Renault pushing for Racing Point to lose all F1 points
Renault is calling for Racing Point to lose all points scored in races where its brake ducts were protested as the Formula 1 controversy prepares to go to court.
Racing Point was docked 15 constructors’ championship points and fined €400,000 after it was deemed to have breached the sporting regulations in the design of the rear brake ducts for its RP20 car.
But Racing Point is permitted to continue using the brake ducts for the remainder of the 2020 season, with the FIA deeming it cannot unlearn the designs it was judged to have copied from Mercedes.
The sanction is subject to three appeals that will be taken to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal, with both Renault and Ferrari bidding for a harsher penalty.
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul feels Racing Point should be excluded from the results of every race where its cars were protested for using the brake ducts.
“We were expecting a consistent sanction with other sanctions that we’ve seen in the past,” Abiteboul said.
“The most recent one we accepted last year [was] after Suzuka, when we were found in breach of the sporting regulations, and not the technical regulations, and excluded from that event, therefore losing all our points.
“There was no discount for Renault. So I don’t know why there should be a discount for Racing Point.
“It should be all the points of the events that we’ve been protested.”
Renault has protested Racing Point’s cars following each of the last four races, with the only exception being the opening round of the year in Austria where it did not lodge a protest. Racing Point scored eight points in this race.
Even after the FIA’s ruling ahead of last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Renault lodged a protest against Racing Point that resulted in a reprimand being issued at the event.
This is set to continue at every race Racing Point uses the brake ducts in question until the Court of Appeal has made a final decision on the case.
“After every single event, Otmar [Szafnauer] will be called to the stewards, his brake ducts will be found similar to what they were and unchanged, and he will receive again a reprimand,” Abiteboul said.
“We are facing again a prospect of what, 10 races, where his cars will be reprimanded. It’s a bit of a strange situation.
“We’d like to have also a bit more clarity about that, not necessarily saying they should be excluded for the season.
“But from a communication standpoint to the fans, to the public, explaining why a car is still somewhat in breach because it will receive a reprimand, but it’s OK to be part of the championship and therefore be eligible for points, we think it’s a bit awkward.
“We’d like also some closure about that if possible.”
But Racing Point F1 chief Otmar Szafnauer remained confident the team could overturn the penalty it was awarded by going to the Court of Appeal.
“We’ve appealed the decision based on what the stewards had written in their findings, and the findings are pretty clear that we didn’t do anything underhand or dishonest,” Szafnauer said.
“We were completely transparent and open with the FIA throughout their process of checking both our brake ducts and the remainder of our car.
“They concluded that the rule, especially for brake ducts transitioning from a non-listed part to a listed part were ambiguous and unclear.
“Because of it, we believe our punishment for an unclear and ambiguous rule that we didn’t intentionally contravene is a bit harsh.
“It’s the reason we’re appealing, and we’re very confident we’ll win on the appeal.”
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