Racing Point to bring upgrade for Italian Grand Prix

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In the round-up: Racing Point will bring an upgrade for its RP20 at next week’s Italian Grand Prix.

What they say

Racing Point previously indicated it will only bring one upgrade for its car this season. Team CEO Otmar Szafnauer said its upgrade plan had been decided in the knowledge the Aerodynamic Testing Restrictions (ATRs) will change for the 2021 F1 season:

We’ve got an upgrade planned probably for Monza. And thereafter not much else. So if they continue to bring upgrades I’m sure [McLaren and other midfield teams] will get closer and closer to us and at some circuits probably be quicker than us and that is a concern.

But the ATRs have changed for what you use this year and next. We also have to keep an eye on next season and that’s a trade-off that we made.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@JimfromUS expects a very different outcome when Racing Point’s appeal against their penalty is heard:

I don’t believe Racing Point broke a rule. They didn’t get a copy of Mercedes 2020 brake ducts which are listed parts. They got a copy of a part that Mercedes discontinued which was used in 2019 and was not a listed part.

If push comes to shove and it goes to court RP will prevail which is why they have been punished but allowed to keep racing.

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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...

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28 comments on “Racing Point to bring upgrade for Italian Grand Prix”

  1. Disagree with the COTD. My understanding is that the rule isn’t just that you can’t buy 2020 listed parts – the rule is you must design the listed parts you use in 2020.

    If RP received but did not use or develop the rear brake ducts in 2019, and have then directly recreated them from the original CAD files from Mercedes, then the fact they ‘understood’ the design from those drawings does not change that they have not designed them. If they had their engineers review the physical ducts and the drawings, then shut them in an isolated room and had them recreate them to the best of their knowledge, then they would have been in the clear regardless of how similar they were. But all they’ve done is bolt on parts they didn’t design and say “but we bought them last year” which isn’t sufficient to escape censure.

    1. Agree. I think the COTD fundamentally misunderstands the way the rules work.

      1. The problem is that the unlisted parts cannot, fairly, be made listed parts. It forces Racing Point into the impossible position of having to prove that their 2020 brake duct designs were completely independent of the knowledge transferred by Mercedes. Otherwise, they will always be guilty of infringement.

        To be fair, when the parts were made listed, Racing Point should have held up their hands and said “look, we have these designs, legally, from Mercedes. We need a waiver, because that information has already been integrated into our institutional knowledge, and we have no way to unlearn it”.

        Intellectual property law, which is what this case is really about, gets insanely complicated. I would suspect the COTD was from someone who has at least a passing familiarity with IP law, and knows that the FIA has made an improper decision.

        It also means, if you follow this chain of logic, that any listed part designed by an engineer who worked for another team, can be challenged on the basis that the engineer’s current team, cannot prove they designed the part independently.

        It’s a can of worms the FIA is not prepared to deal with.

    2. I agree with this too.

    3. david Edwards
      24th August 2020, 7:48

      Please explain then as nobody else has. Why is the fact that they did not use the rears in 2019 relevant? Nowhere have I seen a cogent rationale reason why the stewards thought that was the clincher. As I understand it if they had put the rears on for one race they would be in the clear?
      Secondly nobody has said they have “bolted them on” have they? As I read it they are “too similar” because they were not used in 2019…. whereas the fronts are not “too similar” since they were used in 2019 – cannot see how RP will not win at appeal.

      1. Yes this is how I see it too. Actually racing them is not the same as studying them.

        It’s not so much a rationale as a pretext for being seen to do something.

      2. It’s a daft hair the FIA are trying to split. Either both the front and rear ducts are illegal, or they aren’t.

    4. The other argument is that the fronts used the same design process and were judged legal. The only difference was this DNA concept and that was applied simply on whether they were raced.

      Well being raced or not isn’t a great criterion for how much the team studied them is it. As soon as they started even considering low rake they must’ve been all over them, incorporating them into the DNA.

    5. The problem is not the 2019 Mercedes RBD, but the (identical) 2020 RP RBD.

      1. The rears are not quite identical to the Mercedes ones @coldfly, according to TheRace article, and no more identical than the fronts which were judged legal. The key argument is the DNA one, for judging them differently.

        1. @zann, if they are not identical (and if the modifications are RP’s IP initiated in 2019) then I think RP has done nothing wrong.

          That the fronts are identical is (interestingly) not a problem as both teams used them last year.
          The RBD is like a single person: Mercedes married that person last year, and now RP wants to marry that person without a prior divorce (due to IP issues). RP cannot marry that person or it would be ‘polygamy’.
          The FBDs are like an identical twin: In 2019 Mercedes married one and RP the other. Both are legally married and can do as much/little plastic surgery on their spouses as they wish.

          1. well I don’t know @coldfly, surely the front and rear ducts are siblings, with basically shared DNA from mummy and daddy Mercedes? :) How can you treat one sibling differently from the other just on the basis of race?

          2. Indeed questionable to make a difference purely based on (did or didn’t) race. @zann

          3. The fronts aren’t identical either.

    6. F1oSaurus (@)
      24th August 2020, 13:24

      @bookgrub The point you are missing is RP didn’t design the front brake ducts either. The only reason they are allowed to use that design is because it was used in 2019.

      So the difficulty comes in “designed the part”. If they used in in 2019 then it’s fine to claim it’s their own design. If they didn’t use the part in 2019 then not. That’s where it becomes just ridiculous.

  2. Are RP going to be upgrading from a 2019 Mercedes to a 2020 Mercedes? The trade value at their local dealer will be atrocious!

    1. @seanloh So cynical 😄

    2. I was hoping to hear the rear brake ducts were part of the upgrade, but it sounds like they aren’t. Now this is going to rumble on.

      1. Hülkenberg would be a great fit for the second Red Bull seat. He has never been far of the pace of his teammate, even when his teammate was Ricciardo.

        1. I am struggling to see why folks are touting journeymen (Perez & Hulkenberg) for the 2nd RB seat. They’ve had their chances & blown opportunities for good results (Perez in Malaysia in 2012, Hulkenberg in Brazil 2012 & Baku 2017). Folks complain that new drivers don’t get a chance, yet are encouraging top teams to take on known quantities. No harm in Hulk offering his services, but Marko isn’t in charge of a young driver scheme for nothing.

          I had a look at all the drivers that started a major F3 or GP3 race between 2006 & 2015: of the 511 drivers in total, 36 made F1 (+Luiz Razia, who didn’t start); 18 were F3/GP3 Champions; 8 were Red Bull drivers; 7 were Manor drivers. Of those 511, 11 were female.

          Sure, some F1 drivers bypassed F3/GP3, but getting to F1 is near impossible partially because there are a number of journeymen.

  3. So the big question for RP will be how much of the 2020 Mercedes will show up in their upgrade? They’ll no doubt have had sufficient time to copy everything from photographs.

    1. ;)

  4. You would expect new upgrades from RP every race, since they know their upgradeable path from every nut and bolt, since they copy Mercedes. The only limit to the speed with which they bring their upgrades is how much they cost and how fast they can produce them.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      24th August 2020, 9:52

      The 2020 car is different though and Mercedes stopped updating the 2019 car so there’s not much for them to buy. Obviously they can buy the low downforce “Monza Pack” but other than that, they’re in their own.

      I gave them more credit than it seems they deserve as I expected them to use this car as a platform and then develop it further but it seems they’ll just use it as it is for the season.

  5. RocketTankski
    24th August 2020, 12:48

    They are upgrading to a silver and green paint job.

    1. This would make for great trolling.

      I’d also laugh if we see the Merc revert to Silver/Green next year and the Aston come out in Green/Silver :D

  6. I wonder if Mercedes will manage to roll out the Tracing Point update on time.

Comments are closed.