Racing Point only returning to philosophy of 'fast followers' thanks to Stroll money

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Racing Point is only able to once again follow the design trends of Formula 1's best teams because of Lawrence Stroll's investment, CEO Otmar Szafnauer says.

This season, the Silverstone-based outfit has caused a rumble by producing a car most have dubbed a 'Pink Mercedes' because of its likeness to last year's championship-winning W10.

While controversial, the approach has certainly worked with Racing Point the second fastest team in Hungary behind the 2020 (black) Silver Arrow.

But though the level to which the team has gone in copying a rivals car maybe the most extreme F1 has seen, Szafnauer insists it's not new for the former Force India outfit.

“The thing that’s special about us is we’ve always had a talented bunch of individuals there that were really held back by lack of funding,” said Szafnauer, quoted by RaceFans.

“We’ve been wanting to do this kind of thing for a long time, but really never had the money to follow the best team in Formula 1.

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“We’re fast followers, looking to see what’s out there and adapt it ourselves.

“We were the first to put a double diffuser on our car in [2009], I think we were the first, even ahead of Red Bull, and if you remember the F-duct that McLaren came out with, we were the first to implement an F-duct after McLaren did it.

"So if you look back at our history, we’ve been able to do it with the talented individuals that we have.

“But later on in our history we just didn’t have the money [to continue doing it]," the American added. “Those days are gone because we’re funded well which allows us to actually show the talent that we have and do what we’ve done.”

While Racing Point may be taking inspiration from proven concepts other teams have introduced, Szafnauer explains it's not as easy as reproducing those parts and suddenly you match the performance.

“It doesn’t come without risk,” he said. “We didn’t know that what we were doing was going to work to the level that it has.

“There was a big risk that we were going to take a step backwards and, as a matter of fact, when we started developing this [the 2020 car] in the tunnel with ideas that we saw through pictures we took a huge step backwards. I mean huge, seconds a lap slower at the beginning.

“It was our own learning that we did through the developed a process of CFD and tunnel work and then more designs and redesigns that got us to the place we did."

For some, however, that story doesn't ring totally accurate and Renault has protested the Racing Point car at the past two races, in particular the brake ducts.

The CEO though is confident their complaints will fail, revealing the FIA has already agreed their entire car is legal and that the stewards are simply going through the process.

But just in case...

“I don’t think it will go against us, but if it does, we will appeal,” Szafnauer confirmed.

“Our brake ducts are legal. We didn’t contravene any sporting or technical regulations on the brake ducts, or any other part of the car for that matter.”