Formula 1: Renault protest legality of Racing Point car

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Racing Point
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Renault have launched a protest against Racing Point accusing them of not designing their own car.

The Racing Point has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' for its likeness to last year's world title-winning car.

Racing Point have admitted the similarity and that they have copied the 2019 Mercedes but say they have done so in compliance with the rules.

The rules dictate that teams must design specific parts of the car themselves.

Teams can buy certain parts from other teams but the rules dictate that so-called 'listed parts' must be designed by each individual team.

The listed parts effectively amount to the car's aerodynamic surfaces and its monocoque or survival cell.

The rules dictate that each team "retains the exclusive right to use listed parts" as long as it competes in F1.

Stewards at the Styrian GP have impounded the front and rear brake ducts of the Racing Point and asked Mercedes to provide the same parts from their 2019 car for examination.

The hearing will be rescheduled for a later date, which is not yet confirmed.

In a statement on Monday, Racing Point said it was "extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest".

They added: "Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.

"Prior to the start of the season, the team co-operated with the FIA and satisfactorily answered all questions regarding the origins of the designs of the RP20.

"The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response."

Brake ducts are an important part of the aerodynamic design of an F1 car. They are shaped to influence the airflow off the front wing and direct it for best effect.

Racing Point finished seventh in last year's championship but their competitiveness has taken a step forward this year and their driver Sergio Perez was one of the fastest on track in Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix.

The Mexican charged up from 17th on the grid and was challenging the Red Bull of Alexander Albon for fourth before the two collided in the closing stages and Perez fell back to sixth at the finish.

His team-mate Lance Stroll, whose father Lawrence Stroll owns the team, finished seventh.

Racing Point use Mercedes engines and have a contract by which they buy their gearbox and other parts from the world champions, as well as lease time in their wind tunnel.

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