Williams & McLaren against Racing Point clone but won't complain about it

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McLaren and Williams won't complain about Racing Point cloning last year's Mercedes but remain firmly against the approach.

The Silverstone-based outfit is set to start the new Formula 1 season as the fourth-best team according to most predictions, after an impressive pre-season in Barcelona with their new 'Pink Mercedes'.

And their performance has certainly got the attention of their rivals, particularly those like Williams who have refused the trend of closer partnerships to manufacturer teams. 

"I wouldn’t criticise another team’s way in which they go racing as long as it's within the regulations, which it is, and it is their decision in how they want to bring a car to racing," deputy team boss Claire Williams said via Crash.net.

"We’re very proud of the fact we are an independent constructor and we manufacture our car ourselves and it’s not a model that we’re looking to change at the moment.

"If it works for them this year, the last year prior to a new regulation change, great, but it wouldn’t have worked for us and that’s why we’re continuing on the road we are."

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McLaren has been particularly vocal about the Racing Point, with the two teams likely to be very close on track this season, and technical director James Key believes their approach shows a lack of creativity. 

“The last thing you want to do is copying your neighbour because you want to be out-developing him with better ideas,” he said.

“From an engineering point of view as an engineer you want to go out and beat everyone else, that’s what motivates most people.

“Engineers are competitive people, certainly when you work in F1, and you’re always up against competition from a company or another team.

“What makes F1 unique is it’s teams versus teams as well as drivers versus drivers, and as an engineer you want to be the best on the grid at your particular discipline, that’s what motivates a lot of people, it’s certainly what motivates me.

“It’s difficult to know how others feel about it but personally I like to feel responsible for the performance directly.”

And while McLaren boss Andreas Seidl was also less critical, he has warned that the FIA needs to ensure the close technical partnerships remain within the regulations, particularly with the looming changes for 2021.

"We assume that the co-operation that is there between Racing Point and Mercedes is within these regulations so there’s no point to complain about it," said the German.

“For us, it’s more important for us to look at what’s happening for the '21 regulations and beyond.

“I think it’s even more clear or restricted what is allowed in terms of a working relationship between two teams and for us, that’s the most important thing is.

“This is where the FIA needs to make sure they are on top of this game, that the co-operation between two teams is first of all always within the regulations, and doesn’t allow the big team, for example, to benefit from things that are happening at a smaller team related to these so-called listed parts.

“This is something that we are worried about and that is our focus on the discussions we have with the FIA to make sure this is properly policed as that would obviously go against the regulations.

“It would help, let’s say an A-team, having a co-operation to go around the regulations to increase their resources beyond the idea of the budget cap and that is the biggest worry for us to be honest.”