The FIA says it will implement amendments to the regulations in order to avoid teams carrying out “whole copies” of rivals’ Formula 1 cars.
Racing Point’s RP20 was designed on the basis of Mercedes’ title-winning W10 from 2019, though the team had stressed that it had designed all Listed parts on the car.
However that was countered by Renault, which protested the brake ducts of the RP20, and on Friday stewards determined that Racing Point had been in contravention of the Sporting Regulations.
Racing Point’s brake ducts are legal, under the Technical Regulations, but a year-on-year change in the classification of brake ducts as Listed, rather than Non-Listed, meant the team was deemed to have flouted the Sporting Regulations.
The FIA will now move to avoid a repeat going forward, stressing that while it expects teams to copy components from rivals, it does not want entire designs to be adopted.
“First of all copying has been taking place in Formula 1 for a long time, taking photos, and sometimes reverse-engineering them and making similar concepts or in some areas even identical concepts or close to identical as other teams,” said the FIA’s Head of Single Seater Technical Matters Nikolas Tombazis.
“We do not think this can stop in the future completely.
“But what we do think is Racing Point took this to another level. They clearly decided to adopt this philosophy for the whole car for what I would call a paradigm shift.
“They actually used a disruption in the process that has been the norm in designing a Formula 1 car for the last 40 years.
“One should not penalised [for] that as they have been original in deciding to follow this approach.
“However we do not think this is what F1 should become. We don’t want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes, or copies of Mercedes, on the grid, where the main skill becomes how you do this process.
“We don’t want this to become the norm of Formula 1.
“We do plan, in the very short notice, to introduce some amendment to the 2021 Sporting Regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm.
“It will prevent [teams] from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way Racing Point has done.
“We will still accept individual components to be copied, and local areas, but we don’t want the whole car to be a fundamental copy of another car.”