Racing Point docked points, given fine as stewards uphold Renault protest

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Racing Point has been docked 15 points and given a $400k fine after the stewards upheld Renault's protests against the design of their brake ducts.

The French manufacturer took action against what has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' following the Styrian Grand Prix, amid questions over whether it had breached the rules on listed parts, ie. parts each team must design and produce themselves.

This is as the Silverstone-based team has been open in admitting their car is an attempt to replicate last year's W10 through a combination of buying in non-listed parts and using images that are available.

The reason why Renault has focused on the brake ducts, however, is two-fold, first it is of course very difficult to find images of the internal design of the ducts, so any similarity is unlikely to be through that avenue.

Also, it is a part that has been moved from non-listed to listed for 2020, and so if the ducts are identical to last year's Mercedes, then this would be in breach of the regulations.

Throughout, Racing Point has maintained its innocence, claiming the FIA had already given the car design the all-clear legally, however, the stewards haven't followed suit.

In a lengthy document detailing their decision, which you can read here, their conclusion sides with Renault's argument that because Racing Point obtained information, whether it be data, drawings or actual parts from Mercedes about their brake ducts last year, when it was a non-listed part, the fact it has been used to design their ducts for the 2020 car, when it became a listed part, means they are illegal because Mercedes did the majority of the design and development work.

What they also noted was the team could have avoided any uncertainty by seeking clarification on the matter last year, when first designing this year's car, and earlier this year when the FIA visited the factory.

As a result, because the breach is in relation to the design process, which was before the Styrian GP, the FIA has decided on a single punishment of a 7.5 point deduction for each car, totalling 15 points in the Constructors' standings only, plus the 200k Euros fine for each car, which means a doubling to 400k Euros.

Racing Point though won't have to change their brake ducts as the FIA explained it would be not realistic to expect them to "unlearn" what they know through the process they undertook.

An appeal is almost certain to follow.