Racing Point has ‘886 drawings’ to prove brake duct legality

Racing Point Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer remains confident that it’s impossible for Silverstone outfit’s brake ducts to be illegal – and claims that he has “886 drawings” that will help prove it.

After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Renault followed up the earlier protest of the cars of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll in the Styrian event with a second identical pair of protests, something the FIA had anticipated prior to the race. 

All of the protests will now be heard together, by the same set of stewards.

Renault claims that Racing Point received brake duct designs for the 2019 Mercedes W10. The matter revolves around the fact that last year it was legal to share information on ducts, but they became a listed part for 2020, which means teams have to design their own.

“It is impossible for them to be illegal,” said Szafnauer. “Brake ducts, just so you know, take a long time to design and make, they are very, very complicated, and we have 886 individual drawings for our brake ducts.”

Szafnauer insisted that the team doesn’t have a Plan B as it has no alternative design.

“No, just so you know they protested the brake ducts, and we don’t have any other brake ducts, and mainly because they are legal,” he said.

“We have no concerns whatsoever. Our brake ducts are legal, we ran them last weekend, we ran them again this weekend and we will be running them again at Silverstone.”

Szafnauer admitted to some frustration at having to wait to prove the team’s case. Racing Point was officially given three weeks to gather evidence after the Styrian GP, and the hearing is expected to take place in the week prior to the British GP.

“The only reason you may sense a bit of frustration is probably because I have all the information of how we designed and developed them,” he said.

“And the rest of the world doesn’t yet because we haven’t disclosed that to the stewards. We had disclosed it to the FIA, and the FIA were satisfied that what we had done was absolutely legal.

“However, that’s not how the judicial system works. It’s the stewards who have the right and the power to rule. So now we’ve got to inform the stewards as well.

“And it just takes a little bit of time because when the FIA came to us to investigate how we designed and developed the car, including the brake ducts, they came to the factory, spent two days there, interviewed people looked at all of our drawings, looked at the design and development process, what we did in the tunnel and CFD, how we got to where we got, and they were satisfied.

“With the stewards you can’t do that. You’ve got to bring the data to them, and then also explain through words on a piece of paper and drawings, what you’ve done. It takes a little bit longer.

“So the only reason I’m frustrated is I know what we’ve done, and why it’s legal. And it wasn’t a loophole or anything. It’s just frustrating when I know we’re legal and I get all these questions about well what happens if you lose? That’s the frustrating thing.”

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