Mercedes ‘happy to go to court’ over Racing Point controversy

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Mercedes ‘happy to go to court’ over Racing Point controversy

Formula 1

Mercedes ‘happy to go to court’ over Racing Point controversy

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he is “happy to go to court” if anybody protests his team’s role in the Racing Point brake ducts controversy.

Racing Point’s 2020 car is heavily based on last year’s Mercedes, to the extent that the team copied the 2019 Mercedes rear brake ducts using CAD drawings as part of a technical partnership between the two. However, brake ducts are listed parts this season and have to be designed by each team, leading the FIA stewards to penalize Racing Point for the way it went about the design process, and reprimanding the team at each subsequent race.

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Racing Point is still allowed to use the brake ducts because they comply with the regulations from a purely technical standpoint, but rival teams have appealed the decision. Mercedes supplied the parts in question to Racing Point as late as January this year, and Wolff insists the Daimler board is not annoyed at being linked to the controversy.

“It was clear that a reprimand would happen to the team, the reprimand has no consequence to the team, but it’s just this is a mechanism of saying we’re not entirely happy with the situation,” Wolff said. “That’s their interpretation.

“On the other side, we have not been protested. We have done nothing wrong. I strongly believe that Racing Point has done nothing wrong. I believe that if this goes to the International Court of Appeal, the lawyers and the barristers have a strong opinion that this is a case that has very, very solid pillars, and therefore everybody’s in a good place about that.

“I’m speaking to Ola (Kallenius, chairman of the board at Daimler) every single day. We’re speaking about good things and bad things, and obviously our reputation is very important, but it is intact. And if someone thinks that we have done something wrong, they should protest, and we’re happy to go to court.”

Wolff said there was nothing in the rules that prevents Mercedes from supplying the CAD data to Racing Point until this year, and suggested that it is up to the receiving team to decide what it does with that information.

“The rule came in place for the 2020 season,” he said. “That is what the rule says, so you were allowed to provide them with drawings and CAD data all through 2018 and 2019, because it was perfectly permissible. It was perfectly permitted.

“I don’t know what we should think what Racing Point does, but I think that even using them on the 2020 car was not something that was regulated.”

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