In NASCAR the cars are designed to be as close to each other as possible despite being from three different manufacturers; but in Formula One Racing each car manufacturer must design and build their own cars.

On August 7, Formula One stewards penalized Racing Point for attempting to copy and reverser engineer a Mercedes design.  The team was docked 15 constructor’s championship points and fine 400,000 euros – $470,000.  The penalties do not affect any of the drivers and their current standings.

Ferrari and McLaren have stated that they will appeal the decision.

In the ruling the Stewards deemed that the design of the 2019 championship winning car was a slightly modified Mercedes design.

After the listed parts included the brake ducts, Team Renault filed a protest over the designs, which prompted the investigation and subsequent penalties.

Racing Pont argued that they did not copy the design, merely used the information about the parts when creating the design.

In every form of racing, aerodynamics and any advantage a team can eek out is a major priority; as a result, brake duct designs have become more elaborate over recent years.

Formula One is looking to make a rule change to address the issue of reverse engineering rival team’s cars.  FIA head of single-seater matters Niklas Tombazis said, “we We don’t want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes, or copies of Mercedes, on the grid, where the main skill becomes how you do this process.”  Adding, “we,do plan, in the very short notice, to introduce some amendment to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm. It will prevent (teams) from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way Racing Point has done.”

 

feature photo credit: By Alberto-g-rovi – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92380501