By: Ashley McCubbin
There has only been a pair of races completed this season for Formula 1, and already the second protest has been filed to the stewards.
Following the Styrian Grand Prix, Renault has officially filed a protest against Racing Point, concerning the legality of their cars. The document contains four articles in the Sporting Regulation, with Appendix 6 at the forefront.
Paragraph 1, article 2 (a) says: “A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it.” Article 2 (c) adds: “In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor.”
The stewards have deemed the protest admissible, with analysis on the legality focusing on Racing Point’s front and rear ducts. They immediately impounded those parts from both Stroll and Perez for analysis, with Mercedes ordered to provide the same parts from their 2019 W10 for comparison.
The protest was filed after both Racing Point entries Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished sixth and seventh, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Riccicardo in eighth. However, discussions surrounding the very issue were brought up through pre-season testing, with several teams unhappy with the RP20 as they felt it was very similar to the Mercedes W10, calling it ‘the pink Mercedes’. At the time, Team Principal Otmar Szarfnauer brushed off allegations, saying they have been wanting to an aero philosophy like Mercedes for awhile, but just did not have the funds until now.
Upon the completion of the investigation by the FIA Technical Department, a ruling on the protest will be released.
The first protest of 2020 saw Red Bull question Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering System (DAS) and whether they were legal under the regulations following the second practice at the season opener. The officials deemed Mercedes legal, allowing them to keep the system in-place.