McLaren & Racing Point spar over ruling amid 'frustration'

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McLaren and Racing Point exchanged barbs after the latter was docked 15 points and fined for running illegal brake ducts on Friday.

The ruling from the stewards came as they upheld three protests by Renault, who successfully argued the parts broke the regulations around listed parts as they had been designed predominantly by Mercedes.

For Racing Point's rivals, however, the punishment didn't fit the crime, with McLaren, Renault and Ferrari all submitting an intention to appeal.

And commenting on the decision, McLaren CEO Zak Brown went in hard of the Silverstone-based team.

“Racing Point has been found guilty [and] I am concerned they still have those [parts] that were deemed illegal in Austria on the race car now,” he said on Friday.

“I think that’s confusing for the fans. How is something that is not legal in Austria still on the car?

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“They claimed they had copied the car via photography. It’s clear from reading the document that that’s BS, so, therefore, you have to question anything else around that car," he added.

“So I think this is potentially the tip of the iceberg, the starting point of looking at what’s happened here because I don’t think it’s healthy for the sport.”

His Racing Point counterpart Otmar Szafnauer was swift to respond and also pulled no punches.

"So to Zak Brown, it is BS because he's not an engineer," he said.

"He's got no idea what he's talking about. Zero. And I'm surprised at how little he knows about the rules of F1.

"It seems to me he knows more about historic racing than he does about F1."

Brown Szafnauer

The team is weighing up whether to pursue their own appeal to "clear our name", though Szafnauer did admit the potential costs may outweigh the size of the punishment itself.

And generally, the American admits his main emotion is frustration, given other teams have done the same thing "forever".

"We did have a relationship with it with another team (Mercedes) as Haas and Toro Rosso do (with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively), where they were running others' brake duct designs forever," he said.

"Haas, I don't think has ever run a brake duct design that wasn't Ferrari's, ever. They never designed their own.

"We've always designed our own and we started the process of getting some data legally from Mercedes on brake ducts in 2018, before they were even contemplating moving them from non-listed [parts] to listed [parts], and now we're in breach of a sporting regulation process that says, because we started with some data that we legally obtained from Mercedes, we're in breach.

"It's just ridiculous. That is the frustration.

"And you look at people like Haas, and Toro Rosso, who forever have been getting not just data but brake ducts and designs and everything, and they're all okay, but we're not? That's a frustration."