Formula 1

Brake Duct Protests Showed ‘Ruthlessness’ of Racing Point’s Rivals in 2020 – Szafnauer

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Credit: BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

Otmar Szafnauer says he still believes the points and financial penalty handed out to the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team for the illegal use of brake ducts in 2020 was unwarranted, with the Team Principal still insisting they did nothing wrong.

Racing Point were handed a fifteen-point penalty and a €400,000 fine after protests by the Renault DP World F1 Team for using brake ducts that, in their eyes, had been designed by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team for their 2019 championship-winning W10. 

The points penalty cost them third place in the Constructors’ Championship, but Szafnauer insists everything they did with regards to the brake ducts was legal, with the ducts themselves designed in-house. 

However, the American says the continued protests from Renault showed the ‘ruthlessness’ of their rivals, with the pressure not confined to the on-track racing.

“There are a lot of lessons, including the ruthlessness of some of our competitors,” Szafnauer told  “Don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

“All that kind of stuff. For example, from what we did to the brake ducts was completely legal, it was a transition year from listed parts to non-listed parts.

“We did nothing different and actually, our brake ducts were much more in line with the regulations than some others like Haas and Toro Rosso [AlphaTauri], for example, who just bought Ferrari ones. We actually designed them ourselves.

“So, it just teaches you that even though you are on the right side of the regulations or the law, people can come after you anyway. That I have learnt.

“It grates with me because I know we did absolutely nothing wrong. We informed the FIA in the winter before we started racing.  Everything was okay and then people changed their minds. That’s the thing that grates with me.”

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