A decision on whether Racing Point has contravened regulations in the design of its controversial RP20 will be made soon as the FIA prepares to hear Renault’s protest against its rival.

The French manufacturer has launched three formal protests against Racing Point – following the Styrian, Hungarian and British grands prix – challenging the legality of the brake ducts on the RP20, which it believes to be too similar to those of Mercedes’ W10.

Racing Point has courted controversy ever since the RP20 – dubbed the pink Mercedes - was first revealed at the start of the year for its striking resemblance the 2019 F1 title-winning W10, in part because the Silverstone-based team has a close working relationship with Mercedes.

While Racing Point has openly said it has used the W10 for inspiration with its latest model, it insists it hasn’t abused the relationship to directly copy elements of the design and says the car is completely legal.

Despite this, Renault has publicly criticised Racing Point for its approach and has thus centred its protest on the brake ducts. A hearing – involving the two parties, plus Mercedes – will take place before the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone to come for a final decision on the protest.

Should Racing Point lose its case, it stands to be disqualified from the three grands prix, amounting 34 points.

Though the Racing Point RP20, which has proven competitive from the off this season, has drawn the ire from other teams, only Renault has gone ahead and directly protested it.

Earlier this season McLaren’s Andreas Seidl said it felt Racing Point were going against the spirit of the regulations but says it has merely exploited the regulations available to it.

“There’s absolutely no intention to launch any protest because I think there are no grounds for that,” he said last month. “Mercedes and Racing Point have chosen to go down this route which, to be honest, I think there’s also room within the regulations to do what they did.

“Do I like it? Of course, I don't like it but at the same time, if it’s possible within the regulations to do something like that, to have this kind of cooperation in terms of sharing wind tunnel technology and so on, there’s no reason to complain.”

 

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