Renault’s protest against the legality of the Racing Point has been deemed admissible by the FIA stewards at the Styrian Grand Prix and parts of the RP20 have been impounded.
The protest has been lodged against the front and rear brake ducts on this year’s Racing Point, with Renault claiming they are not the team’s own design but instead that of Mercedes last year. The brake ducts are among the listed parts that every constructor must design for themselves, or have the exclusive use of the design in Formula 1.
With the stewards accepting that Renault’s protest fits all the criteria required, the FIA Technical Department representative has been ordered to seal and impound the relevant parts from Racing Point. On top of that, Mercedes has been ordered by the stewards to “provide the front and rear brake air ducts of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ used by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in the 2019 season to the FIA Technical Department for examination.”
The FIA Technical Department representative will now carry out a detailed assessment of the parts in question, and “is further directed to provide a detailed report to the stewards with the findings and to include an assessment that matches those findings against the alleged infringements outlined in the protest.”
The stewards also give authorization for the representative to call upon outside technical assistance, including from representatives from Renault, Racing Point or Mercedes.
Once the likely submission of the FIA representative’s assessment can be outlined, the stewards will then be asked to reconvene to assess the claims lodged by Renault.
Should Renault’s protest be successful, the Racing Point cars would be excluded from the results of today’s Styrian Grand Prix as those are the results that were protested. Sergio Perez finished sixth at the Red Bull Ring and Lance Stroll seventh, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
The protest is a role reversal of last season, where Racing Point successfully protested the legality of a Renault brake bias system at the Japanese Grand Prix, resulting in Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg being excluded from sixth and 10th respectively.