It was a 70th birthday party for the Formula 1 World Championship itself, but a fight broke out among the guests – a brawl, in fact, which involved more than half the grid.
It was all about what one of its members had been up to with another of them. It was perfectly innocent, insisted Mercedes and Racing Point. It was outrageous, indecent and undermined the whole basis of that world championship, insisted Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams as they gave notice of appeal at the lenient penalty given by the FIA for the process by which the rear brake ducts of the Racing Point RP20 (aka the ‘pink Mercedes’) had been created. This car would go on to qualify third behind the two Mercedes at the birthday party event, just inflaming the whole situation.
“They claimed they had copied the car via photography,” said McLaren’s Zak Brown. “It’s clear from reading the [FIA] document that that is BS. So you have to question everything else around the car.”