After BWT Racing Point F1 Team aroused suspicion during pre-season testing in Barcelona with a car that shared stunning likenesses to last year’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas W09, many teams were curious as to the legitimacy of their 2020 car- the RP20.
Renault DP World F1 Team were proactive enough to lodge a formal protest to the FIA after the second round in Styria, citing that Racing Point’s brake ducts breached Formula One’s sporting regulations. They subsequently amounted further protests at the following Grands Prix, prompting the stewards to investigate the car.
Although Racing Point insisted that their design plans were overseen and adjudicated by scrutineers, the FIA have revoked their approval and come to a profound verdict. The team will be lose 15 World Championship points- 7.5 points from each car- and take a fine of €400,000 for fielding Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez’s cars during the Styrian Grand Prix, and they have also been reprimanded for using the car in both Hungary and Silverstone.
Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer was relieved the team could still use the outlawed parts for the rest of the year, yet he admitted he finds it ‘bewildering’ that whilst they have been penalised, other teams guilty of the same crime remain undisciplined .
“It pains me and surprises me that the process has now been deemed not within the regulations when the regulations aren’t clear. I think all that kind of stuff should be addressed by the new rules in 2022,” Szafnauer said.
“There are different categories of parts there, and it’s to address just that. It becomes even more clear in 2022, the regulations have been pushed out a year because of the virus situation that we find ourselves in. This kind of issue will completely disappear.”