FIA: 'No indication' Mercedes broke the rules regarding Racing Point car

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The FIA has said there is "no indication" of wrongdoing by Mercedes relating the design of Racing Point's 2020 car.

Currently, the Formula 1 governing body is conducting an investigation into the legality of the RP20 after Renault initially protested at the Styrian Grand Prix before doing so again last weekend in Hungary.

Their argument is Racing Point have breached the regulations regarding listed parts, ie parts that each team must design themselves, and have even gone as far as to claim the Silverstone-based outfit obtains drawings of last year's Mercedes W10.

But while the German manufacturer might be involved in the FIA's investigation, only on certain grounds would they themselves be implicated in an illegal act.

"I think it has to be differentiated a bit because if a transfer of IP (intellectual property) took place on a listed component that was also listed last year, so if say, Mercedes had given Racing Point the front wing design, which was listed, there's no way that you can ever argue that is acceptable in the regulations," FIA head of single-seater technical matters, Nikolas Tombazis, explained.

"I think then Mercedes would be very heavily implicated as co-guilty in that particular example. But, to be clear, we haven't got any such indication. I think the information that was passed, if passed at all, was non listed components in 2019.

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"I think Mercedes is not implicated in that. What is the debate at the moment is not whether Racing Point actually had such components in 2019, it's what happens after that, when these components change category status [to listed].

"I think that is the crux of it, and how Racing Point treated that information is what is under scrutiny, it's not whether such information was originally received during 2019.

"If in the investigation it was found that Mercedes passed information on brake ducts during 2020, then yes, Mercedes would be implicated, but we don't have any such indications."

Tombazis then revealed the process that the FIA is undertaking and has undertaken so far, in assessing the legality of Racing Point's brake ducts.

"In this process, we confiscated eight such components from Racing Point from the previous Grand Prix," he said.

"We inspected them, and we confirmed they were all identical [to each other], all the fronts were identical to each other, and all the rears were identical.

"Hence with the approval of the stewards and of Renault we gave six of them back to Racing Point and we kept one front and one rear.

"We've asked Mercedes to give us the components they used last year that Renault say are similar to the ones Racing Point are using.

"And we've also asked both Racing Point and Mercedes to submit the CAD data of these components, so we can do a detailed comparison and see in what ways they're similar and what ways are not similar."

Though Renault could potentially gain significant points should the Racing Point cars be declared illegal, speaking last weekend, executive director Marcin Budkowski explained the point of their protest is more about the future direction of F1.

“I think for us it’s important to clarify… what is permissible and what isn’t for this season,” he said. “But also what Formula 1 we want in the future. What is the model we want?

“Is it permissible to get parts or get geometries from another team and use them on your car or not — because we don’t think that’s the right model for F1 in the future. It’s really beyond the protest, beyond this race.”