The ongoing blame game of Formula 1 copycats has potentially seen the best of it after Renault announced today it has withdrawn its appeal into the Racing Point brake duct case.
Earlier in the season, Racing Point were docked 15 constructors’ championship points and fined over $700,000 NZD after it was argued by rival teams it had stolen the design of Mercedes’ 2019 championship-winning brake ducts.
Brake ducts were made a listed part for the first time in 2020, meaning each team had to make their own unique design.
But the team admitted that they had indeed copied the Mercedes design concept for their RP20, albeit legally, using photographs and footage to do so, with the result being the 2020 Racing Point has become the undisputed third quickest car on the grid.
Renault led the initial stewards’ investigation with a successful protest, pathing the way for Ferrari to do the same and with McLaren and Williams also voicing their intent to challenge Racing Points contentious design.
Renault said in a statement today that the decision was to allow the team to recentre its focus on its 2020 season, and with cars not set to be altered in design for next year, the French marque will be looking to use the remainder of this season to develop a competitive challenger for 2021.
Head of single-seaters for the FIA, Nikolas Tombazis, also confirmed that the new restrictions banning large-scale reverse engineering will be in place by the end of the year, and Renault noted they were satisfied with the “concrete progress” they had made with their protest.
“Renault DP World F1 Team confirms that it has requested to withdraw the appeals lodged against the stewards’ decisions in relation to BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s brake ducts,” the team said in a statement.
“Beyond the decisions, the matters at issue were vital to the integrity of Formula One, both during the current season and in the future.
“However, intensive and constructive work between the FIA, Renault DP World F1 Team and all Formula One stakeholders has led to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality in the sport by way of amendments to the Sporting and Technical Regulations planned for the 2021 racing season, confirming the requirements to qualify as a Constructor.
“The controversy of the start of this season should be put behind us, as we need to focus on the remainder of an intense and unique Championship.”
Racing Point still have their hands tangled amid the protest with team owner Lawrence Stroll contesting the punishment the team received, admitting they should be cleared of any wrongdoing.