Formula 1

Ross Brawn Reacts to Renault’s Racing Point Protest: “Copying in Formula 1 is Standard”

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Credit: BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

Ross Brawn says teams copying the designs of other teams in Formula 1 is ‘standard’ as the dispute over the legality of the brake ducts of the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team rumbles on.

The Renault DP World F1 Team protested Racing Point for a second consecutive race weekend at the Hungaroring last weekend, with the French outfit believing the Silverstone-based team has acquired the designs of the brake ducts from the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team rather than designed their own.

Racing Point have denied this is the case, and Brawn, Formula 1’s managing director of motorsport, says it is normal for one team to copy another, even during his time in the sport back in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

“My view is copying in Formula 1 is standard,” Brawn in his post-race column by Motorsport.com“Every team has, in normal times, digital photographers in the pit lane out there taking thousands of photos of every car for analysis, with a view of copying the best ideas. We used to give our photographers a shopping list.

“Racing Point have just taken it to the next stage and done a more thorough job. There is not a single team in this paddock which has not copied something from another. 

“I’d ask every Technical Director in the paddock to raise their hand if they haven’t copied someone else. You won’t see any hands. I have certainly copied others.”

Brawn says the change in regulations from 2019 to 2020 has put the FIA into a difficult position as the brake ducts were not a listed part last year but are this.  Despite the team needing to build their own, they would not be able to ‘forget’ what they knew about the brake ducts from last year.

“Last year, Racing Point had access to, and could use, 2019-spec Mercedes brake ducts because they were not a listed part. This year, brake ducts are listed parts, so you have to design your own,” said Brawn.

“However, Racing Point cannot forget the knowledge they acquired using the 2019 Mercedes brake ducts.  I think it is illogical to think they can wipe their memory banks. It is a tricky problem and one for the FIA experts to resolve.”

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