The FIA’s clamp down on “reverse engineering” to prevent Formula 1 teams from copying the designs of their rivals has been officially approved by the World Motor Sport Council.

On Friday, the FIA announced a series of new changes ratified by the World Motor Sport Council following its third meeting of the year, which was hosted remotely by the governing body’s president Jean Todt.

Among the biggest decisions was the approval of changes to the 2021 technical regulations that will prevent teams from using photography and other techniques to copy the car designs of their rivals.

The pledge was initially made by the FIA following F1’s copying controversy involving this year’s Racing Point, which closely resembles last year’s Mercedes W10.

Racing Point was docked 15 points and fined 400,000 euros in August for illegally copying the brake ducts of Mercedes’ 2019 title-winning car.

The Silverstone-based outfit had maintained that it had only copied the overall aerodynamic concept of Mercedes’ car and not broken rules relating to the listed parts that teams are required to design themselves.

Renault had led the protests against Racing Point’s controversial RP20 design but ultimately withdrew its appeal against the punishment imposed on its midfield rival.

The French manufacturer decided against taking the matter to FIA’s International Court of Appeal, citing “constructive work” that had led “to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality of the sport” with amendments made to the sporting and technical regulations.

The FIA’s statement on Friday noted it had “approved changes to the 2021 Technical Regulations that will prevent the extensive use of reverse engineering of rival designs for the design of a car’s aerodynamic surfaces.”

Formal approval has also been given to the new 2021 Concorde Agreement which was signed by all 10 teams.

The FIA has also made adjustments to the super licence points scoring system, extending the three-year cycle to four years when 2020 is included to tally the points. 

Drivers who do not accumulate the required 40 points "due to circumstances out of their control or reasons of force majeure will have the opportunity for their case to be considered by the FIA." 

 

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