Todt: Every F1 team has to be a manufacturer

Jamie Woodhouse
Racing Point Mercedes PA

Racing Point technical director Andy Green has insisted Formula 1 needs an element of copying in car design otherwise the sport would “stagnate”.

FIA president Jean Todt says the new regulations to stop teams from copying whole portions of other cars will reaffirm that F1 is a series for “manufacturers”.

Racing Point sure opened a can of worms when they created their RP20, heavily based on the designs of the Mercedes W10.

Teams were always likely to fight against it when their performance boost became clear with Racing Point currently P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, and that’s what has happened.

It was their rear brake ducts specifically which prompted FIA intervention – whilst the ducts themselves were legal, the fact they had received designs from Mercedes was illegal due to rule changes surrounding listed parts between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The team were hit with a 400,000 Euro fine and docked 15 points from their Constructors’ total, although the team are appealing against the sanctions, whilst Ferrari are appealing for them to be made harsher still. Renault has now withdrawn their appeal.

But that term Constructor has been becoming blurred for a while in Formula 1. Haas really started the trend with their heavy reliance on parts from Ferrari and Racing Point took it to a whole new level by photographing the Mercedes W10 and reverse engineering it into the RP20.

Formula 1 will now introduce new regulations from next year to stop teams from photographing other cars and reverse engineering like Racing Point did, with Todt making it clear that Formula 1 is a sport for “manufactures”.

“Clearly the concern of some teams about copying is something we want to address,” he told Autosport.

“The specificity of Formula 1 is that each F1 team is a manufacturer, responsible for the design of its car. So if we have to be more precise in the wording of the text [we will do it].

“It’s something we are now fulfilling and maybe in the light of that, the teams will be happy with the new regulations, so we will see what happens.

“But for me it would be inappropriate to comment on a matter still under appeal.”

Racing Point, who will become Aston Martin from 2021, have been informed that they will be able to use the RP20 chassis for next season since teams are keeping the same cars for 2021 in order to save costs, but when the delayed new regulations come into force from 2022 they must design their own car from scratch.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.