The big news on Friday at Silverstone before practice for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix got underway was the stewards announcing Renault’s protest against the legality of Racing Point’s car had been upheld. And on Saturday morning, it was confirmed that Racing Point had signalled their intent to appeal the verdict.
The protest itself focused on the RP20’s rear brake ducts, which Renault argued were illegal thanks to their similarity to those on last year’s Mercedes W10 car.
On Friday morning the stewards announced that they agreed, and reprimanded Racing Point, as well as deducting 15 points and fining them €400,000 – though the team were allowed to keep running the car and were not required to redesign the parts in question.
Racing Point had 24 hours to signal their intention to appeal the ruling, and on Saturday morning the FIA confirmed to F1.com that the Silverstone-based team had informed the governing body they would indeed be pursuing an appeal.
That confirmation followed news late on Friday that Ferrari, McLaren and Renault had also announced their intention to appeal the decision – with Williams joining that group on Saturday.
Earlier on Friday several team bosses expressed surprise at the severity of the punishment, and the fact that Racing Point were allowed to continue running the offending parts.
On Friday, Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer insisted the team had done nothing wrong.
“It’s a bit disappointing. We thought we are well within the rules and did absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. “We invited the FIA in March to come and view everything that we did. We had full disclosure.
“Thereafter, they wrote to us and said we were completely compliant. So that’s a bit disappointing. However, we now have to assess the sanction that was given. The FIA have acknowledged the rules of non-listed parts going to listed parts were far from clear and ambiguous and they could be viewed from two different sides.
“The initial thought is that from our perspective, we did nothing wrong so that’s unfair. There’s always two perspectives, I guess. The FIA were the arbiters on this. We now have to discuss with the FIA what is going to happen going forward.”