Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Wolff predicts Racing Point case will not go to appeal court

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he does not believe the Racing Point row will end up before the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.

Three teams formally lodged appeals against the decision of the stewards which was issued three weeks ago. One of them, Renault, announced earlier this week it has withdrawn its appeal. However Racing Point and Ferrari have not dropped their objections.

Racing Point were found to have broken the rules through their use of brake ducts which had been supplied by Mercedes. However Wolff believes the protest against them was motivated by their rivals’ concerns over the performance of the team’s RP20, which is closely modelled on last year’s Mercedes.

“I think this is part of the politics and Formula 1,” Wolff told Sky. “It was a little bit of pushing against Racing Point’s performance, which is really outstanding this season.

“But it’s not down to a brake duct. I think they’ve done a really good job. And you can see how close they are to us. So I think this is a good group of people that have run in previous years with a low budget, with a tight ship, and this is why they have just closed that gap also to us.

“But I think this is going to resolve all hopefully next week. I don’t expect this to go to the ICA.”

Asked whether he expects Ferrari will follow Renault by dropping their protest, Wolff said: “I don’t know.”

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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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7 comments on “Wolff predicts Racing Point case will not go to appeal court”

  1. petebaldwin (@)
    28th August 2020, 13:03

    Good one Toto. I needed a laugh today. :)

    1. Lol I have all kinds of time and respect for TW, but that was my reaction too @petebaldwin But hey, what else is he going to say about a customer of his, and a friend of his, and one that will never be a threat to his Championship(s) standings?

      Once Mercedes is no longer dominant, shall we look forward to them simply copying the leader’s car, since this is such a successful way to go? Oh right, that’ll be outlawed…that method that TW so applauds, and that RP hang their heads so high over and are fighting so hard over what amounts to nth degrees of nuances of plagiarism.

  2. I’m really looking forward to another “secret” deal.

    1. A secret deal with whom?

      1. FIA. Just like they made with Ferrari last year. But the audience (us) seem to forget this sport is not a democracy. Liberty and FIFA can do whatever they want. Teams dont have to participate in their series.

  3. Ferrari just want Aston and Alpha Tauri to be using up tokens don’t they, when they put 2020 parts on their 2021 cars. That is the issue for them, and it’s a bit undignified for the team that is supposed to be the pillar of F1 to be making a fuss about midfield teams using year-old cars.

    So I think they will drop it, to avoid looking like that.

  4. The background, as I understood it, for the bulk of this fiasco, starts with RP using the Mercedes power unit and gearbox assembly. In past years, the design philosophy that RP had used was the High-Rake concept as followed by RedBull and the majority of the grid. Since Mercedes has been running a Low-Rake design, the gearbox and suspension pick-up points are not really suitable for the high rake concept, hence RP’s desire to change the car design in a very significant way. Which they have done.
    Most expedient way to do a complete re-design of the chassis is to copy another successful design. Which they did.
    I can hear the voices in the shadows saying …. “what about Williams, they use the same power unit.” Yes, but Williams designs and builds their own gearbox. Some might suggest that Williams could do to review their philosophy as well.
    It would seem that the low rake design has been successful for RP, so far, and there is no indication of Mercedes deviating from it either.
    Que the protests …. as expected.
    Renault were very clever to focus on one area that they must have been confident that they could succeed in. That being an identifiable single component, the rear brake ducts.
    Seems the Stewards agreed with Renault and the Brake Ducts, or more specifically, the originality of the design (and IP) of the ducts has been deemed to contravene the rules.
    Verdict issued, punishment administered and done.
    RP has, naturally filed an appeal, presumably to have the guilty verdict overturned. All makes sense.
    Renault has also filed an appeal (since withdrawn), and this is where clarity and logic seems to diverge, to try and achieve a higher level of punishment for RP.
    Ferrari has also appealed, likely seeking the same result as Renault, more punishment for the original verdict.
    If RP wins their appeal, does the remaining Ferrari action disappear.? How can you seek more punishment for a not-guilty verdict?
    If RP looses and the verdict stands, then the Ferrari appeal, for more “blood”, could proceed.
    So we have the FIA, who may or may not have agreed to the design replication process, but who gave RP the confidence to proceed with their current car.
    We have stewards who seem to be enforcing rules but who were not in a position to be involved with the design process that took place months prior to any of the races.
    There was a protest, upheld and a flurry of appeals. Appeals to overturn the verdict and separate ones to increase the punishment. Then, one of the appeals is withdrawn.
    And some out there say F1 is boring.
    If you used this as the plot of a movie or book, it would be labelled fiction. Staring Harry Flashman of course.
    If I have missed or in error on any of this, jump in.

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