Williams also decides against Racing Point appeal

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Williams has joined McLaren in confirming it will not appeal against the verdict on Racing Point issued by the FIA stewards last week.

The two teams submitted notice of their intention to appeal the decision after it was issued last Friday. McLaren announced yesterday it had decided not to proceed.

In a statement this morning Williams said that “after careful consideration” it has “elected not to proceed with the formal appeal.”

“We believe the FIA’s decision to seek the prohibition of extensive car copying for 2021 onwards addresses our most fundamental concern and reasserts the role and responsibility of a constructor within the sport, which is fundamental to Formula 1’s DNA and Williams core beliefs and principles,” it added.

Five teams submitted notice of their intention to appeal the decision. Renault, who brought the original protest against Racing Point at the Styrian Grand Prix, and Ferrari, confirmed yesterday their appeals will go ahead.

Racing Point also submitted notice of its intention to protest the decision. The team was fined €400,000 and deducted 15 constructors’ championship points after the stewards determined it broke the rules by using Mercedes’ 2019 rear brake ducts in designing similar components for use on its RP20.

For the latest behind-the-scenes developments on the technical row which has split Formula 1, look out for the new edition of Dieter Rencken’s RacingLines column coming today on RaceFans

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

57 comments on “Williams also decides against Racing Point appeal”

  1. I’m sure Toto’s ownership stake didn’t play any role in this reversal.

    1. I agree, @proesterchen, especially since he sold it* years ago.
      And even though you did not mention it; Toto doesn’t have a direct or indirect stake in RP either. AML (in which TW has an equity stake) has merely decided to change title sponsorship from RBR to RP.

      *ownership stake in Williams

      1. @coldfly

        You might want to try and stay up to date on these things, especially when commenting on them.


        1. Thank you for the link @proesterchen, indeed ‘new news’ to me.

          PS As you seem to be a bit salty, you might want to read my comment again. I only mentioned he ‘sold’ his stake. And According to Claire the shares were ‘returned’, thus one could argue that the original sale was completed.

          1. @coldfly

            That’s all fun as an argument (personally, I don’t think it’s particularly persuasive, but that’s beside the point), but doesn’t pertain to the fact that Toto has, indeed, an ownership stake in the team.

          2. @coldfly & @proesterchen, let’s think critically for a second and not jump to get salty with each other. Yes, Toto still owns a 5% share in Williams—I had missed this fact despite voraciously consuming F1 news in May and July, so I think @coldfly can be forgiven for also missing it. Truth is, 5% share is not enough to influence company decision making—unless he is on the board of directors or is very close with someone else who is on the board. It is more reasonable to think he has influence via Mercedes power-unit supply contracts.

            AND, as @uzsjgb points out below, Claire and the Williams team have been very consistent in their views and how they have expressed them. Since their concern has been, and will be further, addressed by the FIA they likely no longer see the need to appeal.

            I, personally, wouldn’t be surprised if that was their plan—similar to McLaren. Play a big chip so they have a voice in the conversation to make sure their concern—how “copy cars” are addressed in the rules—is dealt with. It is better to have the option to protest a ruling and decide not to after further investigation and consideration than to not have the option.

          3. How embarrassing for you.

            Big mouth.
            Proven wrong.
            Looks for a technicality to avoid admitting you are wrong.

            You sound exactly like Toto … are you Toto?

    2. To believe that you would have to believe that Williams has been lying for years about Formula One being a constructors championship and that there should be no “copy-cars”.

      I don’t.

      I think Williams has consistently followed their convictions. Williams always said that it wants to stay an independent constructor.The FIA has declared that it also does not wish to have “copy-cars” and will address the matter in the rules. There is no reason for Williams to appeal, because the reason Williams wanted to appeal has already been addressed by the FIA.

      But then again logical, fact-based explanations are much less fun than sinister conspiracy theories.

      1. The FIA already announced they would prevent copycars in the future long before they ruled on the RP case, and hence long before the Williams appeal. It is rather unlikely that William and McLaren retracted their appeal for any other reason than pressure from their engine supplier.

        1. @Krommenaas, I think @uzsjgb‘s point is that the FIA has clarified or doubled-down on their intentions since the teams announced their desire to submit an appeal.

    3. Wink. They don’t run transmission suspension and a merc driver.

  2. Respect for William and McLaren (even though I’m sure the decision is driven by self interest).

    I also understand why Renault decided to appeal, as it was their protest and they did not fully get what they expected.

    Very disappointed though about Ferrari.
    After the confidential agreement episode, and most people convinced they cheated last year but were not caught (impossible or FIA decided not to proceed), I would have hoped that Ferrari would stay out of these kind of protests/appeals.
    Clean up your own (alledged) actions first and opinion about others (much) later.

    1. You should have expected such hypocritic salty behaviour from Italian outfit. I just hope they get retaliation from Stroll and are dragged through mud along with Fia who helped with secret settlement.

    2. @coldfly
      It doesn’t make sense for Ferrari to play the sheep in the wolves valley and worry about fair play when everyone else are just doing the same but with political correctness. No one prevented the rest of the teams from protesting Ferrari’s PU for the 2019 season, instead they kept querying the FIA randomly in order to know the trick.

      Don’t forget that Racing Point was among “the magnificent seven” who complained about the settlement itself being unfair. Why Ferrari has to back off appealing a team that threatened to seek legal action against them in a case where even the FIA themselves couldn’t prove that they were cheating whereas this same team has been found in breach of the sporting regulations by the FIA stewards ? Remember, this is only related to the brake ducts but what they have done with regard to the whole car is clear even to the casual viewer and they also lied about the fact that they reverse engineered the car from photos.

      Toto’s role in all this saga is very clear and the fact that Williams and Mclaren withdrew is just proves it. Everyone are playing their political game, this time it could ends up in tears for RP and maybe even Mercedes (Toto). However, that’s not Ferrari’s fault though.

      1. No one prevented the rest of the teams from protesting Ferrari’s PU for the 2019 season, instead they kept querying the FIA randomly in order to know the trick.

        Noone prevented them, but they did not know what to protest, @tifoso1989. Thus there was nothing else to do than 2nd guess what trickery Ferrari might have come up with and check if it could be done.
        I think there are less people who believe Ferrari ran a legal car last year, than people who believe that ‘the FIA themselves couldn’t prove that they were cheating’. (Again) I think that FIA stopped conveniently short of proving what they did, and then proposed to enter into a confidential agreement.

        1. @coldfly @tifoso1989 The way I see it with Ferrari is that from their standpoint they didn’t cheat, they found a loophole, and they ‘won’ in that they were not found to have cheated and were able to reach an agreement to stop using their device or their trick and yet keep their IP a secret. So from Ferrari’s perspective that was then, over and done, and they were ‘innocent’ and now this issue with RP is completely different and separate. Ferrari has moved well past the fuel flow issue of last year even if others have not. So why wouldn’t they protest RP if that is what they deem important to do?

          1. Actually I’d even take it a step further and consider Ferrari may even feel hard done by given that they technically were not caught cheating yet had to give up that performance they had found via their ‘loophole’ and so why should RP get away with their ‘loophole’ especially now when they are such a strong competitor of Ferrari’s.

          2. Lucky Wookiee Ten Dollar
            12th August 2020, 12:41

            Seconded. The hypocrisy is not in Ferrari protesting Racing Point; it’s in those suggesting Ferrari should refrain from doing so on the grounds that it has been subject to the same process.

          3. Ferrari may even feel hard done by given that they technically were not caught cheating

            Stop it, @Robbie! Nobody forced Ferrari into that secretive confidential agreement.
            If Ferreri was squeaky clean, and if it was merely a loophole, then they would not have entered into such an agreement only to be deemed cheaters by the whole world bar a few.

          4. @coldfly Fair comment. I’m just speculating as to what Ferrari might be thinking and why they can look themselves in the mirror and protest RP, because obviously they can. I am not trying to defend Ferrari over their cheat and have certainly not asserted that they are squeaky clean. But I expect Ferrari to continue to act like they were.

          5. @coldfly

            Nobody forced Ferrari into that secretive confidential agreement.

            It’s Jean Todt who insisted badly that Ferrari won’t get away with it. The FIA could have closed the investigation but they didn’t.
            Furthermore, they could have kept the details of the settlement secret but they didn’t.
            Jean Todt said it in a recent interview which I can’t find at the moment, I am on my way to the beach :) I’ll attach it later if you want.

          6. I am on my way to the beach :)

            I’m off to the pool now ;)
            enjoy, @tifoso1989.

          7. @coldfly

            Furthermore, they could have kept the details of the settlement secret but they didn’t

            I meant the announcement itself.
            Nevertheless, thanks a lot :) Enjoy your day too!

          8. Based on what we know, I’m fairly convinced that what Ferrari did was definitely in the realm of “cheating” rather than a “loophole”.

            There’s a little bit of speculation required, but really not a whole lot, to connect the dots from public information, and it would suggest that the cleverness of Ferrari was not so much in how they made the engine output higher, but in how they circumvented the FIA’s fuel flow measurements.

            What we know (from the FIA): the change that was made to defeat whatever Ferrari were doing was to encrypt the communication link between the fuel flow sensor and the engine management unit, which reports telemetry om fuel flow. So somehow Ferrari were able to gain some advantage by monitoring this link – there’s no suggestion that they were somehow tampering with the signal.

            Here’s what I think they were doing:

            1. The fuel flow measurement is being reported digitally, which implies that it is also sampled, ie, there is a regular interval at which the sensor makes a measurement, digitizes it and reports it.

            2. If you were to have an electronically controlled fuel flow valve (as an alternative, this mechanism could be part of the fuel pump) that could be made to oscillate at a frequency that is some multiple of the sample rate, it would be straightforward to phase-lock the oscillation to the sample cycle of the sensor. A suitable phase alignment would then place the measurement points at the low point in the cycle. As a result of this, the measured fuel flow, as reported by the FIA’s own sensor, would be less than the actual mean fuel flow. Not by a whole lot, but possibly enough to be significant. There’s no way that this could be detected by examination of the PU with it switched off, because you wouldn’t see the oscillation in that case (and this lines up with what the FIA reported).

            Assuming that the mechanical system can tolerate this sort of oscillation (and it implies some very small amount of elasticity downstream of the sensor) the control system to implement this is entirely feasible (phase locked systems are very well understood).

          9. @dkor
            Thank you for the detailed explanation !

          10. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            13th August 2020, 20:19

            Dkor, If what you say is correct. Would Ferrari not require to run heavier fuel loads? What you are implying would require more fuel usage, especially at tracks like Monza (fuel thirsty track). Ferrari’s pace was not that dramatically different from Qually to Race (comparing to others differentials). Especially not compared to Mercedes this year with their special qually mode (not implying Mercedes is cheating btw). The extra fuel load would have a negative performance impact on the car itself and probably more noticeable in the first half of the race.

            I agree that if Ferrari got the phasing correct that it would be doable. However, this would impact power output and would that not be noticeable when translating other data points showing a similar oscillation in power output? That would be considered tampering with a sensor reading even if you are not physically tampering with the sensor itself as they would be actively manipulating the reading by manufacturing a specific condition to receive a specific output. Therefore breaking the rules. If this IS the case, even as a Ferrari fan, I would want to see Ferrari stripped of all points that season plus return whatever financial winnings.

            However, as it stands, I’m under the belief they where not actively cheating but pushing the gray areas to the letter of the rule. Call me naive, but I don’t believe teams or people should be shamed under suspicion or not proven guilty. In any case, interesting theory.

    3. Get a box of Kleenex.

  3. Good, at least there are some adequate teams out there!

    1. And by ‘adequate teams’ you mean ‘teams with a Mercedes power unit’ ?

      1. I interpreted ‘adequate teams’ as meaning teams who are struggling financially and need to focus on 2020, 2021, and beyond unless they wish to go into administration. The budget cap is Williams’ get out of jail card at the moment, they need to use it wisely and not mismanage this opportunity.

  4. Understandable. Both teams whose going to use Mercedes PU next year decide to withdraw the appeal.

    1. Yep……So it’s pretty obvious that teams with money appeal while those without withdraw.

      That doesn’t mean that McLaren and Williams think Racing Point are innocent.

    2. I think this is more about both teams being happy to see 2 other teams further protest @ruliemaulana. As @homerlovesbeer poits out, appealing costs quite a bit of money for teams. With two others already appealing, and neither Williams nor McLaren having a specific extra grudge, or information to add (that they could not hand over to either Renault or Ferrari if it helps the appeal) there is no good reason for them to put the money into an appeal for these teams.

      Why is it significant that Ferrari protest – well, they can always pull out their “this goes against the core of the sport” VETO to add weight to the appeal. And off course Ferrari currently clearly stand to lose if RP can further use those parts without facing more than a bunch of reprimands.

      1. @bascb The thing is both Williams and McLaren filed their intention to appeal before Wolff starting to defend Racing Point publicly. So when it’s not about Racing Point anymore and could implicate their engine supplier, it’s looks normal for them to distance themselves from it.

  5. I don’t see how McLaren or Williams could appeal as it is going against their engine supplier. McLaren won’t want to start their relationship with Mercedes again with this hanging over them.

    1. So F1 teams should always do what their engine manufacturers want them to do? That is a very sad conclusion.

      1. At many democracies politicians barely allowed to vote or speak against their party (a few occasions and they are definitely fired… because they are replaceable by most of the word’s meanings), although I consider it a result driven degeneration of the idea of democracy. It’s not a small degeneration, because at worst case scenario it degrades them into a worker next to a conveyor belt, and that’s quite the opposite of what a democratic politician should be. And as F1 or corporate world is likely even more money driven than a country, this might be even more true. I wonder what would the likes of Gilles Villeneuve or James Hunt would do nowadays, and maybe It’s not coincidental that I like Kimi for some reason :)

      2. As the power unit is the priciest part of a car, and likely plays similar proportion in the development costs, a good contract with engine suppliers is among the most obvious options to spare money for supplied teams.
        Big manufacturers can pull even more money out of the hat for a while (before coronavirus it was true), while supplied teams are often happy to survive.

  6. petebaldwin (@)
    12th August 2020, 10:09

    As expected – this isn’t about proving what they did was wrong or stopping it from happening in future. It’s purely about increasing a punishment for RP and trying to drag Mercedes into it. As the protest is happening anyway, there is no benefit for McLaren and Williams to get involved and a bunch of potential negatives.

  7. Why does it need more than one team to appeal anyway? How does that make a difference to the appeal it’s self?

    1. Exactly.

      Why would Williams and McLaren drag themselves into potential conflict with their *engine supplier when others are protesting anyway?

      *from 2021 in McLaren’s case.

  8. Interesting that the team with a Merc junior and Merc engines has dropped its protest also that the team with merc hardware for next year has done the same

  9. “Wanting without power is just a desire”
    A greater and more dissuasive detail was imposed: Mercedes engines

  10. So it’s pretty obvious that teams with money appeal while those without withdraw.

    That doesn’t mean that McLaren and Williams think Racing Point are innocent.

  11. Where there is smoke there is fire. If Mercedes have nothing to worry about then they would have stayed out of all this.

  12. And by ‘adequate teams’ you mean ‘teams with a Mercedes power unit’ ?

  13. Mercedes have too much power in the paddock. Plus a bad track record of cheating.

    Toto also talks a lot about things that don’t involve him lately. Being a cheeky boy. Changes are on the horizon.

    1. Yes thank god Ferrari doesn’t have that sort of power and they never cheat. The next thing you know we will find out Mercedes get more money than the other teams for some spurious reason and do secret deals with the FIA.

      1. Technically Ferrari didn’t cheat as FIA didn’t find anything on the Engine… Technically….
        Pratically its another Story…. and FIA is interested only in the Technically point of view ……. because
        if FIA was interested in pratically too well they will have their hand full … and not only with Ferrari

  14. Little Toto has turned out to be quite the mediator hasn’t he?

  15. go on TOTO …. your job so far is done Lol

  16. Let’s face it.
    Williams have nothing to gain from this. The outcome won’t affect their circumstance too much.
    McLaren have also done very well relative to RacingPoint as such they don’t gain too much.
    Redbull just love to twist the knife into their competitors so it’s their joy to persecute everyone.
    Ferrari don’t gain much apart from perhaps a few higher finishing positions. The financial gain is negligible.
    HAAS and Alfaromeo are languishing at the lower end so they just do Ferrari’s bidding.

    Only Renault have been seriously impacted by the performance of RacingPoint.

  17. The FIA might as well start awarding points based on wins. Lawsuit wins.

  18. Intimidation … part II

  19. Williams = Merc Power
    McLaren = Merc Power (Next year)
    Of coarse they are staying out of it!

  20. hope RP crushes renault and ferrari. the arrogance of ferrari and that great enlightened soul called Cyril can and should be broken by another arrogant force! stroll in this case (obviously backed by recent loudmouth toto)..

    merc will get their due down the line,but for now, i need this to crush ferrari and renault

    1. you are funny …. so because ferrari/ and renault made an appeal you hope that RP crash them ? …. even if the appeal is right ? .. if RP did something wrong with mercedes passing the design ( and don’t start with they did it back in jannuary and so on …..) thats not really allowed so redbull could say i pass my desing to alpha tauri now……Now you think ferrari is arrogant becasue the secret settlement … but nobody stop back in the day to appeal to the secret settlement… and FIA didn’t (or did) found anything wrong with the car…..yes there was a secret settlement…. but we don’t know what they found… and if i was Team manager of renault i would like an explanation about RP… if you think RP copy only that part you are really really innocent…. who knows what other part are under that car… its not coincidence has being called pink mercedes…. and if instead of stroll and perez you have two very good driver RP will be way more higher in the champion ship ……. i really hope Ferrari will Call the day to F1 so loads of F1 fans ill be happy

Comments are closed.