Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn supports Racing Point’s controversial 2020 car design and believes the team have taken copying “to the next stage”.

Racing Point’s rivals have been irked by its strong start to the season, with Renault lodging two protests against both RP20 cars at the last two races in Hungary and Austria.

Renault argues that Racing Point’s striking similarities to last year’s Mercedes W10 is down to the fact the RP20 features parts that were designed by Mercedes themselves, something which is against the rules.

But Racing Point, which was the second-fastest team behind Mercedes at the Hungarian Grand Prix, has repeatedly insisted its approach is legal.

And Brawn added his two cents to the debate, arguing the Silverstone-based outfit has done nothing new in F1, only a “more thorough job”.

“My view is copying in Formula 1 is standard,” he said in his post-Hungarian Grand Prix column.

“Every team has, in normal times, digital photographers in the pitlane out there taking thousands of photos of every car for analysis, with a view of copying the best ideas. We used to give our photographers a shopping list.

“Racing Point have just taken it to the next stage and done a more thorough job. There is not a single team in this paddock which has not copied something from another.

“I’d ask every technical director in the paddock to raise their hand if they haven’t copied someone else. You won’t see any hands, I have certainly copied others.

“Last year, Racing Point had access to, and could use, 2019-spec Mercedes brake ducts because they were not a listed part. This year, brake ducts are listed parts, so you have to design your own.

“However, Racing Point cannot forget the knowledge they acquired using the 2019 Mercedes brake ducts. I think it is illogical to think they can wipe their memory banks.”

Brawn praised Racing Point for punching above its weight so far this season, though he reckons the team may well come away from the Hungaroring disappointed not to have converted its scintillating pace into a podium.

“There have always been teams that punched above their weight in Formula 1 – and Racing Point are the latest team to achieve the feat,” he explained.

"They showed huge promise early in the weekend, and I am sure they will be disappointed not to convert that promise into a podium.

“But when you’re at the front, when you are with the big boys, everyone punishes your mistakes.

“Every movement and decision is critical. They have to adjust to being at the front end of grid.

“But that in itself is a measure of how far they’ve come this season.”

 

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