Binotto: If I’d been at Mercedes, I’d’ve protested Racing Point’s copy

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says they will continue to pursue their appeal against the FIA’s decision on Racing Point to ensure teams cannot copy rivals’ designs.

Racing Point were given a 15-point deduction after they were found to have used Mercedes’ 2019 rear brake ducts in designing the corresponding parts on this year’s car.

The FIA has said it will introduce new rules for the 2021 F1 season to prevent teams from using photography to closely copy rivals’ designs. Binotto said a line needs to be drawn which will prevent teams from duplicating the designs of their competitors.

“Looking at competitors, trying to understand what they do, trying to study their car has been part of F1 history and I do not see anything bad in that,” said Binotto.

“I think to copy an entire design, that’s a dangerous period because that’s IP [intellectual property]. If I had been Mercedes, I would have protested someone copying myself.

“So I think that’s simply the spirit. I think taking pictures has always been done and I do not see anything wrong in the fact itself.”

Binotto indicated it would be prepared to drop its appeal if it was satisfied the 2021 rules package will outlaw copying.

“We confirmed our protest, so we have appealed the decision of the stewards over the last races,” he said.

“The reason for that is that we are fully convinced that what Racing Point did this season is not right. We believe that’s against the principle of our sport and we believe that cannot happen in the future.

“In that respect, we are asking and seeking for clarity with the FIA if regulations will be put in place, or a technical directive for the future in 2021, where we are pretty sure that it will not be possible to copy. Eventually we are ready to withdraw our appeal.”

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2020 Italian Grand Prix

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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...
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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31 comments on “Binotto: If I’d been at Mercedes, I’d’ve protested Racing Point’s copy”

  1. This suggests the Ferrari appeal is more about distracting and smearing Mercedes than any search for justice or clarification.

    1. As a lot of people say…… It’s all part of the Ferrari Master plan….. That fails…

  2. The second part of that sentence, ”If I’d been at Mercedes, I’d’ve protested Racing Point’s copy”, not spelled out by Binotto, should probably read: ”…unless we were somehow involved, assisting in that copying process.”
    No further words necessary!

  3. The reason for that is that we are fully convinced that what Racing Point did this season is not right. We believe that’s against the principle of our sport and we believe that cannot happen in the future.

    *facepalm*

    That means this has nothing to do with the car being fully compliant with regulations, it is only because they don’t like it. Good Luck, Mr.Binotto!

  4. The paradox of f1 is insisting teams design their own car then attempting to get them to perform equally by outlawing anything that gives a lasting advantage.

    1. +2, best comment here in while

  5. “If I’d been at Mercedes, I’d have been happy to at least have my car worth copying” – Mattia Binotto’s alter ego

  6. The irony of this statement is unreal!
    Not enough on his plate with the rubbish cars this year?
    No chance of anyone copying his cars for sure!

    1. @wildbiker Well the extra irony is that Haas is pretty much a replica of Ferrari’s car.

    2. The irony (3) FE 2020 car is quite the same of 19 18 and 17. The irony part 4 pretty all teams adopted (say copy if u want) Ferraris side air ducts, last one the fabolous MB.Without tolk abt other stuff as the rear wing double center pillars, so so so..

  7. Insert joke about wouldn’t copy the SF1000 for all the spaghetti in Italy

  8. Well, why would Mercedes protest it when it’s not costing them any points and there’s no threat. The car is competitive in terms of competing with the likes of McLaren, Renault,… and occasionally Ferraris when they at the top of their game this season.

    Isn’t imitation the most sincere form of flattery? If you’re going to imitate a car, shouldn’t RP imitate the best car on the grid considering that they use their engine and have the IP for many parts I assume?

    It’s not like Racing Point cars haven’t been capable of scoring points before. They just seemed a bit better out of the gate this year but we’ve all also been impressed with Renault and McLaren performances on some tracks. The same thing happened with Haas a few years ago with Red Bull complaining that it was last year’s Ferrari.

    The whole protest is nothing more than an effort to distract RP and Mercedes who are both simply outperforming the other teams in the paddock. Mercedes is already running slow to compensate for the absence of Ferrari at the front of the grid. They called Ferrari’s bluff and now they stand alone with a royal flush while Ferrari was caught holding seven deuce.

    RP are lucky that they didn’t imitate Ferrari’s car – had they done that and found themselves at the bottom of the grid keeping company with Vettel and Leclerc, would they have been allowed to sue Ferrari for lost gains? What’s Binotto’s opinion on that? Just saying :-)

  9. ** BREAKING NEWS **

    Man living in glass house throws stone.

    1. @sonnycrockett
      Wolff has already thrown his stones and it’s now getting personal between the two, no question about that. Wolff took a shot at Binotto a couple of days ago by saying some “team members” are responsible for this season disaster. Binotto is now trying to bring Daimler’s attention by implicitly saying : “Wolff is messing with Mercedes IP”.

      1. I hardly think Daimler care. They own a 5% stake in aston martin im sure they’d be happy if they are successful in f1 as long as they don’t beat there team who cares

  10. I swear the hate on this web-page towards anything and everything Ferrari is palpable it’s like Ferrari went around raping and pillaging back in the day.

    1. oh an tifosi in denial havnt seen many of you around latly…

    2. Hate? Thought it was like pity. Why would anyone hate the fat kid at the back who can’t keep up.

    3. It’s what British fans do… If Hamilton drove for Ferrari, it would be a complete 180 on here.

      1. personally id hate ferrari more if Ham drove for them.

  11. So when Ferrari let’s Haas copy their car it’s fine for Ferrari, but when Mercedes has a deal with RP to let them copy their car, Mercedes are supposed to protest this? How does that even make sense?

  12. How cute. Look at Binotto trying to compete with Mercedes. He can’t on track so he’s trying the politics instead.
    This is pathetic.

  13. If Binotto was at Mercedes he would be an engineer and not a team principal.

    1. Designing jack stands, maybe.

      1. cleaning the pitstop toilets more like.

  14. Bring back allowance to sell cars to other teams and bring back testing. F1 should not become F2 or Indycar.

  15. No one’s making a pink Ferrari, that’s for certain.

    1. The pink paint would make the sf1000 atleast 3 tenths faster though. xD

  16. Bineight statement so silly. MB doesn’t protest cause any copying was done by RP.
    Simply, MB fully assisted handing them whole Mb’19 project, if not the full hardware and parts too. RB main R&D job was painting.

  17. If you were leading Mercedes, they would be where Ferrari are and no one would copy their car.

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