Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Renault withdraws appeal against Racing Point verdict

2020 F1 season

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Renault has withdrawn its appeal against the penalty handed down to Racing Point over the team’s brake ducts, the team has announced.

The FIA stewards upheld Renault’s protest against Racing Point during the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend. Renault submitted identical protests following the second, third and fourth races of the year.

Racing Point were found to have broken the sporting regulations by using Mercedes’ 2019-specification rear brake ducts in the process of designing their corresponding parts on this year’s car. The stewards fined Racing Point €400,000 and docked them 15 constructors championship points.

However they were permitted to continue using the brake ducts in question, which was one of two areas of concern raised by Renault after submitting its appeal against the decision. Speaking at the Spanish Grand Prix the team’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul also said Racing Point should have been docked all the points scored in the races which were subject to their protest.

However in a statement today Renault confirmed it will not continue to pursue its appeal. The team said it was reassured by plans announced by the FIA to prevent teams producing detailed copies of rivals’ cars from next season.

“Renault DP World F1 Team confirms that it has requested to withdraw the appeals lodged against the stewards’ decisions in relation to BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s brake ducts,” said the team in a statement.

“Beyond the decisions, the matters at issue were vital to the integrity of Formula 1, both during the current season and in the future. However, intensive and constructive work between the FIA, Renault DP World F1 Team and all Formula 1 stakeholders has led to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality in the sport by way of amendments to the Sporting and Technical Regulations planned for the 2021 racing season, confirming the requirements to qualify as a constructor.

“Reaching this strategic objective, in the context of the new Concorde Agreement, was our priority. The controversy of the start of this season should be put behind us, as we need to focus on the remainder of an intense and unique championship.”

The two other teams which appealed against the decision include Racing Point themselves, seeking to overturn it. Ferrari also lodged an appeal, raising similar concerns to Renault. RaceFans understands Ferrari intend to proceed with their appeal.

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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...
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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40 comments on “Renault withdraws appeal against Racing Point verdict”

  1. So it was all about the new Concorde agreement? Interesting. Let’s see if Racing Point withdraws their appeal.

    1. yes @kaiie I wouldn’t be surprised, if a new mood of sweetness comes over them all :)

    2. I think it was about more than that @kaiie, I hope we get a more background (who promised whom what for this).

      I guess the FIA or maybe rather Liberty went around the teams to iron out the brewing unrest. It might have something to do with the “concorde agreement” contracts as well though

    3. Very interesting. I’d love to know what went on behind the scenes! Renault have obviously gained something from this. I wonder what.

      1. Or Renault had nothing to gain from this and finally realised it. Why invest so much money and time in a court case you will lose?

        1. @uzsjgb we all thought they’d lose the original protest. Look what happened.

          This second protest looks a lot stronger than the first. To me at least.

          Regardless of whether it was a sporting or a technical foul, it would seem logical to penalise them for every event the ducts were illegal for. I’d imagine they would have won, but they got a bigger prize during negotiations.

          1. They=Renault. To be clear.

  2. It’s a good outcome I think. The budget cap (if they can police it and make it work), the redistribution, and a reduction in copying / slave teams, all fit together into a good package, giving us 10 admirable teams doing F1. Haas being up for it as well, becoming a full constructor. It’s all good.

  3. I’ve been following F1 since the late sixties (yes, I’m that old) and these are the kind of things that make the sport interesting to follow all year round. If it wasn’t for the scandals, rumors and bad behaviors, what would be have to talk about between races? ;)

    1. That is one of the key reason I like F1. Despite people calling it boring in recent years, it has entertainment valye beyond racing.

    2. This is one of my concerns with the new Concorde agreement. Hopefully they made a provision to keep the scandalous entertainment!

  4. Another secret deal, made by FIA.
    Ferrari next..

  5. So Renault don’t mind their opposition ‘cheating’, if it’s only for a year.

    F1. Lolz.

    1. Although I suppose they (Renault) won’t be pleased if at the end of the day RP gets their points and their $ back from their own continued appeal of the decision against them. For now I’d say Renault are happy to have that to cling to.

  6. Cheese eating surrender monkeys

      1. @rockgod I’m quick to criticise any negative comments based on culture but I think he is just quoting a Simpsons line.

        1. …. who stole it from Monty Python and the Holy Grail…

          1. @mrfill How so? They weren’t surrendering in that time

        2. Oh, OK. That makes sense. I need to brush my Simpsons episodes then 🙂

          1. @rockgod I think grounds keeper Willie is teaching French and he says “Bonjour you cheese eating surrender monkeys”

  7. A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
    Bravo!

  8. “This is Toto, Ocon might not be loaned to you next season, please confirm if you understand…”

    1. I’d say that Alonso/Gasly would be a better pairing for Renault anyway.

      1. Now, they could certainly fight…

    2. Pretty sure Ocon was released, not loaned. Although I also think Toto is still his manager. But I also don’t think Toto will be at Mercedes in 2022, nor will Mercedes be the same team they are today.

      1. I can’t imagine Ocon is the strategic pawn of choice any more, at least not based on his performances so far this season. I think he’ll be dropped like a stone at year’s end unless he bucks up.

        1. They want a French guy at the French team @frood19

          1. Mais oui.!

      2. @andrewt I was about to post something very similar to what @anon and @Nathan posted, but no need anymore. Nevertheless, he isn’t on-loan like Sainz was there, but 100% under contract to the team. I’ve also referred to what Cyril said in Spa twelve months ago regarding this on some previous occasions.

    3. @andrewt Ocon is not on loan to Renault and Abiteboul has previously explicitly stated that Mercedes have no right of recall over Ocon – whilst Mercedes are acting as his management company, he is employed by Renault, not by Mercedes. https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/renault-ocon-mercedes-ties-management/4524485/

      1. @jerejj @anon Thanks for the clarification, in this case that particular phonecall must have covered something else : )

  9. Either there’s something in the Concorde agreement that has changed their minds or perhaps its Renault realizing that this might be a long drawn battle resulting in huge legal fees and at the end of all that, they may not even get the result that they wanted. With the entire world in financial strain, this would seem like a wise decision.
    Also, here ends Renault’s quest for a 4th place finish in the 2020 F1 Constructor’s Championship.

    Was there a quest in the first place ??

    1. @webtel whilst Abiteboul had set a target of 4th in the WCC, it looks pretty unlikely that they are going to achieve that. After all, Racing Point is not the only problem Renault have – they are being handily beaten by McLaren, and even Ferrari’s worst performance in decades is enough to keep them ahead of Renault.

      I would not be surprised if it is perhaps more of a case of Renault now weighing up their options and deciding that, on balance, the current situation is for the best. They’ve managed to get their main political objective from the FIA – the tightening of sales of customer parts – and a drawn out legal case would have the risk of backfiring if Racing Point were to succeed in overturning the decision. In that sense, the protests probably were a case of those teams using them more as short term political leverage.

  10. will be interesting to see what Ferrari does now……. i don’t see the point to go ahead at this stage they got what they want with the Concorde agreement… lets wait and see…

  11. I also suspect that it is more that their lawyer’s have said we don’t believe you will win the case. So what best to do? Spend a lot of money and risk the embarrassment of losing which will mean costs to RP and the 15 points being returned to RP which puts them further behind or come up with the best face saving opportunity (just after Concorde signed) and say it was always only about the copying regs (even though they constantly referred to the points deduction not being enough) and even though those copying regs have not been drawn up and likely won’t work anyhow!
    Ferrari now out in the open. Major embarrassment if they don’t withdraw and likely RP response re the engine saga. Then for sure if they don’t withdraw Mercedes (and maybe even RB) will suddenly insist on the engine saga being reopened even though they know what was being done for sure.
    Assuming Ferrari capitulate by Saturday we will have Stroll saying ” we wanted to clear our name and we are 100% sure our name will be cleared but in view of the “integrity” of F1 and to enable all parties to focus on the racing we see a benefit to the good name of the sport not to continue…”

    1. The ruling says that Racing Point did not cheat. That opinion was only voiced in the press by the other teams, this is what Stroll got angry about. Everybody retracting their appeals could be understood, that they don’t actually think Racing Point cheated. It also suggests this whole affair was misused as a bargaining chip. That may be a way out for Stroll.

      On the other hand, with everybody retracting their appeal, we know that there is no more evidence to be uncovered, which makes Racing Point’s case even stronger. While Racing Point could still lose their own appeal and receive a harsher punishment, the likelyhood of that has become smaller. So why not go ahead with their appeal?

  12. Obviously, Luca de Meo command that
    Abiteboul only douing according to Big Boss command
    So, Formula 1 is losing substance
    It is more important for Renault car manufacturer NOT to fight with Mercedes car factory and rules in F1 is not important anymore
    Orwel come’s to mind
    RIP Formula 1

    1. Sounds like you’ve just convinced yourself based on your own hypothetical.

      1. Regarding Luca de Meo, I based on facts
        Friends were there and not more to say
        I was aware of it 10 days ago
        Regarding RIP F1, you qualify for Doubting Thomas position
        I am not Christ, but you will believe

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