Racing Point has criticised Renault for “a misconceived and poorly informed protest” after the Enstone team lodged an official complaint following the Styrian Grand Prix.
Just as the dust was beginning to settle on the second race at the Red Bull Ring, Renault provided some late drama as they protested the legality of the Racing Point RP20, which has been dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’ ever since they unveiled their car at pre-season testing in Barcelona.
The ditching of their own aero philosophy in favour of following the same path as Mercedes has not been received well across the paddock as the RP20 does have a likeness to the Mercedes W10 – last year’s title winner.
Renault decided to pull the trigger on an official protest to the FIA as both Racing Point cars finished above Daniel Ricciardo at the Styrian Grand Prix – the three involved in a last lap scramble over the finish line.
As Renault’s evidence was admissible, a lengthy investigation is now set to take place with the FIA seizing the front and rear brake ducts of the RP20 and asking Mercedes to provide theirs for the W10 so they can compare the respective elements.
While Renault has said they would be making no further comment on the matter, Racing Point has hit out at their midfield rivals for deciding to protest.
Red Bull 🤝 Renault
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) July 12, 2020
“BWT Racing Point F1 Team is extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest,” Racing Point said in a statement to Motorsport.com.
“Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.
“Prior to the start of the season, the team cooperated with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the designs of the RP20.
“The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response.”
This is the second official protest to be launched during the 2020 season that raises legality questions following Red Bull’s decision to protest Mercedes’ dual-axis steering system on the very first practice day of the season.
Red Bull said they wanted clarity on the system and the FIA gave them that by ruling it legal.