Racing Point got off to a great start with the delayed 2020 F1 season, with a second row lockout in Hungary and top 10 finishes almost every race. Many have attributed their success to copying the 2019 Championship winning Mercedes F1 car to that. Racing Point haven’t been shy about making it clear they ‘borrowed’ aero designs from Mercedes and since they use Mercedes’ engine and gearbox’s it makes sense. Where the trouble for them starts is with the third Grand Prix of the season where Renault’s F1 team lodged a formal protest of Racing Point’s car – specifically their brake ducts.
Brake ducts are essential to keeping F1 cars racing at full pace. Doing nearly 200 miles per hour, then practially stopping, tends to heat your brakes up as your convert the kinetic energy of the car into friction and heat by braking. Brake ducts carefully funnel air through the discs to keep them cool and working. They need to be painstakingly designed to not only channel the right volume of air, but not create too much drag, and with the right airflow pattern to best spread the air around the quickly rotating disc.
The FIA have announced a number of pentalies for Racing Point for breaking the sporting regulations. That includes a € 200,000 fine per car, a deduction of 7.5 championship points per car and have been reprimanded for continuing to use the illegal parts in the subsequent Hungarian and British Grand Prix.
It’s going to be an interesting weekend at the 70th Anniversary GP, with Racing Point likely scrambling to switch out the parts. We will have to see how that affects performance and drivability of the cars – especially since Nico Hulkenberg will be racing this weekend. As of P1, both Racing Point’s are still well into the top 10, with Hulkenberg coming in just a breath under Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.
If you want to read the full statement from the FIA, head over to Motorsport.com’s article.