Formula 1 sporting director, Ross Brawn, has said Racing Point has taken copying to the “next stage” and simply done a “more thorough job” with the approach.
Racing Point’s RP20 is arguably the strongest car in the 2020 midfield (which you have to say includes Ferrari at the moment) and that is largely down to the team ripping up their own philosophy book and taking a great amount of inspiration from their engine suppliers Mercedes.
It has resulted in the RP20 looking an awful lot like the title-winning Mercedes W10 of 2019 and other teams, Renault in particular, are angry with their copycat approach.
But Brawn appears to be a little bit mystified why there is so much uproar given that copying another team is such common practice in Formula 1.
Yes guys!!! P4!!! 🤜🤛 pic.twitter.com/Vf7finPAXs
— Lance Stroll (@lance_stroll) July 19, 2020
“There have always been teams that punched above their weight in Formula 1 – and Racing Point are the latest team to achieve the feat,” Brawn said in his Hungarian Grand Prix post-race column.
“They showed huge promise early in the weekend, and I am sure they will be disappointed not to convert that promise into a podium.
“But when you’re at the front, when you are with the big boys, everyone punishes your mistakes.
“Every movement and decision is critical. They have to adjust to being at the front end of grid. But that in itself is a measure of how far they’ve come this season.
“They have made the headlines off track, too, with Renault protesting the legality of the car.
“My view is copying in Formula 1 is standard. Every team has, in normal times, digital photographers in the pit lane out there taking thousands of photos of every car for analysis, with a view of copying the best ideas.
“We used to give our photographers a shopping list.
“Racing Point have just taken it to the next stage and done a more thorough job.
“There is not a single team in this paddock which has not copied something from another. I’d ask every Technical Director in the paddock to raise their hand if they haven’t copied someone else. You won’t see any hands. I have certainly copied others.
“Last year, Racing Point had access to, and could use, 2019-spec Mercedes brake ducts because they were not a listed part. This year, brake ducts are listed parts, so you have to design your own.
“However, Racing Point cannot forget the knowledge they acquired using the 2019 Mercedes brake ducts. I think it is illogical to think they can wipe their memory banks. It is a tricky problem and one for the FIA experts to resolve.”