McLaren refute Merc fall-out over ‘Tracing Point’

Jon Wilde
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl (left) and Toto Wolff

Andreas Seidl (left) and Toto Wolff

McLaren insist they have not fallen out with Mercedes, despite being on opposite sides of the Racing Point brake ducts furore.

The Woking-based team are among those to have appealed against the punishment Racing Point received for breaking F1’s sporting regulations over the design of their rear brake ducts, which were ruled to be too similar to those used by Mercedes last year.

Racing Point were docked 15 points in the Constructors’ World Championship and given a €400,000 fine – which McLaren, Ferrari, Williams and the source of the original protest, Renault, have all appealed against, believing it to be too lenient.

Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, also intimated he suspected Racing Point may have other cases to answer regarding the design of their RP20 car, referring to the brake ducts – which can continue to be used this season – as the “tip of the iceberg”.

Mercedes, who are implicated in the controversy, are due to supply McLaren with engines from next year.

But McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says their relationship with the World Champions has not been affected, with his Mercedes opposite number Toto Wolff having offered to mediate between the constructors involved to try to avoid the case going to the FIA International Court of Appeal.

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“[There is] absolutely no bad blood between us and Mercedes,” said Seidl, quoted by Motorsport. “We have a great relationship anyway with Toto, with Mercedes, with the guys from Brixworth preparing for next year.

“In the end, the case which is on at the minute is with Racing Point and not Mercedes.”

Racing Point’s owner Lawrence Stroll made a rare public statement on Sunday ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, condemning the other teams for “dragging our name through the mud” and that he would “take all necessary actions to prove our innocence”.

Asked about Stroll’s response, Seidl declined to comment due to the ongoing legal proceedings that look set to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

“I don’t want to comment on any of these comments,” Seidl said. “[We’re] part of a legal process. I don’t want to comment further on it.

“At the same time, it’s important to not waste too much energy on the entire case. We know what we have to do on the McLaren side to be more competitive and that is my main focus, together with the team.”

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