McLaren ‘surprised’ Racing Point dropped appeal

Date published: September 23 2020

Racing Point have “clearly” the fastest car in the chase for third position in the F1 constructors’ World Championship – according to McLaren boss Andreas Seidl.

Racing Point’s decision to drop their appeal against the FIA’s verdict regarding their brake ducts came as a “surprise” to McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

The FIA punished Racing Point by docking the team 15 points in the constructors’ World Championship standings and fining them 400,000 euros after the rear brake ducts on their cars were deemed too similar to those on the 2019 Mercedes following a protest by Renault.

Intentions to appeal against the punishment were quickly lodged – by Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in the belief that the sanctions were too lenient and Racing Point in their steadfast belief that they had done nothing wrong, which prompted a strongly-worded statement of defence by team owner Lawrence Stroll.

But one by one, the appeals were withdrawn without the matter going to court and the verdict has now been accepted by all teams.

From the Racing Point perspective, that came as a “surprise” to Brown as he felt it was “inconsistent” with the message Stroll had issued in the wake of his team being found guilty in the copying furore.

McLaren boss Zak Brown

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“I was surprised they withdrew because he was going to go through with it to clear their name of any wrongdoing,” said Brown, quoted by Autosport.

“So big change, they withdrew. That was inconsistent with what he said his intentions were.”

Brown is pleased the FIA have reacted by promising changes to the regulations in a bid to prevent copycats becoming the norm in F1.

“It was very important and I’m glad to see they addressed it quickly and are taking it seriously,” he said.

“More than anything, you need to know what are the rules? So whatever the rules are, we all play by them.

“I think the issue everyone had with that was ‘wait a minute, what’s been done I think we all thought was against the rules or the spirit of the sport’.

“So if there have been loopholes, let’s close those so we don’t have multiple Championships going on.

“I think the FIA didn’t like what they saw and they are on the case. And I think that’s a good thing.”

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