Renault believe Racing Point did receive technical information from Mercedes, helping them to design this year’s controversial RP20.
Last time out at the Styrian Grand Prix, Renault officially protested the Racing Point RP20.
Rather than protest the entire car, which is based on last year’s championship-winning Mercedes W10, the Enstone team specifically protested the front and rear brake ducts.
Under Formula 1 rules, these are a part of the car that every team has to design themselves, they may not use another team’s ducts.
The Red Bull Ring stewards deemed the protest admissible and impounded the RP20’s ducts while also asking Mercedes for the corresponding parts from its W10.
The matter is now in the FIA’s hands.
Racing Point is adamant the car is 100 percent legal and says they can back this up.
Renault, though, believes Racing Point’s ducts are not only copies of Mercedes’ but that the Silverstone-based team “received” Mercedes’ design drawings.
“We actually believe Racing Point have received drawings and parts which have been used to build their car this year,” former FIA man turned Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski told Sky F1.
“We believe this is not right. If this is not the case then…we’ll see. I think it’s going to a matter of weeks for the FIA to investigate.”
The big question of course is what happens if Renault wins the appeal and Racing Point loses.
Will the team be forced to alter its pink Mercedes?
Budkowski said: “Well we made our protest on the brake ducts and certainly if these brake ducts were adjudged to be in breach of the regulations they simply would have to race with different brake ducts.
“They would maybe even have to design their own.”
However, if the FIA finds the ducts to be illegal, they could examine the entire RP20 which may yet force Racing Point into massive changes.
“If the FIA finds that these brake ducts are designed by another team, then I would expect that they would then expect the rest of the car,” Budkowski continued.
“The brake ducts are an essential performance differentiator of the car. People think maybe they are a little duct to cool the brakes but today they are an important aerodynamic performance element.
“They can also help control the temperature of the tyres so it is really an essential part of F1 nowadays as much as a front wing or a diffuser is.
“There are parts of the brake ducts which are internal geometries where you cannot see any pictures. It is therefore difficult to copy by definition of a picture.”