Extraordinary accusations in F1 cheating scandal
A former F1 team boss has levelled extraordinary allegations against the Racing Point and Mercedes teams, as the brake duct scandal gets even murkier.
Colin Kolles, who was Team Principal at Jordan and Midland, which later became Racing Point, claims there’s no way the controversial brake ducts were designed simply by examining photographs.
Racing Point was fined $658,000 and docked 15 points in the constructors’ championship, after it was found the team’s brake ducts breached the sporting regulations.
As of 2020, each team is required to design their own brake ducts. Racing Point’s car has been dubbed the ‘Pink Mercedes’ given its obvious similarities to last year’s championship winning car, with the team openly admitting they produced the car after studying photographs of the Mercedes.
But according to Kolles, that excuse doesn’t stack up.
“From photos, you cannot copy a car,” Kolles told German television network Sport 1.
“It’s not just about the brake ducts. It’s about the whole concept of the car. It was not just copied from photos.
“(It’s more than) just parts, they also had certain data.”
Kolles claims Racing Point was in possession of intellectual property from Mercedes when they designed their 2020 car.
“They had, so I was told, a 60 per cent wind tunnel model and a (full size) show car as a template, from which parts were scanned and then converted into CAD (computer aided design) data.
“Otherwise the concept could not work.”
Racing Point is appealing the severity of the penalty handed down, while Renault and Ferrari are also appealing, arguing a harsher punishment is required.
Kolles also took aim at Toto Wolff, questioning the integrity of the Mercedes team boss. The pair have history, with Kolles reportedly trying to blackmail Wolff in 2013 after secretly recording a conversation where Wolff spoke negatively about his bosses.
“As the Mercedes group I would basically ask myself why the Mercedes team boss is always on vacation, on (Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll’s) boat or in Gstaad,” Kolles said.
“Many other things have happened that, in my opinion, were not entirely compliant.
“I think they have a very, very close connection.
“This is my personal opinion, but that’s not just my opinion, other people have that opinion too.”
Wolff strongly denies Mercedes had any role in the design of Racing Point’s 2020 car, calling the accusations “total nonsense.”
Rival team bosses have questioned the connection between Mercedes and Racing Point, with Red Bull’s Christian Horner saying “questions will get asked” in relation to the involvement of Mercedes.
“Copying the car more than from photos is something we would know,” Wolff told Autosport.
“That is why from my perspective, it is total nonsense to pursue that argument.
“I will be defending our brand firmly if somebody were to go down that route.”