Horner weighs in on copycat car debate

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez PA

As Racing Point’s RP20 brings copycat cars back into the headlines, Christian Horner feels sharing between big teams and smaller ones is vital for F1.

Racing Point unveiled its 2020 car, the RP20, on Monday before taking to the track on Wednesday for the start of pre-season testing.

And from the very first lap out, it was evident that there was more Mercedes than Racing Point in the car.

The RP20 bears a striking resemblance to last year’s Mercedes with the German team Racing Point’s engine and gearbox supplier.

Racing Point also used Mercedes’ windtunnel to help design and develop the 2020 car.

Rivals aren’t overly impressed, especially Haas who has come in for a lot of criticism for being Ferrari’s B-team.

Horner, though, says F1 needs smaller teams to be able to copy from the big boys.

He told the-race.com: “I think collaborations do make sense because otherwise teams like AlphaTauri and Racing Point, Haas and even Sauber [Alfa Romeo], if they couldn’t buy suspension and gearboxes, that’s all R&D that they’re going to have to conduct themselves with big amounts of resource.

“Of course, some teams look like they’ve gone further in their cloning than others, but so long as it complies with the rules I don’t particularly have a problem with it.

“For Liberty, it creates more competitive grid, for the teams it makes Formula 1 more affordable.

“Of course, you don’t want 10 cars that all look the same, but I think there’s elements of the car that is transferable like suspension and gearboxes, for example, that make a lot of sense.”

Red Bull is the one team on the grid with a definite and acknowledged B-team in AlphaTauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso.

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