2019 Mercedes was 'inspiration' for new Racing Point car, says Green

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Racing Point technical director Andrew Green says he took "inspiration" from last year's Mercedes when designing the RP20.

The new car has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' on social media because of the remarkable similarities between it and the W10 which won both championships last year.

But, speaking in Barcelona, Green insists that the Silverstone-based squad hasn't simply copied the German manufacturer.

"The inspiration is from the quickest car from last year, and why wouldn't we?" he told Motorsport.

"We're in a position where we're using their [Mercedes' 2019] gearbox, we've got the same power unit, and the gearbox is designed for the suspension to go with a certain aerodynamic philosophy.

"We had a car that was running around seventh in the championship and we've got one more year of these regulations. The development that we were seeing with the high rake car to me just wasn't going to deliver and it was worth taking a risk.

"If it works, it works. If it doesn't, we've lost one year, but I don't think we would have lost anything relative to not doing it.

"The downside of not doing it was much greater."

Expanding on the 'risk' element though, the Racing Point chief also explained that, while the 2019 Mercedes car is proven to work, that doesn't mean the RP20 will perform exactly the same.

"We had to be confident that the team had the ability to understand what they were doing, and that's the risk," he said.

"I think from the data that we've seen during all the winter development our [aero] team have done a really good job at trying to understand how it all fits together and works.

"We've added our own bit to it, our own Racing Point side to it. So far, it seems really encouraging."

Indeed, Sergio Perez was third-fastest on Wednesday, behind the two Mercedes drivers, and was fastest overall on Thursday morning.

“My first impressions of the new car are positive,” said the Mexican. “Obviously, there’s still a long way to go with a lot of things we have to get on top of – but it’s definitely a promising start.

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"We spent the morning learning about the car and did a lot of aero testing with a couple of quick laps.

“Putting mileage onto the car is really important, especially with a limited amount of testing days available, and we have already gathered good information for the engineers. Hopefully we can keep improving in the coming days.”

The similarities between the Racing Point and last year's Mercedes haven't got unnoticed by their rivals and particularly Haas, who called out the hypocrisy in the team taking an approach they had previously criticised the American team for using.

"Sometimes you have to think before you talk, I will say that one because maybe one day it's your turn and then you cannot go against [it]," said team boss Guenther Steiner.

"As we all know, they complained quite heavily a few years ago, so now it is going full circle.

"It is up to them. I don't really care."