Renault: F1 needs to send a strong message

Date published: August 8 2020

Cyril Abiteboul Renault pit wall.jpg

Renault may have won its case against Racing Point but team boss Cyril Abiteboul says the punishment handed down is not enough to potentially deter others.

Renault protested Racing Point’s RP20’s brake ducts after the Styrian, Hungarian and British races.

As of this season all teams have to design their own brake ducts with the teams having voted in favour of taking the ducts off the non-listed parts column and moving them to listed parts.

The hearing was held on Wednesday with the FIA handing down its ruling on Friday, the verdict going in Renault’s favour.

According to the stewards, the RP20’s rear brake ducts were “designed” by Mercedes and therefore not the Silverstone team’s intellectual property.

Racing Point was hit with a 15-point deduction and fined 400,000 Euros.

That, though, is where the punishment stopped.

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According to the stewards, Racing Point has broken a sporting rule and not a technical one meaning the team can continue to run the brake ducts in the remaining races.

Renault is not happy with that part of the ruling as Abiteboul feels it was too soft given the crime.

“There is clearly two elements,” the Frenchman told told Sky F1.

“On one side there is confirmation that Racing Point was in breach of the sporting regulation. It’s a sporting regulation matter but it’s very much a technical element.

“It’s clear, black and white, that the passing-on of information has been established, the passing-on of parts has been established.

“That is obviously very important because it’s very important to draw a line between what’s acceptable and not between competitors.

“We need to send a very strong signal that this type of information cannot be passed.”

Renault has joined Ferrari and McLaren in appealing the stewards’ ruling with reports claiming other teams could join in the appeal.

Asked why Renault specifically targetted the RP20’s brake ducts, Abiteboul said it was because Renault was aware that there was “something wrong” there.

According to reports in Europe, a person who moved from Racing Point to Renault in the off season made the Enstone aware of the copying.

“We focused on one element because we know that there was something wrong with that, the brake ducts,” Abiteboul said. “But also to draw the attention about the concept of copying.”

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