FIA stewards revealed in their findings that Racing Point had taken delivery of a set of brake ducts from Mercedes on January 6, 2020, which had ceased to be unlisted parts six days earlier.
The Stewards did not consider this to be a “significant breach” of sporting regulations as “nothing in the transfer that had not been legitimately provided to Racing Point in 2019 under the regulations then in force ”.
However, the transfer would still have raised concerns among rivals Racing Point and Mercedes given that the transfer of a listed part took place between the teams.
Asked by Motorsport.com as to why Racing Point received a part he was already aware of, team principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that he intended to have the brake lines as spare parts for the pre-season testing.
“The point is, if you read the rules, the sporting regulations, the new sporting regulations only apply 24 hours before the first practice session in the championship,” Szafnauer said.
“The reason we bought these parts, we don’t know if the parts that we designed and manufactured for this year were going to be made in time for winter practice, in February.
“So we received these parts as spare parts for the parts that would work during the winter testing. Now, it turned out that we didn’t need it at all, and our parts did.
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff called the move “totally irrelevant” because it had no bearing on the design of the brake ducts at Racing Point 2020.
“Everyone knows that in Formula 1 you produce your brake pipe or any part based on drawings, based on cut-out drawings, based on your own development,” Wolff said. “The Racing Point brake drums were all ready well before the end of the year, the brake lines were provided to help them with the winter testing as their parts were not ready.
“It no longer had any effect on their duct design. It is clearly stated by the FIA in their 10 or 12 page verdict that it was not important.
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 rear brake drum detail
Photo par: Giorgio Piola
Racing Point RP20 rear drum
Photo par: Giorgio Piola
Contrary to Szafnauer’s assertion, the sporting regulations do not come into force until 24 hours before, as specified in the decision of the stewards: “The date of entry into force of the 2020 sporting regulations is January 1, 2020, although they can partly determine actions prior to that date in order to guarantee compliance with the sporting regulations. ”
The stewards noted, however, that “the recent change in the status of the brake lines as listed parties further argues that censorship or penalization is not appropriate on this point.