FIA visited Racing Point factory to validate ‘pink Mercedes’
Racing Point technical director Andy Green says the FIA paid the team a pre-season visit to “thoroughly check” and validate the pink outfit’s Mercedes-inspired RP20 design.
Racing Point’s 2020 charger caused quite a stir when it was unveiled in Barcelona at the start of pre-season testing, with rival mid-field teams shocked by the car’s level of similarity with Mercedes’ 2019 design.
Rumors of a protest emerged in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, but the potential contestation was drowned by the event’s cancellation amid the coronavirus crisis.
Abiteboul: Racing Point ‘pink Mercedes’ like forged artwork
But among the unhappy teams, Renault – which labeled the RP20 a piece of “forged artwork” – hasn’t dismissed a possible protest in the future.
“We don’t really know what the ground is that they are thinking of protesting about,” Green told Motorsport.com.
“When the car launched, we talked to the FIA about it, the FIA came round to the factory and looked at what we’d done and the designs of the car.
“They even took the design data from Mercedes for last year’s car and checked it against ours. They did a thorough check.
“And they are completely happy that the car that we’ve got on track has been designed by us.
“It may have some similarities to the Mercedes, but it’s just similar. It’s not the same. And so there is no protest there.”
Green suggests the ire of Racing Point’s rivals is rooted in their frustration for having missed out on a good idea.
“They can shout and scream as much as they want, but I think what they’re actually shouting and screaming about is the fact that they’ve missed a trick,” he added. “And that’s what they’re upset about.”
Green says that Racing Point’s improved financial situation following the team’s take-over in 2018 by Lawrence Stroll allowed for a more liberated design philosophy rather than a process by which a large portion of last year’s car would be carried over to the new design.
“There was always significant carry over, and this year was the first time that we had a clean sheet and we could optimise what we were buying from Mercedes,” Green explained.
“And it seemed just so logical – why fight against it? Why fight against this concept that they’ve been running and the concept that we’d adopted, why not just align the two and go from there?
“Which obviously means a completely new car with zero carry over.”
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