Formula 1 wants to ban copycat designs from next season in a bid to stop teams following a similar approach to Racing Point.

Following Racing Point’s decision to effectively clone Mercedes 2019 W10 car for this year, concerns have been raised by teams that F1 risks becoming a ‘spec-series’ if a copycat approach is not outlawed.

On Friday morning Renault won its protest against the design process behind Racing Point’s brake ducts on its RP20, resulting in the Silverstone-based outfit being docked 15 constructors’ championship points and receiving a €400,000 euro fine.

Following the announcement that Racing Point had been guilty of breaching F1’s sporting regulations, the FIA’s head of single-seater matters, Nikolas Tombazis, revealed that there are plans in place to amend the 2021 regulations so that cars cannot be cloned.

“We do plan with very short notice to introduce some amendments to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm," said Tombazis.

"This will prevent teams from using extensive part of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way that Racing Point has done.

"We will still accept individual components to be copied in local areas, but we don't want the whole car to be fundamentally a copy of another car.

"We will be providing guidance about that, as well as the ruling and the wording itself over the next weeks,” he added.

"We want to give a very strong message to teams that they should not be starting doing that now for next year's car, because that will simply not be allowed.

"It will be of course accepted that teams, whatever they have now in the 2019/2020 cars, they are not supposed to delete it or start afresh because that is never how it works.”

While Tombazis acknowledged that copying is not a new aspect in F1, he stressed the sport does not want to see “eight or 10 Mercedes” cars on the grid next year.

"Copying has been taking place in Formula 1 for a long time," he explained. "People take photos and sometimes reverse engineer them and make similar concepts.

"In some areas, [they are] even identical concepts or closely identical as other teams. We do not think that this can stop in the future completely.

"But what we do think is that Racing Point took this to another level. They clearly decided to apply this philosophy for the whole car.

"By doing what I would call a paradigm shift: they actually use a disruption in the process that has been the norm of designing a Formula 1 car in the last 40 years.

"So one should not penalise them for that because they were original in deciding to follow this approach. However, we do not think this is what F1 should become.

"We don't want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes or copies of Mercedes on the grid where the main skill becomes how you do this process. We don't want this to become the normal Formula 1."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...