Otmar Szafnauer continues to dispute the decision to penalise the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team for running with brake ducts allegedly designed by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, feeling that his team has done everything legally.
Prior to the start of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone, a decision was reached by the FIA following a protest by the Renault DP World F1 Team about the legality of the brake ducts, with the protest coming out in Renault’s favour.
The FIA deemed that Racing Point had not designed their own brake ducts for their Mercedes-inspired RP20 and fined the Silverstone-based team 400,000 Euros as well as deducting them fifteen points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Szafnauer, the Team Principal and CEO of Racing Point, says they have designed and manufactured the brake ducts themselves, and says there is no reason to why they were penalised.
“We need to appeal it because we stayed completely within the regulations,” said Szafnauer to Sky Sports F1. “That’s both sporting and technical regulations and we need to clear our name.
“We shouldn’t be losing 15 points, we shouldn’t be charged 400,000 Euros, we did absolutely nothing wrong.
“This part [the brake ducts] last year could be supplied by any team to you and this year you have to design it completely yourself. We did design it completely ourselves and we manufactured it ourselves.
“We shouldn’t forget we did not get a part from Mercedes at all. We didn’t short-cut the process, we didn’t gain any manufacturing time, we didn’t gain any money.”
Szafnauer believes there are other teams on the grid, such as the Haas F1 Team and Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, have never designed their own brake ducts, and as such he feels the penalty handed out to Racing Point is unfair and unjustified.
“As a matter of fact, there are other teams here, including Haas, who has probably never run a brake duct of their own design ever,” said Szafnauer. “It’s always come from Ferrari and the AlphaTauri ones have always come from Red Bull.
“We have always designed our own brake ducts. The thing that is the conundrum here is now it’s a Listed Part, so some of the information in 2018 that we purchased from Mercedes is now, looking back, people are saying ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have been able to purchase that’.
“But in 2018 it wasn’t even contemplated that these brake ducts were going to become a Listed Part. So what we did is completely legal, completely right, and let’s not forget Formula 1 is all about exploiting the regulations to their limit and you have to look at what is written and what is not written in order to exploit them.
“Just because we did a good job and we have a competitive car, it doesn’t mean we did anything wrong.”
As well as Racing Point, four other teams have announced their intention to appeal the leniency of the penalty, with Renault being joined by Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren F1 Team and Williams Racing in feeling the penalty was not as strong as it could have been.
The feeling of those teams is that the brake duct should be taken off the car this year with Racing Point designing a new one for the rest of the season.