Racing Point says it has 886 drawings to prove that the brake ducts on its RP20 comply with Formula 1’s regulations, asserting it is “impossible for them to be illegal”.
Racing Point’s RP20 raised suspicions as far back as pre-season testing in February when its likeness to the Mercedes W10 was noticed by onlookers.
The team openly confirmed it had been inspired by last year’s W10, shifting its design philosophy to mirror Mercedes’ approach rather than the Red Bull-style high-rake, but maintained its car adhered to all regulations.
Renault lodged a protest against Racing Point’s brake ducts after the Styrian Grand Prix and stewards deemed it admissible, with an investigation currently ongoing.
Renault repeated the protest in the wake of the Hungarian Grand Prix and all parties agreed to combine them into the same investigation.
“It’s impossible for them to be illegal, brake ducts take a long time to design and make,” said Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
“They’re very, very complex, we have 886 individual drawings for our brake ducts.
“I don’t think [the ruling] will go against us but if it does for sure we’ll appeal.
“Our brake ducts are legal. We didn’t contradict any sporting or technical regs on our brake ducts, or any other part of the car for that matter.”
Szafnauer conceded frustration at the situation but clarified the different process required once a protest has been approved as admissible by the stewards at a grand prix event.
“I have all the information of how we designed and developed our brake ducts and the rest of the world doesn’t yet,” he said.
“We had disclosed it to the FIA and the FIA was satisfied that what we had done was absolutely legal, however that’s not how the judicial system works, it’s the stewards who have the right and the power to rule, so now we have to inform the stewards as well, and it takes a bit of time.
“When the FIA came to us to investigate how we designed and developed the car, including the brake ducts, they came to the factory, spent two days there, interviewed people looked at the drawing, looked at design and dev process, what we did in the tunnel, CFD, how we got to where we got, and they were satisfied.
“With the stewards you can’t do that, you’ve got to bring the data to them, and explain through words on a piece of paper and drawings what we’ve done, it takes a little bit longer.”