FIA expecting more RP20 protests from Renault

Date published: July 18 2020

Racing Point

Renault has already protested Racing Point’s brake ducts, but the FIA feel it’s likely that they’ll do so again until the matter is settled.

The French team launched their protest after the Styrian Grand Prix, claiming that the brake ducts used were copies of those found on the 2019 Mercedes.

The FIA immediately began investigating the issue, and expect to reach a verdict by the end of July. In the meantime, Racing Point will continue to run the disputed parts.

Because of this, Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters, expects the protests to keep coming in.

“They [Renault] have the right to protest other grands prix until this matter’s adjudicated, and Racing Point have the right to run with these components or other components,” he told Autosport.com.

“Depending on whether they feel confident about winning the case or not, and if ultimately, Renault decides to protest every single race, they have the right to do that. And Racing Point would have that risk to take.

“I think it is likely that we will see, therefore, for formality reasons, protests potentially.

“It’s Renault’s decision, it is certainly not our decision or our desire or anybody’s. But I think it is likely we’re going to see protests perhaps until this matters adjudicated.”

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The stewards gave Racing Point three weeks to submit their defence, meaning that a decision will most likely be made before the first race in Silverstone.

However, if the team aren’t penalised, Renault can appeal the decision, which would prolong the process considerably.

“…it’s likely a possible adjudication date is the week before the first Silverstone,” Tombazis added.

“Under normal circumstances, the stewards would decide within a few hours, or a day or so from that hearing.

“Theoretically, the team that is less happy with the stewards’ decision can then decide to appeal, and it goes to the International Court of Appeal.

“And then, of course, it’s another set of preparations and lawyers and submissions involved. So that could probably take us to the week after Spanish Grand Prix, or something along those lines.

“Theoretically, their decision is going to be the final one. So we’re talking towards late August, that we could have a final decision in this matter if teams decide to go to the ultimate extent of appealing.”

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