Renault are going to lodge a second official protest against Racing Point’s RP20 usage of the brake ducts, which Renault claim violates the FIA ‘listed parts’ regulations.
FIA rules allow for official protests to be lodged for the same issue after every race. And Renault are expected to do precisely that.
The Renault F1 Protest against Racing Point
Renault claim Racing Point’s brake ducts are in breach of the listed parts regulations of the FIA. They believe that Racing Point have received the parts in questions directly from their engine suppliers Mercedes.
The rule states that all teams have to make their own design of the listed parts and brake ducts are one of them. The design can be inspired, but not copied and that’s what the fuss is all about.
Following the first protest after the Styrian Grand Prix, the FIA had declared the protest to be admissible. Subsequently, the brake ducts of the RP20 were sealed and impounded.
Renault likely to protest Racing Point again in Hungaryhttps://t.co/GnieluNZzk
— F1 Racing (@F1racing) July 19, 2020
The decision over its legality is expected to come during the second half of August. This after Racing Point were given three weeks to clarify their stance by the FIA.
Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer has spoken out again, calling the protests “a waste of time.”
“We know the rules very well and stick to them. Having to justify ourselves time and time again is a waste of time.”
Racing Point have maintained the stance that the RP20 was developed based on photographs of Mercedes 2019 title-winning W10.
Otmar is confident the protest will be dismissed eventually, considering they verified all the regulations with the FIA before developing their car.
“The FIA was at our factory in March and understood perfectly how we developed this car.”
Rivals unhappy with Racing Point over yet another technical issue
If this was not enough for Racing Point, a different protest is on the cards too.
Racing Point and AlphaTauri will get additional ‘tokens’ for engine package upgrades for the 2021. This is via the strategic alliance the two teams have with Mercedes and Red Bull respectively. The loophole will allow the two teams to use parts of Mercedes and Red Bull’s car for next season.
Mercedes Team Principal acknowledged this while speaking to Finland’s MTV Sport. He is confident of the FIA regulations with respect to this and hinted they will go ahead with it.
“We have a customer-supplier relationship with Racing Point, and we know what the rules are.”
This has expectedly irked the likes of rivals Ferrari and Renault, and let their feelings known. Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto had this to say on the sidelines of the ongoing Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I think we are not fully happy that there are teams that can upgrade their entire package from a 2020 to a 2021 package. That I believe would be unfair, because we’ve got only two tokens and everybody should be limited to that.”
Renault’s executive director Marcin Budkowski seconded Binotto’s opinion, and informed that they are in touch with FIA, and could potentially lodge an official appeal.
“The system has some flaws, unfortunately. There’s a loophole there that would allow a couple of teams to benefit. And it’s something we’re discussing with the FIA and the other teams.”
The stewards and the FIA will be looking at the entire situation with a keen eye and if the brake ducts are indeed deemed illegal, this could cause a massive dent into Racing Point’s 2020 season campaign.