Wolff: Racing Point form shows complaints are absurd

Michelle Foster
Lance Stroll Racing Point mechanics.jpg

New rules to avoid Racing Point-style copying revealed.

Toto Wolff says Racing Point’s form has shown that complaints from the midfield that they cannot compete with the big boys is “absurd”.

Racing a controversial pink Mercedes in this year’s championship, Racing Point has been the biggest climber up the order.

Although the team has yet to reach the podium, the RP20 has shown enough pace to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari while Christian Horner says Sergio Perez was even faster than the Mercedes cars late in the Styrian Grand Prix.

The team’s pace continued at the Hungaroring on Saturday where Lance Stroll and Perez locked out the second row of the grid, only slower than Mercedes.

There are, however, questions over the legality of the RP20.

Renault protested the car’s brake ducts after the Styrian GP with the FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis conceding it is a matter of interpretation.

He told Motorsportweek.com: “The particular question about brake ducts is that the status of those components changed from 2019 to 2020.

“In 2019 teams could legitimately send their brake ducts to other teams, in 2020 that has changed.

“Renault are questioning the process that was followed by Racing Point in order to adopt these brake ducts.

“I don’t think it will be a debate trying to play the detective and find what happened, the debate will be more from a regulation point of view whether they followed the right process.”

Wolff acknowledges the RP20 is a “re-engineered” Mercedes W10 and feels the current debates goes to the heart of whether Formula 1 teams should be allowed to supply others with parts to make for a more level playing field.

He told Motorsportweek.com: “They seem to have re-engineered our car, they have bought non-listed parts from us last year and they are just doing a good job.

“I think like Nikolas Tombazis has formulated it, it is less of a technical discussion and more of a philosophical discussion.

“It is about whether the smaller teams should be allowed to be supplied parts by the bigger teams for less R&D and the bigger teams to make some business out of it or should everyone develop their own chassis and R&D, which as a consequence would probably mean there is a two-tier society even with a cost cap.”

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The Mercedes motorsport bosses also feels that Racing Point’s form shows that complaints from midfield teams that they cannot compete against the big boys is “absurd”.

They just need to decide what path they are willing to go down.

He added: “All the complaining we heard last year that the smaller teams are never able to compete for pole positions, for podiums and race wins is being, how do you say, shown it’s absurd because Racing Point is right up there, faster in some corners than we are and it’s a good challenge to see that.

“I have no doubt that Racing Point will be a hard nut to crack on some of the circuits for us as well.

“So, take the right decisions and deploy your resources where you think they are well deployed and I think you can have a quick car.

“I am happy there is a process in place that will clarify those regulations and make it transparent for all stakeholders, what the FIA and FOM wish to happen in the future, and then we move on from that.”

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