Racing Point’s technical chief says the team had to adopt a “very big risk” with its 2020 car in order to move up the championship standings.
Racing Point, seventh in last year’s classification, emerged last week with its RP20 and comparisons were immediately drawn between its new car and Mercedes’ title-winning W10.
It is the first brand-new car to have been developed since Lawrence Stroll’s acquisition of Force India in mid-2018.
Long-time technical boss Andrew Green acknowledged there was “some resemblance” to the W10 but stressed the RP20 was not merely a carbon copy of an opponent’s package.
“It is a conscious decision from about the middle of last year when we saw where the RP19 was developing to and going,” he said of the new philosophy.
“It wasn’t making the gains we were hoping for and think it was clear that if we carried on along the route we were going, we were going to end up, at best, where we finished the championship last year.
“We have one more year left in these regulations and it was time to try something new and take a risk, and we’ve taken a very big risk with what we have done with the car.
“It was a question we posed ourselves: what should we do? Should we move across and try and develop a car to a different philosophy?
“We decided to take a risk and that risk was effectively to tear up what we’ve done in the past few years and start again from scratch and from what we could see and what Mercedes had been doing.
“We have the same view everyone else has got, and there is nothing special in the information we have got – all we have got is what we see and that’s what we’ve started from and developed from and it’s a completely clean sheet of paper and it’s a big risk – I don’t know if it is going to pay off.”
Green played down the significance of trying to reproduce a design approach from an opponent.
“I don’t think what we have done is particularly new, in so far as taking a team’s concept and doing it ourselves,” he said.
“I think that has been prolific in Formula 1 since the early days. I don’t think that is anything new at all. From double diffusers, to blow diffusers, to coanda exhausts, people have taken concepts and turned them into their own. We have done exactly the same.
“My question would really be, why hasn’t anyone done this before? When you look at it and look back at it, you think ‘crikey, this is something maybe we should have done earlier’.
“But unfortunately we didn’t have the resources earlier or the people or the funding to do this before.
“Now we have and we have decided to do it for one year before it all gets thrown away anyway at the end of this year before new regulations in 2021 and the risk of having to back again was zero because it all changes in 2021.”