Racing Point deducted points after losing Renault protest

Racing Point F1 Team have been deducted 7.5 points and fined €200,000 per car after Renault’s protest against their brake ducts was upheld by the stewards. 

As well as being docked 15 points from the constructors’ championship and fined a total of €400,000, the team has been given reprimands for the use of Car #18 (Lance Stroll) and Car #11 (Sergio Perez) in the Styrian Grand Prix and Hungarian Grand Prix.

A further reprimand was given to Stroll’s car for the British Grand Prix. Hulkenberg was not protested because he did not start the race.

Racing Point were found to have used Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings of the Mercedes W10 which were shared with the team from Mercedes from October 2018-November 2019. The parts were then used to make the RP20 car.

Racing Point had 42 points in the constructors’ standings but now only have 27, being put behind protesters Renault on 32 points.

The results still stand for Racing Point and the drivers are allowed to keep their points in the driver’s championship. The sanctions could have been much worse.

Cars have been disqualified as recently as the Japanese Grand Prix last year for technical infringement. But this is a design process infringement technically – therefore a breach of the sporting regulations.

The FIA statement says that they are “of the view that Racing Point is applying an interpretation of ‘design’ that is too narrow.

“In the FIA’s view, the design of a car component is a multi phase process.”

“The ‘design’ of a component includes the entire process from concept to the final component designs/models, and not just (as Racing Point suggests) the latter design stage.”

Later on it says:” The FIA does not doubt that Racing Point thought about the Mercedes design and put time and effort into understanding it and trying to tweak it.

“However, the fact remains that the Racing Point design is largely derived from the Mercedes design and so cannot be considered a Racing Point design.”

Racing Point also saw a copy of the Mercedes W10 brakes in their factory in early January 2020.

This was not illegal because as of the 2020 regulations, which came into effect on 1 January, the brakes were listed parts.

The brakes can continue to be used but the team will garner a reprimand for each usage. The penalty is for the false design process of the part and that is granted for with the point deduction and fine.