Racing Point technical director Andrew Green says the similarity between the brake ducts of his team’s RP20 design and last year’s Mercedes is down to the fact Racing Point bought brake ducts from the world championship winning squad in 2019.
Brake ducts were a non-listed part in 2019, which means a team could legitimately purchase the parts from a rival and run them, but were added to the listed parts a team is required to design themselves in 2020, a rule change that is at the heart of the ongoing case triggered by Renault’s protest.
One of the questions the FIA stewards must consider is whether the process Racing Point followed in designing its own brake ducts that were similar to the ones it legally acquired knowledge of in 2019 was correct – something that was not considered when the rule change was being made.
Racing Point contends that the 2020 brake ducts are its own and therefore comply with the listed parts regulations because it designed its own parts and has the extensive design history to prove it.
The team designed its first version of the 2020 brake ducts based on the data that was acquired legally in 2019, but although the parts on the final car are visually similar, Racing Point has gone through a lengthy development process that it argues means they are different.
While the FIA’s Nikolas Tombazis had indicated the brake ducts had not been looked at in detail, Green said that other representatives of the FIA technical department had commented on the similarity and received an explanation.
“The FIA received all the data from our brake ducts in the visit, they did a comparison of the Racing Point brake ducts to the MGP [Mercedes] brake ducts on that day and they commented on it and it was discussed,” said Green.
“He [Tombazis] wasn’t at that factory visit, there were other of his colleagues, but it was discussed, it was shown, so we weren’t trying to try to hide the brake ducts, they’re all part of the submission that we gave to the FIA.
“They did comment on how similar they were to the Mercedes and we commented on why they were so similar: because we purchased the brake ducts in 2019.”
Racing Point has submitted extensive documentation to the FIA and stewards in response to Renault’s case, with a ruling on the matter expected in the near future.
Green believes his team’s case is strong and that the protest should be dismissed as a result, although The Race understands Renault is keen to appeal should the verdict go against it.
“I think it’s very strong,” said Green.
“Some documents went to the FIA at the weekend and then other things went to the stewards a couple of days ago.
“The lawyers have been working on it intensely over the last week or so. We think that it should be dismissed.
“I think the regulations are quite clear and we’ve made that case quite clear how the regulations are.
“And we can see that we’ve done everything within the regulations. So we don’t think there’s a case to answer.”