14:17 – Former world champion Alain Prost is not pleased with the copying behavior of Racing Point. The Renault adviser warns that Formula 1 creates a wrong precedent if one approves a Mercedes copy. According to the Frenchman, the FIA ruling is crucial for the future of the king class.
That Prost is skeptical about the RP20 is not surprising given its own function. The four-time world champion is affiliated with the only team that has formally protested Racing Point. That protest is officially about the brake ducts, but in fact it is about much more than that. Renault wants to denounce the copying of the 2019 Mercedes and thereby get the further trend line of F1 clear. Helmut Marko has already indicated that AlphaTauri will copy the 2020 Red Bull one-on-one if Racing Point gets the green light.
It is precisely that aspect that makes the FIA’s decision crucial for the future of F1, Prost believes. “Which Formula 1 do we want in the future? If we approve the Racing Point model, we have to ask ourselves whether it is good or bad for the sport. In my view, it would be very bad,” said Prost in conversation with Auto, Motor und Sport. “I don’t have anything against Racing Point by the way. On the contrary, I have a lot of respect for it. No other team has performed so well with such a limited budget”, he says, the protest is about much more than just the team from Silverstone.
Racing Point certainly didn’t just use photos
Prost is mainly concerned with the mechanisms behind this copying behavior. “It’s naive to think you can recreate something like this from photos. We all know it doesn’t work that way, even the people who say it now. You need outside help. When we talk about aerodynamics, a millimeters here or there already make a big difference. The current aerodynamics are so complex that it no longer works with a minimal error “, says the Frenchman. He thinks it is a bit too coincidental that Racing Point has perfectly recreated the Mercedes W10 and now scores with it. “For that, information must have been exchanged, there is no other way.” That does not mean that Mercedes is guilty. For example, the brake ducts were not yet on the list of ‘listed parts’ in 2019 and Mercedes was allowed to share all information with Racing Point. The latter team was not allowed to use that knowledge one-on-one in the design for 2020.
With such constructions, teams argue for clarity. Some formations prefer full copying in F1 to be released, although Prost certainly does not. “If they release everything completely, then you can wait for Williams to come up with a kind of Mercedes. And Haas and Alfa with a Ferrari. Then you are alone as an independent manufacturer, such as Renault. We can Don’t copy anything from others, even if we wanted to. To do that you first need a Mercedes engine and a corresponding gearbox. That is simply impossible for Renault. ”
VIDEO: The similarities between the Racing Point and the 2019 Mercedes