Racing Point: Plagiarism claims have gone too far

Finley Crebolder
Lance Stroll Racing Point mechanics.jpg

New rules to avoid Racing Point-style copying revealed.

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that the accusations being thrown at the team have “gone too far”.

Their 2020 car has been hugely controversial, with many believing that they simply copied the 2019 Mercedes car, and are unhappy that they did so.

Renault feel so strongly that they’ve launched various protests about the matter, while Ferrari are now also getting involved.

The team themselves have firmly denied that they’ve done anything wrong, and Szafnauer feels that the claims are disrespectful to all those who worked on the car.

“Not for me so much, but for the guys in the factory, who worked really hard to develop this car to where it is and are still working hard to make further developments,” he told Reuters.

“For their work to be discounted, to say ‘Ah, you’ve copied’, or ‘plagiarised’ as I heard somebody say, it’s absolutely not true and it has gone too far.

Get your hands on the official Racing Point 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Specifically, Renault has protested Racing Point’s brake ducts. However, the team’s technical director, Andrew Green, says everything they’ve done was well within the rules at the time that they were building the car.

“In 2019, the transfer of information on brake ducts was completely legitimate, and we used that data as a reference, a starting point for our brake ducts, completely legally,” said the team’s technical director, Andrew Green.

“Renault are trying to impose the 2020 regulations on 2019, making it retrospective. You can’t retrospectively look back and say ‘now the drinking age is 21, last year when you were 19 you had a beer and you’re going to jail.”

These types of accusations are nothing new, with many complaing that Haas were copying Ferrari too much a few years ago. Green feels that the matter has been present in the sport for much longer, and that those who dispute it are hypocrites.

“We’ve been accused of doing something that other people claim they don’t do, which is absolutely wrong,” he added.

“It’s absolutely been rife in Formula One for decades, to look at people’s concepts and ideas and take them and make them your own. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Despite occasionally looking like the second quickest team on the grid in terms of outright pace, Racing Point will be disappointed with their start to the season. They’re currently P5 in the standings, just 10 points ahead of Renault.

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!