Half of the Formula One grid are set to challenge Racing Point’s punishment in the sport’s latest “cheat” row.
On Friday, Racing Point were fined £361,000 and docked 15 points by the FIA for copying elements of last year’s Mercedes.
British team Williams have joined Ferrari, McLaren and Renault in stating their intention to appeal against the verdict.
— FIA (@fia) August 7, 2020
Racing Point have also confirmed they will challenge the decision, calling their punishment “bewildering”.
The deadline to lodge an appeal passed on Saturday morning. The five teams will now have an additional 96 hours to decide if they want to press ahead with their action which would involve lawyers at the FIA’s Court of Appeal.
A 14-page dossier issued in the wake of the FIA’s investigation into the legality of this year’s Racing Point, revealed that Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team had supplied a complete set of last year’s brake ducts to Racing Point on January 6.
It was also established that Mercedes provided Racing Point with computer-aided design models for the parts which assisted them in building this year’s car, dubbed the “Pink Mercedes” given its likeness to the machine Hamilton drove to a sixth world title.
Teams set to challenge Racing Point’s punishment
Formula One’s governing body ruled that the transfer of brake ducts did not constitute a “significant breach of the sporting regulations”, and the transferring of data as within the rules.
However, the FIA found Racing Point guilty of copying the Mercedes parts. They will be allowed to continue to use them this season.
Rival teams are now keen to understand if there could be other parts of the Racing Point which are identical to last year’s Mercedes.
Racing Point, whose performances have greatly improved this season, had previously claimed that their car was designed simply on photographs of the Mercedes.
The investigation has thrown up a lot more questions than answers
“The investigation has thrown up a lot more questions than answers and there is new evidence that we are able to see,” said McLaren chief executive Zak Brown on Friday.
“Obviously Racing Point claimed that they had copied the car via photography. It’s clear from reading the document that that is BS (b*******).
“And therefore you have to question everything else around that car. This is potentially the tip of the iceberg, the starting point of what has happened here.”
On Friday, Toto Wolff, who has presided over Mercedes’ unprecedented six consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championships, defended his team’s role in the saga which threatens to overshadow Hamilton’s march towards a record-equalling seventh title.
“We feel 100 per cent comfortable with our position,” said Wolff.