Renault challenging racing point over the brake ducts on their RP20 car

Renault submitted a formal protest against Racing Point about the legality of their RP20 cars.

Formula 1 fans couldn’t have asked for more from the sport’s return to racing as it delivered a classic Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Protests – sporting and political, inconsistent penalties, attrition, wheel-to-wheel hits and misses, safety car periods, a surprise winner and an even more surprising podium trio – the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix had all the ingredients that make a classic. Returning after months of a forced hiatus due to Covid 19 pandemic crises.

Valtteri Bottas clinched his 12th career pole after narrowly edging out Lewis Hamilton on no. 5, Charles Leclerc from Ferrari stood 2nd and Lando Norris from McLaren Renault stood 3rd in pole position. Apart from these Sergio Perez from Racing point BWT Mercedes stood 6th, 2.36 sec ahead of Estaban Ocon of Renault who ended up finishing 8th.

The Silverstone-based team’s new car – which uses the Mercedes power unit and gearbox – drew a lot of attention at pre-season testing back in February when it was dubbed ‘the pink Mercedes’ for its apparent similarities to the Silver Arrows Mercedes W10 car which won the championship in 2019

Racing Point insisted at the time that while they had followed the same design philosophy as Mercedes – and even used photographs to try to mimic some parts of the car – the RP20 was designed in house, and they had not broken any rules.

Racing point’s RP20 car gets its power unit and gear box stock from the Mercedes and they have been trying to develop the right dynamics for the car since very long. As per FIA regulations change next year 2021 the current R&D on RP20 would already be going to discarded instead they wanted to adopt something they haven’t worked upon and just to give it a try.

“We questioned the fact that there is only one more year left in the regulations so whatever we do in this year, we’re throwing this away. ‘Should we do something different?’ and everybody agreed, ‘let’s do something different, try something different, start with a clean sheet of paper and let’s do something new.’

“Where do we start? Well we have a Mercedes power unit, a Mercedes gearbox – we’re running a 2019 Mercedes gearbox, which we’ve always run a year behind Mercedes on their gearbox supply.”

The fundamental change in the RP20, therefore, is an attitude change: Racing Point’s 2020 contender uses a low rake rather than the high-rake favored by every team on the grid bar Mercedes.

“The suspension geometry of the Mercedes has always been [designed] to run a low-rake car and they weren’t going to change that for any money. So why don’t we try and join them, go that route and see where it leads us? So we tore up everything about the high-rake car and started again, started afresh.”

- Andrew Green

Racing point unveil its RP20 car at Barcelona testing where it stunned everyone on the fact that it looks very similar to the previous year world championship title winner Mercedes W10 car. The team – who take an engine as well as several parts, including the suspension, from Mercedes as per the rules – have admitted they have taken inspiration from the car, but consistently insisted what they have done is within the rules.

What makes the brake discs interesting is that they are ‘listed parts’, which means the designs must be a team’s own and not sourced from a rival or third party supplier – something Renault do not believe is the case.

The main point there is brake ducts are essential performance differentiators on today’s F1 cars,” he said. “And they are not only there to cool brakes, they are an essential aerodynamic device both at the front and rear in terms of extracting aero performance.

Well this protest is went investigation under FIA where it unveils the design differentiations weather they are similar or not. Above all FIA should take strict measures for such kind of issues as what level of exchanges are permissible from collogue team or any third party supplier as it directly affect the superiority and purity of constructor game play in F1.

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