08/07 09:16 CDT Racing Point hit with 15-point deduction over brake ducts
Racing Point hit with 15-point deduction over brake ducts
SILVERSTONE, England (AP) --- Racing Point was deducted 15 points in the
Formula One constructors' championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000)
Friday for copying a Mercedes design for its brake ducts. Now a rule change is
planned to hamper teams who try to reverse-engineer rivals' cars.
The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the "principal designer" of the parts,
designed for the championship-winning 2019 car, and that Racing Point made only
minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.
Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which
were added to the "listed parts" under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must
design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the
Mercedes parts to inform its own design.
Brake ducts have become increasingly elaborate in recent years as teams try to
squeeze out every aerodynamic advantage they can find from the cars.
Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its
2020 car design on photographs of last year's Mercedes car. The similarities
led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the "pink Mercedes" when it was first
seen in testing ahead of the season.
The FIA, F1's governing body that sets the rules, wants to stop that happening
"We don't want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes, or copies of Mercedes,
on the grid, where the main skill becomes how you do this process," Niklas
Tombazis, the FIA's head of single-seater matters, said in comments published
on the F1 website.
"We do plan, in the very short notice, to introduce some amendment to the 2021
sporting regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm. It will prevent
(teams) from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other
cars in the way Racing Point has done."
Racing Point can appeal the points deduction and fine.
The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below
Renault. The ruling doesn't affect the points totals for Racing Point's drivers.
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