FIA permit Renault protest against Racing Point, Mercedes now involved

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Renault does have a case in their protest against the legality of Racing Point's 2020 car, the FIA has decided.

The French manufacturer has long been suspicious about what has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' due to its similarity to last year's championship-winning W10.

And though Renault opted not to protest during the first Grand Prix weekend of 2020, after Daniel Ricciardo finished behind both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll in Sunday's Styrian GP, the Enstone-based team finally went through with their threat.

The chances of any success with their protest appeared slim with McLaren previously ruling out doing likewise as they understood there were no grounds on which to question the Racing Point's legality.

Even the Silverstone-based outfit themselves claimed the FIA had compared data between their car and the 2019 Mercedes and were "completely happy" it was not a direct clone.

But now the stewards are unsure about two parts in particular...

"With regards to front and rear brake ducts used on cars 11 and 18, the Stewards summoned and heard from the team representatives of both teams and a representative of the FIA Technical Department," the statement read.

"The Stewards determined that the protest met all requirements specified in Article 13 of the FIA International Sporting Code and is, therefore, admissible.

The FIA Technical Department representative was directed to seal and impound the relevant parts of cars 11 and 18 in preparation for conducting a detailed analysis of those pieces.

"The representative is further directed to provide a detailed report to the Stewards with the findings and to include an assessment that matches those findings against the alleged infringements outlined in the protest.

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"Furthermore, the Stewards ordered the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team to provide the front and rear brake air ducts of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ used by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in the 2019 season to the FIA Technical Department for examination.

"When the likely submission date of the assessment can be determined, the FIA Technical Department representative will communicate that to the Chairman of the Stewards so that the next meeting to assess the claims can be scheduled."

The argument of Renault and other teams is that the level of technical collaboration between Racing Point and Mercedes extends beyond what is allowed when it comes to listed parts and now, it does seem the full extent of their relationship will be revealed.