Former Formula 1 team boss Colin Kolles claims Racing Point received a wind tunnel model and full-scale show car from Mercedes, which it used a base to design its RP20.
Racing Point has been the subject of much interest since its car first hit the track during pre-season testing, with it looking remarkably similar to the title-winning Mercedes W10 from 2019.
The matter boiled over when Renault protested the car’s brake ducts at several races this season, which landed Racing Point with a 15-point deduction and a €400,000 fine.
The team insists it followed the rules and that it copied the entire car from thousands of photographs, but had been in possession of brake ducts from last year’s Mercedes because they were – at the time – non-listed parts.
But Kolles, a former team boss at HRT and Caterham, as well as the Jordan and Midland squads which eventually morphed into Racing Point, has questioned the entire design of the car, which he claims cannot be achieved from photos alone.
“You can’t copy a car from photos,” he told Germany’s Sport1.de. “It’s not just about the brake ducts here. It’s about the whole concept of the car. It’s not just copied from photos. They not only had parts, but also certain data,” he claims.
“I was told [they had] a 60 per cent wind tunnel model and a show car as a template, from which parts were scanned and then converted into CAD data. Otherwise the concept could not work.”
Kolles, who it is worth noting was accused of blackmailing Wolff several years ago, also questioned the nature of the relationship between the Austrian and Racing Point team owner Lawrence Stroll, who are known to be good friends away from the track.
“[If I was] the Mercedes Group, I would ask myself why the head of motorsport is always on vacation on his [Stroll’s] boat or in Gstaad, and why many other things have happened, [which] in my view are not entirely compliant.”
Kolles is likely referring to Wolff’s recent stock purchase in Aston Martin, which earlier this year was rescued by Stroll, who now owns a majority stake in the British sportscar manufacturer and plans to rebrand Racing Point to Aston Martin Racing in 2021.