At a time when Racing Point is receiving more criticism that compliments, Martin Brundle says the team has done an “extraordinary” job copying the Mercedes.
This season Racing Point is racing a ‘pink Mercedes’, as the RP20 has been dubbed.
The car draws heavily from Mercedes’ 2019 championship-winning W10, a car that won 15 grands prix.
It has shown in the team’s results.
Racing Point is right up at the front of the midfield with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner saying rivals should be “worried” that the RP20 will soon be battling Red Bull and even Mercedes on grand prix Sundays.
The car, though, is racing under protest with Renault having lodged a protest after the Styrian Grand Prix and another after Hungary.
Renault allege that Racing Point “received” drawings from Mercedes, however, Racing Point insist the car is their own IP, designed after taking photographs over the W10.
Brundle reckons Racing Point deserves some credit for how they have managed to not only copy the W10 but also understand how it works.
“To replicate a car that works, it is stretching my imagination on that,” Brundle said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“Having said that, they do buy – in a legitimate way – the engine and gearbox, which fixes your rear suspension, pick up points, and suspension elements. They buy everything they can.
“There’s an awful lot of reference points on the car that they legitimately buy. And it’s just there are bits underneath aero parts and all that. When they created this, they had to finesse it.
“So they’ve done an extraordinary job.”
But while the constant barrage of questions and protests are wearing on Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer, Brundle says it is “right” that journalists ask the questions.
Although the FIA has been to Racing Point to look at the car, the Renault protests will mean further scrutineering.
And Brundle has warned the truth will come out if the RP20 isn’t as Racing Point says it is.
“We’re right to question it, as journalists,” he added.
“The FIA have been to see it. I’d imagine if you do a scan of last year’s Mercedes and this year’s Racing Point, that would verify that, but then I’m told the FIA have looked at all of that. And they’re satisfied.
“I don’t think it’s for me to say. I absolutely will not use emotive words like cheating, or whether information has been passed. That would be illegal under the regulations. I don’t think they want to or dare do that.
“It’s incredulous that the car works so well, but then it’s a good little team.
“The bottom line is if the FIA say they’ve checked out completely, and Mercedes and Racing Point say ‘we worked under particularly the 2019 regulations, when this car was conceived,’ what can we do?
“Apart from keep asking the questions like you’ve asked me. If they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes, we’ll find out eventually, as has happened with Ferrari last year.”