Racing Point drop ‘copygate’ appeal, accept sanctions
Racing Point on Sunday dropped their appeal against a 15 points deduction and 400,000 euros fine for breaking Formula One’s regulations with alleged copies of the brake ducts used on last year’s championship-winning Mercedes cars.
The team said it had decided to accept the sanctions imposed and to move on, in the wider interests of the sport, following an agreement between all the teams on new rules to prevent any future ‘reverse engineering’ of other teams’ cars.
Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll was furious when the punishment and stewards’ verdict was announced, making a passionate defense of his and the team’s integrity.
“We welcome the resolution the teams have agreed and we’re pleased the FIA (F1’s ruling body) has provided much-needed clarification of the rules on listed and non-listed parts,” said Racing Point in a statement.
“The stewards and all parties involved in the appeals process recognize that there was a lack of clarity in the regulations and that we did not deliberately break them.
“Now that the ambiguity around the regulations has been settled, we have decided to withdraw our appeal in the wider interests of the sport.
“This issue has been a distraction for us and the other teams, but now we and everyone else can get back to focusing solely on what we’re all here to do: racing hard and providing excitement and entertainment for the millions of F1 fans around the world.”
Renault led the original protests questioning the integrity and originality of the Racing Point car, dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’ because of its close similarity to the 2019 ‘silver arrows’ cars.
After the stewards’ ruling was announced, Renault, Ferrari, Williams and McLaren appealed, claiming the sanctions were too lenient, while Racing Point appealed, claiming the punishment was too severe.
All of those teams, except Ferrari, have now withdrawn their appeals.
The new ruling that has allowed the teams to agree and drop their appeals will involve a refinement of the definition of ‘Listed Team Components’ in the technical regulations for next year, referring to the parts of a car that are designed and used exclusively by one team.