Racing Point has withdrawn its appeal of the stewards’ decision regarding its Formula 1 car’s brake ducts, having initially pledged to launch a strong defence.
The team was fined and docked 15 constructors’ championship points after being deemed to have illegally designed its rear brake ducts using Mercedes information.
Racing Point was adamant it had done nothing wrong and laid the blame squarely on ambiguous regulations and guidance around the transition of brake ducts from being a non-listed part to a listed part for 2020.
It had purchased Mercedes’ brake ducts legally before the rules changed and incorporated that information into its designs for 2020.
This occurred in the context of the wider RP20 car design being a copy of the 2019 Mercedes, which Racing Point insisted was done by legal photography and analysis.
Racing Point appealed the decision to clear its name – with team chairman Lawrence Stroll also launching a stinging attack on rival teams for appealing in an attempt to get a harsher punishment applied and pressure the FIA into finalising new rules to prevent ‘copycat’ designs.
However, all those rivals except Ferrari have since withdrawn their appeals, citing the progress made by the FIA in establishing anti-copying regulations.
Racing Point has now declared a “resolution” has been reached and says it is “pleased the FIA has provided much-needed clarification of the rules on listed and non-listed parts”.
“The stewards and all parties involved in the appeals process recognise that there was a lack of clarity in the regulations and that we did not deliberately break them,” Racing Point said in a statement.
“Now that the ambiguity around the regulations has been settled, we have decided to withdraw our appeal in the wider interests of the sport.
“This issue has been a distraction for us and the other teams, but now we and everyone else can get back to focusing solely on what we’re all here to do: racing hard and providing excitement and entertainment for the millions of F1 fans around the world.”
Racing Point’s decision is a big step towards avoiding a drawn-out case with the FIA’s International Court of Appeal, which many parties wanted to avoid.
Ferrari is the only team still committed to a court case as it stands but is believed to be willing to drop its appeal as well, although the matter remains unclear as the team was hoping to use it as leverage in a different argument around permitted car development rules for 2021.
McLaren, Racing Point, Ferrari and Renault are currently locked in a battle for third place in the 2020 constructors’ standings, the four teams separated by just nine points coming into the Italian Grand Prix.
|Pos||Name||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|2||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren-Renault||53||1||+0.415s||1m23.882s||2||18|
|3||Lance Stroll||Racing Point-Mercedes||53||0||+3.358s||1m23.897s||1||15|
|10||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point-Mercedes||53||0||+23.224s||1m24.336s||2||1|
|13||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||53||0||+36.312s||1m24.835s||2||0|
|15||Alex Albon||Red Bull-Honda||53||0||+37.533s||1m24.926s||2||0|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||53||0||+55.199s||1m24.856s||3||0|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||29||0||DNF||1m25.539s||3||0|