As the drama of racing at Spielberg cools off, the Renault DP World F1 Team announced they are launching a formal protest against the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team over the legality of their 2020 car.
The RP20 has sparked controversy since its unveiling due to its similarities to Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s W10 that won the 2019 World Constructors Championship. Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer had said that his team has been looking Mercedes aerodynamic philosophy for a long time, however the team has never had the financial backing to do so.
This is not the first time a midfield team has closely mirrored a frontrunner’s car; In 2018 the Haas F1 Team showcased its VF-18 which looked similar Scuderia Ferrari’s SF70H. However, Racing Point have seemingly taken more than aspects of the Mercedes’ title winner and have found a way to replicate the W10 legally… so we thought.
Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll’s sixth and seventh place finishes in the Styrian Grand Prix however, seem to be the straw to break the camel’s back.
“We confirm that Renault DP World F1 Team has submitted a request of the stewards the Event for legality of the Racing Point RP20. We have no further comment on this matter until the Stewards have arrived at a decision,” Renault’s statement said.
Racing Point’s challenger is alleged to have broken Paragraph 1, article 2 (a) which reads: “A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it.” as well as Article 2 (c) which reads: “In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor.”
In layman’s terms Renault believe Racing Point are not using a design which was made by Racing Point, but rather are made by Mercedes which Racing Point have somehow acquired. Renault have left their evidence with the stewards and their decision is now awaited.