Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says his outfit has “886 unique drawings” of the brake ducts at the centre of Formula 1’s copying saga.

On Friday morning the FIA stewards upheld Renault’s protest against Racing Point’s brake ducts, ruling that the design was in breach of F1’s sporting regulations and concluding that Mercedes was the principle designer of the components in question.

Racing Point was subsequently docked 15 constructors’ championship points, as well as being fined €400,000, a decision which prompted an angry response from the team’s rivals.

Four of Racing Point’s rivals feel the penalty is too lenient and are unhappy that the Silverstone-outfit can continue to run the brake ducts on its RP20 for the remainder of the season.

Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Williams have all notified the FIA of their intention to appeal the verdict, while Racing Point themselves are set to appeal on the grounds of the punishment being too extreme.

“They [the stewards] are wrong in that assessment,” Szafnauer said after Nico Hulkenberg qualified third for F1’s Anniversary Grand Prix.

“We have 886 unique drawings for these brake ducts and if you look at the regulations, the regulations say they have to be your design. We designed the whole thing ourselves.

“The stewards are saying, yes but the start of your design is saying you looked at a Mercedes brake duct and started with it, but you have to remember that in 2019 they were not listed parts.

“So you have got to ask yourself, if we started with a Mercedes design and then designed it ourselves, where did Haas start with their brake ducts and where did Alpha Tauri start with their brake ducts?

“The thing is, once you learn something on an unlisted part in 2019 or, in our case, in 2018 when we got the information it was legal, and you can’t unlearn that.”

Szafnauer explained Racing Point needs to appeal to “clear our name”, insisting the team has “done absolutely nothing wrong”.

“We need to appeal it because we stayed within the regulations, both sporting and technical and we need to clear our name,” Szafnauer stressed.

“We should not be losing 15 points and we should not be charged €400,000 we have done absolutely nothing wrong.

“It is unprecedented that last year, this part could be supplied by any team for you and this year you have to design it your self. We did design it ourselves and we manufactured it completely ourselves. We should not forget we did not get a part from Mercedes at all.

"We did not shortcut the process, we did not gain any manufacturing time, we did not gain any money buy buying parts.

“Formula 1 is all about exploiting the regulations to the limit. Just because we did a good job and have a competitive car, it does not mean we have done anything wrong.

“I don’t think this is about brake ducts because when we do go to the court of appeal, that will be a small bit of it,” he added.

“The real conundrum is that people are looking at our car and saying ‘you copied the Mercedes’ or ‘you have copied more than we would have copied’.

“Well unfortunately copying is what Formula 1 is completely based on.”

 

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