Ask Tim: Why the FIA was right and wrong on Racing Point – F1

Racing Point claimed it received a set of 2019 Mercedes rear brake ducts as spares for its RP20 car for pre-season testing. How is it possible for the 2019 Mercedes brake ducts to be used on the RP20 car if the brake ducts Racing Point claimed to have designed itself for the 2020 car are not identical and a complete copy?

Justin Mayberry, via email

To answer the first part of that, the fixings where they attach to the uprights or suspension can be interchangeable with the Mercedes, as Racing Point has the Mercedes rear suspension components anyway given they’re non-listed components. So that’s how the RP20 could theoretically accommodate the rear brake ducts from last year’s Mercedes, as they become part of the suspension upright.

I understand that Racing Point was supplied with all the CAD drawings of the 2020 rear brake ducts, so it could adapt those to suit. What I’m unclear on is, if the team says it has made changes, how is it that the powers that be can’t see that having looked at all the components and the drawings and compared them to the Mercedes ones? It seems absurd to me that it would take the chance that it wouldn’t be found out.

As for the ducts now, the actual shapes and internals could be slightly different.

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