F1 points deduction 'bewildering' - Racing Point's team boss Szafnauer

Lance Stroll driving Racing Point's 2020 race car, the RP20. Image: Xavier Ballart / Urbanandsport / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Lance Stroll driving Racing Point's 2020 race car, the RP20. Image: Xavier Ballart / Urbanandsport / NurPhoto via Getty Images

• Racing Point to lose 15 points for using a copied car part.

• The team finds solace that the cars are legal despite the penalties.

• Renault now moves up to fifth place in team standings with 32 points.

• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za



Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer said Friday the decision to deduct his team 15 points for using a car part designed by Mercedes was "bewildering" while other teams said the ruling had far-reaching implications.

Szafnauer said the outcome had left Racing Point pondering their right to appeal.

"The good news from the judgement was that the car is completely legal from a technical perspective so we can continue to run the brake ducts," Szafnauer told Sky Sports during practice for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

"It's just a matter of process, which is in the sporting regulations. We read the sporting regulations. There is nothing specific in there, which says we couldn't do what we did.

"Other teams have done exactly the same, probably even more than what we did in a way. It's a bit bewildering, however we now have to decide whether our punishment is one that we should appeal."

Following multiple Renault protests at the originality and legality of the car, the stewards announced that Racing Point had breached the sporting regulations in the design of the brake ducts for its RP20 car, ruling Mercedes had been the principal designer of the part.

The outcome resulted in Renault moving up to fifth place in the teams' standing on 32 points and Racing Point dropping to sixth on 27 ahead of Sunday's race.

The team was also fined 400 000 euros ($472 000).

'Much bigger picture'

The International Motoring Federation (FIA) did not accept Racing Point's argument that they had designed the brake ducts for the RP20 car.

Rival team chiefs said the "pink Mercedes" case - a reference to the Racing Point colours - is critical to ruling on future design and evaluating the level of sharing resources that should be allowed between teams.

But Szafnauer said this was an issue for the future that would be dealt with by the introduction of new rules in 2022.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner warned that the protests and the issue of the Racing Point cars' legality would not go away.

"This isn't about brake ducts," he said. "It's about a much bigger picture."

He said it would need teams of lawyers to digest the implications and agreed that the case could be about the 'dna' of the sport. He suggested it might lead to clearer definitions of constructor teams and customer teams.

"It is a fundamental question for F1," he said, suggesting also that Renault may protest again because the sanctions were "not draconian enough".

No penalties were imposed on the team's regular drivers, the Mexican Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, the son of the team's Canadian billionaire owner Lawrence.

Perez is out of action on Sunday after testing positive again for coronavirus, meaning he misses a second consecutive race.

He will replaced by German driver Nico Hulkenberg, as he was for last week's British Grand Prix.

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