s Racing Point decision, McLaren withdraw

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari has become the first team to confirm it has appealed the decision issued by the FIA stewards on Racing Point’s use of Mercedes-sourced brake ducts.

Renault, who brought the original protest against the RP20 cars following the Styrian Grand Prix, subsequently announced it has also decided to proceed with its appeal. However McLaren, another of the five teams which gave notice of its intention to appeal last week, has dropped proceedings.

Ferrari’s appeal concerns both last Friday’s decision, which applied to Renault’s protests against Racing Point at the Styrian, Hungarian and British grands prix, and the stewards’ Sunday ruling which concerned the same infringement at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

“We have just confirmed our intention to appeal against the stewards’ decision document four (issued on August 7th at 9:30) and document 41 (issued on August 9th at 16:44),” said Ferrari in a statement.

Renault said it has “confirmed our intention to appeal against the stewards’ decision in respect of the Racing Point brake ducts.”

Esteban Ocon, Renault, Silverstone, 2020
Analysis: How Renault’s Racing Point protest led the FIA to revise its rules on ‘clone cars’
“In the meantime, we will continue to work intensively with the FIA and all stakeholders to develop and implement a clear and enforceable regulatory framework that will ensure all teams participating in the 2021 season will develop their original aerodynamic concept by themselves,” it added.

McLaren said in a statement it “respects the decisions of Ferrari and Renault to pursue their appeals and will follow proceedings with interest” but that it “has decided not to appeal the decisions of the FIA stewards in relation to Renault’s protests of Racing Point.”

“The team welcomes the stewards’ decisions and findings in this case and importantly that the FIA has demonstrated that transgressions of the rules will be investigated and punished,” it continued.

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“Moreover, McLaren Racing is pleased that the FIA will further clarify the sporting and technical regulations to protect Formula 1 as a sport where teams are clearly defined as constructors, and removes the potential that the Formula 1 world championship includes cars that are, in effect, copies of other competitors’.

“Taking the above and a broad view of all factors into account, McLaren Racing will not continue with an appeal in this case.”

During the 24 hours following the announcement of the decision last Friday five teams including Ferrari, Renault and McLaren gave notice of their intention to appeal it. The 96-hour window for them to formally submit those protests expires tomorrow morning.

The other two teams who declared their intention to appeal the decision are Williams and Racing Point themselves.

Racing Point was found to have infringed the sporting regulations by using Mercedes’ 2019 rear brake ducts, supplied by the world champions, as the basis for the design of its corresponding parts this year. The team received front and rear brake ducts from Mercedes, but only raced the fronts last season, leading the stewards to conclude the use of their rear brake ducts broke the rules.

The stewards fined Racing Point €400,000 (£360,000) and gave them a 15-point deduction from their constructors championship score for using the ducts in the Styrian Grand Prix. The team was given a reprimand for its continued use of the ducts in the Hungarian, British and 70th Anniversary grands prix.

Ferrari has not confirmed the grounds for its appeal. Following the announcement of the decision last week team principal Mattia Binotto said: “The most important point that has at least been clarified is that there has been a breach of regulation. Now, is the penalty and the verdict the right one?”

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Keith Collantine
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49 comments on “Ferrari and Renault confirm appeals over FIA’s Racing Point decision, McLaren withdraw”

  1. Roman amnesia I guess.
    And the art of straightfaced hypocrisy.

    1. Why? ferrari’s trick is a Das like exploit, fia eventually banned it.
      Cars run illegal all the time. When max won his first austrian gp RB shouted “Max you need to put on more weight” just f1 things, tyre pick up, engine mapping to the inch, torque delivery like traction control, abs like brake by wire and now active but not active suspension.
      This issue is a sporting regs issue. merc sold a 2019 car to RP. I bet ferrari wanted to sell the whole car to haas too. It would be more profitable.
      Mclaren is going to become a merc team so they had to back down, they were hoping for renault to do something.

      1. no it wasnt. What ferrari were doing last year wasnt a loophole. The rules on fuel flow were clear as day. They were deliberately cheating. I wish people would stop claiming ferrari were using a loophole as its just garbage. They were cheating and they got away with it. Why do you think the fia & ferrari came up with a secret agreement? Cos they both knew if they announced what ferrari were doing every other team would be demanding ferrari were disqualified from every race they used it, lose all constructor points and prize money and the fia didn’t want to do that.

  2. The FIA has really messed this one up. Sadly, it’ll only have very negative outcomes for F1. Maybe this is the final nail in the coffin.

  3. Peter Farrington
    11th August 2020, 19:37

    Ferrari appeal !
    That is so wrong, please FIA, I think we need more details of the Engine dispute,
    Seems to have been forgotten. Ferrari come clean about your “ Super Power “
    Last year . Not forgotten. People in Glass House’s etc …….

    1. Peter Farrington, it is indeed the case that Ferrari might regret the haste with which they have joined this case if it ends up giving their rivals even greater ammunition to go after them over the settlement for their engines in 2019.

      I would not be surprised if rivals to Ferrari turn the argument over whether something was penalised correctly straight back at Ferrari, and use this case as leverage to try and get the FIA to take harsher action against Ferrari. In joining this case, Ferrari may be making a decision that might look good in the short term, but could turn out to be a strategic misstep.

      1. “I would not be surprised if rivals to Ferrari turn the argument over whether something was penalised correctly straight back at Ferrari”
        No one protested Ferrari.
        So either they have to take it to court, which I doubt will happen, or they just have to $$uck it up.

        1. There was no decision against Ferrari to protest. That is the scandal.

      2. The ultimate version of deflection, the whataboutism….

        1. SadF1fan, given that other teams, such as Renault, have stated that they are still intending to take action against the FIA on their private agreement with Ferrari, do you not think that teams will use any precedent set with Force India to demand further action against Ferrari?

          1. They can demand all they want, it
            has absolutely nothing to do with this appeal against RP, and won’t influence the appeals against RP in anyway.

            So bringing it up is nothing more than a whataboutism.

    2. Christopher Harvey
      11th August 2020, 21:16

      Totally agree,
      Ferrari rule breaking all sorted out behind closed doors, one rule for us for you another

      1. Imho Ferrari wouldn’t be having any of the thoughts or concerns that you posters above share. They would consider themselves absolutely free and clear to ask for clarity on the specific issue or issues regarding RP, and none of this has anything to do with their fuel flow trick. Joining the protest against RP will not open the door for further questions or enquires into their deal with FIA.

        FIA proved that Ferrari had a trick or a device, whatever it was, but couldn’t prove without a doubt that they were using it during races, or that it was actually illegal. Of course we saw their added performance but that isn’t what it takes. The stewards would have had to have technical evidence of it’s usage, or it’s breaching of the regs, that would have been irrefutable. Ferrari must have found a grey area in the interpretation of the regs. The best FIA could do was to get them to stop using it and in exchange Ferrari got to keep their IP confidential. I’m obviously not in the same group of folks that think FIA would so blatantly shelter Ferrari. I think what happened is as it has been explained to us and as I have summed up. A legal agreement has been signed and I think if pressed both Ferrari and FIA will simply repeat that fact.

        As I opine, none of that has anything to do with them joining others to seek clarity on the issue of the degree of RP copying Mercedes parts, or on the amount of penalty they received for the breach of which they have been accused, or on the matter of RP being able to continue to use the brake ducts in question.

  4. Jonathan Parkin
    11th August 2020, 20:38

    What a Mongolian Clusterfudge

  5. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)

  6. Was confused for awhile because I thought a lot already appealed, but they were “intentions to appeal” and this is the first actual appeal.

  7. Just think, if the FIA had dealt with it properly and come to a confidential agreement with Racing Point, all this could have been avoided…

    1. @neilosjames

      You’d still have Ferrari asking for the details of the confidential agreement. There’s only one team in the paddock that is allowed to get away with cheating unscathed.

      1. Any team shoot formal protest vs Ferrari and FIA didn’prove the cheat, so

  8. McLaren have dropped out of the appeal

    1. Yea, and which PU they will install next year? The irony.

      1. Eh?! A PU is a PU, and Merc are not involved in the scandal, so what are you talking about?

  9. Theres so many things here that have to be kept seperate and others that need to be grouped together. Ferrari has 2 sides; 1 as an external engine manufacturer the other as a constructor. Ferrai’s engine deal falls under the former while this protest comes from the later. Ferrari’s engine deal falls under intellectual property of the external manufacturer, and as the FIA stated they can only release that data with consent of the owner. Second thing to note is that it wasn’t the FIA who picked up on Ferrari’s engine circumventing the rules there were led to it by other teams. Once Ferrari explained how the engine worked we had a secondary fuel flow sensor installed into all engines (read between the lines as to what/how the engine works). The protest over Racing Points car is now being protested by the constructor side of Ferrari. Next year very limited chassis modification is allowed due to the 2022 rule changes. If you own a team and you know your car isnt competitive then if you are allowed a whole scale copy of another team this could provide a quick, stop gap measure to be taken to narrow the gap to the best team. The interesting thing to note is RP ran a high rake concept last year which the brakes that Merc supplied them with legal data on would not fit on. The rear brakes would only fit on a low rake concept. RP having looked at the rear brakes design learned what they did and legally built their own. The knowledge on how to build a brake for a low rake concept came from Merc legally but (and its a very very subtle point this) would RP have come up with the design they did with the data from Mercedes? Its true that whatever is learned is never forgotten in F1. So the big question is why did Merc supply rear brake data and design for a part that could not be fitted to the current RP car of 2019? How would Merc know that RP had an intent to switch philosophy from high to low rake? The data was supplied legally but those are 2 questions that remain.

  10. We will have 4-5 appeals, so as this is F1 we must have 5 different decisions.

    For the sake of D20 die!

  11. I guess McLaren dropped out for similar reasons as Haas – there’s no point in all of them doing it when all it takes is one. Though maybe their impending switch to Mercedes units factored into that choice?

    1. I think Mclaren dropped out because they are going partner ship with Mercedes for the engine next year …. politics and bureaucracy is the King of F1 always was and always will be

      1. The long hand of Toto..

      2. Merc are not playing any part in this fiasco, so no need to be nice to them over this

  12. McLaren should have just kept silent about this whole thing…. some fans still remember Stepneygate.

    1. Some fans also remember that they had ALL their points docked and were fined $100m. And I’m not sure that they actually used any of the copied stuff. However RP have lost just 15 points and been fined 400000€ and have been found to use copied parts in 4 races. And are allowed to continue to use the illegal parts without further penalty.

      Seems a tad unbalanced.

      1. Different. in Mcl spy story Mcl was the only responsible of stoling, here RP didn’t stole, MB cooperate at 100% giving them drawing all 2019 car.

  13. I wonder if the FIA are going investigate Mercedes intimidation of their customer teams?

    1. @Dale that’s just business as usual in F1.
      What I’m curious about is the position of Daimler AG, who actually pays the bills, and how much they are behind Toto on this. Wolf is in a downward path with the ordeal. He is in a conflict of interest between two teams and soon between to carmaker competitors. After that nonsense from daddy Stroll, he also come personally forward defending his decision on this. Aston Martin seems to be a Daimler AG customer, but this transfer of IP from the Merc team to RP, his personal involvement with Aston Martin and Stroll while being a Daimler’s employee… At some point, this is not end well.

  14. Sounds like McLaren were told to drop it if they still wanted Mercedes engines.

    1. I’m surprised McLaren appealed in the first place considering they will be in the same shoes as Tracing Point next year.

      1. Will they? I thought McLaren designs their own car, excepting the engine.

    2. Sure /s

  15. Racing Point’s performance so far has been overhyped. Whats the point of this?

    1. Lack of good strategists and drivers are affecting the team more than the machinery at the moment.

      1. @pinakghosh And the fact that Copy point probably don’t know how to set their pink Merc up properly yet

    2. It seems customer cars like RP are not wanted, whereas independents like Williams are. At a lower level some teams think they can profit out of this case; less points for RP, better position for them in WCC. And from what I can work out at an even lower level a box of brakes arrived at RP from Merc that were all legal. And when they fitted the front brakes they remained legal, but the ones in the box though still legal suddenly became illegal.
      And both Wolff and Stroll are getting about excited about one of Father Christmas’s relations, as they keep referring to the Grandfather Clause.

    3. Maybe, but they still made 1 more step forward compared to the rest of the midfield teams.

  16. Since its an ICA, the case will be depending on FIA obscure rules, and how the ICA judges interpret it, And as Toto Wolf said Stroll Senior is very shrewd business man, i feel Ferrari and Renault just couldn’t take racing point faster than them in the midfield, they are acting like copying has not been happening in F1, its just that RP has exploited the rules the most extreme way but legal, Am sure if RP was not fast then nobody would have bothered about it. i heard people saying Adrian newey used to walk down the pitlane with a note pad and taking notes, i think for all the hype the case will be thrown out in ICA hearing not because of Mercedes and not because of Stroll senior, its because of the obscure FIA rules, the transition from Un-listed to listed, what people forget to see is Since RP buys most of the rear from Mercedes there very limited scope for changing the structures of the rear brake duct, And since they know the intricate design details beforehand when the duct was un-listed they cannot un-know it, thats why FIA wanted to satisfy all and gave a verdict that looks lenient, deep inside FIA knows its screwed, and Renault and ferrari are all playing along and they are so speaking for themselves that copying is bad, i feel the case will be thrown out. So RP not guilty until proven.

  17. Wolf growls from the shadow and Zak runs home. Both know what is at stake.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      12th August 2020, 9:37

      The FIA have made it clear they are going to stop teams from copying other team’s cars and Racing Point were found to have broken the rules. The only point in protesting is to get RP’s punishment upgraded to allow the teams protesting to finish higher in the standings.

      If McLaren weigh up the pros and cons, I’d say an extra position this year isn’t worth starting a bit of a feud with their incoming engine supplier. The protest will happen anyway even without McLaren’s involvement… Ferrari and Renault are engine suppliers so they have nothing to lose by going after RP and Merc.

  18. And that’s it, whatever Ferrari decides to do, immediately triggers all this kind of opinions, where time is not wasted, in a rational way to make an objective and factual analysis, but where everything is mixed in a broth of “malevolent feelings” where rationality and objectivity are of no importance.
    But continue, because we are all free to give our opinion.
    Perhaps if we look at what is happening, at what has already been said, namely by Maclaren and williams, with the intention of joining appeals, with emphasis on the aggressive and intense stance reached by Mclaren’s speech with Racing Point, in the person of Otmar Szafnauer and meanwhile the change of posture, saying that in the meantime they will no longer appeal …
    I ask: will it be the “dependence” of Mercedes Engines, will this be a higher value that is raised and imposed?!?

  19. McLaren withdraw

    It looks like they’ll ll still get Mercedes engines next year.

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