Racing Point calls Renault's protest 'misconceived and poorly informed'

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Racing Point has criticised Formula One rivals Renault for the "misconceived and poorly informed" protest which led to its brake ducts being impounded by the FIA after the Styrian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished sixth and seventh respectively at Austria's second F1 race of the season, but immediately after the event Renault lodged an official protest. The complaint centred around allegations Racing Point's car, the RP20, does not comply with regulations requiring teams to design and manufacture its own brake ducts.

On Sunday night the FIA deemed the protest admissible. The FIA's technical department seized Racing Point's rear and front brake ducts to investigate and will compare them with Mercedes' 2019 design.

Last year, brake ducts were allowed to be bought from rival teams and Racing Point's were supplied by Mercedes, but a change to the regulations ahead of the season means they are now one of the "listed parts" teams must design themselves. The investigation will likely centre on whether Racing Point can prove it redesigned its own brake ducts this year and owns the intellectual property to them.

A statement from the team said: "BWT Racing Point F1 Team is extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest.

"Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.

"Prior to the start of the season, the team co-operated fully with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the design of the RP20. The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response."

The similarities between Racing Point's 2020 car and the 2019 Mercedes have been a talking point since preseason testing in February and the RP20 was quickly dubbed 'the pink Mercedes'. Racing Point has never denied using the Mercedes as inspiration for this year's car but has always maintained that it can prove the designs are its own intellectual property.

Racing Point enjoys a close technical partnership with the world champions and already uses Mercedes' engine, gearbox and outboard suspension components, but all of these are allowed to be bought from a rival team under the regulations.

Racing Point also uses Mercedes' wind tunnel to develop its car as part of an agreement between the two teams.