Renault drops Racing Point brake duct appeal, after "concrete progress" to limit F1 car copying


Renault has withdrawn its appeal in the Racing Point brake duct case, saying that "concrete progress" has been made in preventing teams from copying rivals' cars

Renault and Racing Point


Renault has withdrawn its appeal in the Racing Point brake duct case, saying that progress is being made to restrict teams from copying parts from rivals.

The team said that it was looking to leave the controversy behind and focus on racing for the rest of the season.

This year’s Racing Point RP20 car, dubbed the Pink Mercedes, has come under scrutiny for its extreme similarity to last season’s championship-winning Silver Arrows.

The team has admitted that copying the Mercedes design concept legally, using photos and video footage, which some have seen as a threat to F1’s model of teams as constructors with unique cars.

Renault initiated a stewards’ investigation when it protested the car’s brake ducts, which are listed parts for the first time this year, meaning that each team must use their own unique design.

Racing Point was fined €400,000 (£356,000) and docked 15 constructors’ championship points, after the investigation found the rear ducts were based on Mercedes drawings.

In addition, motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, said that it would update F1’s sporting and technical regulations to prevent teams from copying the entire concept of another car.

Nikolas Tombazis, head of single-seaters for the FIA has confirmed that the new restrictions banning large-scale reverse engineering will be in place by the end of the year, and Renault has now dropped its appeal, citing “concrete progress”.

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“Renault DP World F1 Team confirms that it has requested to withdraw the appeals lodged against the stewards’ decisions in relation to BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s brake ducts,” the team said in a statement.

“Beyond the decisions, the matters at issue were vital to the integrity of Formula One, both during the current season and in the future.

“However, intensive and constructive work between the FIA, Renault DP World F1 Team and all Formula One stakeholders has led to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality in the sport by way of amendments to the Sporting and Technical Regulations planned for the 2021 racing season, confirming the requirements to qualify as a Constructor.

“The controversy of the start of this season should be put behind us, as we need to focus on the remainder of an intense and unique Championship.”

Renault, along with Ferrari and Racing Point, appealed the stewards’ verdict.

It was expected that the teams would use the forthcoming hearing to challenge not just the punishment — which allows Racing Point to continue with the brake ducts on its cars — but also the limited scope of the investigation, which did not examine other areas of the car that teams have suggested may be illegal.