Renault, Racing Point set for hearing over 'pink Mercedes' protest

The hearing into Renault's protest over the legality of Formula One rival's Racing Point's 2020 car will take place at Silverstone today.

Renault has lodged an identical protest after the last three F1 races. The protest revolves around concerns about Racing Point's collaboration with Mercedes, notably around the design of the brake ducts.

Racing Point has not denied basing its 2020 car on the 2019 championship-winning Mercedes, but the point of contention is whether this was done within the regulations. Racing Point insists it can prove all of its designs are its own intellectual property and that no illegal exchange of information took place with Mercedes.

Mercedes representatives will also attend the hearing with Renault and Racing Point, which started at 1130 local time.

If Renault's protest is successful, Racing Point will lose its points from the past three races -- Renault did not protest the team after the Austrian Grand Prix, the opening race of the season. Racing Point will be entitled to lodge an appeal to that outcome.

The issue has split opinion in the F1 paddock. Some other teams have voiced concerns at Racing Point's car. McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl said the result of the protest

"This protest is another key element on making some clarifications, on the FIA and Formula One side of what they want Formula One to be in the future," Seidl said. "Do they want that Formula 1 is ending up in a copying championship?

"In a championship where you end up with two or three constructors' or manufacturers', and we simply have then more cars of one manufacturer or constructor on-track? We definitely think [it] is the wrong way to go for Formula 1, and is not a sustainable way for us."

F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn has thrown his support behind Racing Point, saying what they have done is what designers -- himself included -- have been doing for years in F1.

"My view is copying in Formula One is standard," Brawn said last month. "Every team has, in normal times, digital photographers in the pit lane out there taking thousands of photos of every car for analysis, with a view of copying the best ideas. We used to give our photographers a shopping list.

"Racing Point have just taken it to the next stage and done a more thorough job."