Racing Point clinched the sixth and seventh positions during the last Styrian Grand Prix competition. However, the results remain provisional as stewards found Renault’s submitted protest against Racing Point valid. Renault cited a strong resemblance to last year’s winning car from Mercedes. It found Racing Point in breach of the following Articles of FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations of 2020:
Appendix 6, Paragraph 1
Appendix 6, Paragraph 2 (a)
Appendix 6, Paragraph 2 (c)
with regards to Racing Point’s front and rear brake ducts used on cars 11&18. A closer look also shows that the team had borrowed heavily from W10 for its 2020 car. The front wing, the aerodynamics, and the front wing were all similar to this Mercedes model.
In fact, the only striking difference between the two racing cars was the bright coat of pink. The FIA Technical department has since been directed to impound the parts in preparation for a detailed analysis. The stewards gave an order for the collection of the Mercedes front and rear brake air ducts of the W10 and those used in 2019 for assessment.
Racing Point’s Response
Racing Point has since admitted the similarity but explains that they did it in compliance with the rules. Further, the team found it disappointing that Renault had launched such a complaint as it had cooperated with the FIA and answered questions regarding the origin of RP20’s design before the beginning of the season.
The team’s principal added that the car was a result of the significant investment made designing it, not its relationship with Mercedes. Racing Point’s team had finished seventh during last year’s competition but had stepped up its game this year with Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finishing in the sixth and seventh positions, respectively; a feat that’s normally unachievable even when you are lucky on sites such as getluckycasino.com.
Why Racing Point Used Mercedes Design
Normally teams are allowed to purchase listed parts (a car’s monocoque and aerodynamic surfaces) from other teams, but the individual team should design the parts. Each team has exclusive rights to use the listed parts as long as it is competing in F1.
Note, F1 finds the brake ducts are an essential component of any car’s aerodynamic design. They are designed to increase the flow of air on the front wing adding speed, reducing drag, and increasing the downforce. That’s why modern F1 cars maneuver corners faster than regular commercial vehicles. The additional downforce generates up to 80% of the grip required to hold up a vehicle. F1 racing cars can also hold up centrifugal forces of up to 4G without sliding off the track.
Red Bull have set F1’s aerodynamic trend for the last decade. A common feature about Red Bull cars, is the presence of an aggressive rake (the angle at which the vehicle rests when viewed sideways). This unique design increases the air rushing under the car, reducing the pressure pulling the car to the track.
Many teams have used Red Bulls’ low rake design apart from Racing Point, which has been committed to a high-rake design since 2014. However, Racing Point had signed a deal with Mercedes to use their engine. This meant that the team had to share outboard suspension components and a gearbox designed around the low-rake design.
Attempts to reverse engineer the Red Bull concept to work with a Mercedes gearbox were getting increasingly frustrating, causing them to pursue a fresh design- the Mercedes philosophy. However, with only a short time and little experience in low-rake racing vehicles, Racing Point decided to borrow plenty of features from last year’s Mercedes car model.
Keep in mind; as long as Racing Point does not copy Mercedes intellectual property or aero data regarding W10’s bodywork, it is within its limits to adopt the design. It can also purchase the engine, 2019 outboard suspension and 2019-spec gearbox components, and the hydraulics from Mercedes. The result was a racing car that resembled Mercedes’ championship car.
What’s more, Racing Point had resolved to replace its wind tunnel with Mercedes’ facility in Brackley in a bid to align all the parts with the new low-rake concept. Previously, the team had been using Toyota’s wind tunnel, and this decision further reinforced the team’s decision to adopt the Mercedes design car.
Other Teams Using Similar Designs as Top Performers
Racing Point is not the only team with a racing car with a similar design as one of the top three. Alpha Tauri, for example, uses the same components as Red Bull, and Haas has borrowed several features from Ferrari.