'Poorly informed': F1 team rips stunning Renault protest

Andrew Reid
·2-min read
Seen here, Racing Point team members are assembled in the pits for the Styrian GP.
Racing Point denies any wrongdoing after Renault launched a complaint. Pic: Getty

Formula One team Racing Point has hit back at accusations from Renault that it has broken F1 rules, as the ugly aftermath to the Styrian Grand Prix rolls on.

Renault lodged a complaint against Racing Point after questioning the legality of parts on the "Pink Mercedes" cars, following their rivals' strong showing in Sunday's second round of the season at Austria's Red Bull Ring.

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Mexican Sergio Perez finished sixth and Canadian Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, placed seventh.

Renault's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo ended up eighth.

The alleged breach concerns the design and outsourcing of listed parts, namely Racing Point's brake ducts, which have now been impounded.

Renault claims Racing Point has broken rules by using a listed part that was designed by a competitor - therefore contravening regulations.

"Basically we contend that the brake ducts front and rear that are used on the Racing Point are effectively a Mercedes design, and so have been designed by another competitor," says Budkowski.

"We believe that these geometries in use in the Racing Point are effectively the exact design of Mercedes from last year, potentially with some minor modifications to adapt them to the Racing Point, or some minor evolutions, but nevertheless it's not a Racing Point design.

"So it's not their intellectual property. And that's explicitly banned in the regulations."

Racing Point confident in being cleared

The allegations by Renault have been strongly denied by Racing Point, who said Renault's criticism was "misconceived and poorly informed" in a strongly worded statement.

"Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts," the statement read.

Pictured here, the brake ducts used by Racing Point are under investigation.
Racing Point's brake ducts are the subject of an investigation. Pic: Getty

"Prior to the start of the season, the team co-operated with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the designs of the RP20.

"The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response."

Racing Point has made it abundantly clear that its brake duct was based on Mercedes' title-winning W10 design, with F1 officials set to examine both models as part of its investigation.

Mercedes says it is happy to follow whatever process is required and will provide officials with what has been requested.

The results of the Styrian GP remain provisional at this stage, with Perez and Stroll's sixth and seventh-placed finishes pending the investigation.

with agencies