Wolff adamant Racing Point/Mercedes broke no rules, open to debate 'copycat' cars

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff remains sure that his team and Racing Point broke no rules in developing the RP20 car.

On Friday, the Silverstone-based team was docked 15 points and fined 400k Euros after the stewards deemed the rear brake ducts on their 2020 car breached regulations on listed parts as they were designed predominantly by Mercedes.

But rather than settling the issue, it has instead erupted with five teams submitting an intention to appeal, McLaren, Williams Ferrari and Renault all seeking a harsher punishment, while Racing Point wants an acquittal.

During the process, Wolff has staunchly supported Mercedes' customer team and believes the ruling given by the stewards doesn't follow the written regulations.

"We feel a 100% comfortable with our position, we have read the rules over and over again," he said on Friday.

"The verdict that came out today is extremely complicated and comes up with an interpretation that is new to all of us.

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"I know the case inside out. We were surprised [at the verdict] in a way because there is a strong belief from everybody who is involved, all the lawyers that are a part of this, that it was going to be perfectly within the regulations.

"The tricky bit is that in 2019 those parts were unlisted parts then became listed parts but those parts were supplied in 2019. Full stop.

"They [Racing Point] didn't breach any technical regulations because in 2019 those parts were not listed and became listed the following year, and there was no concrete regulation or technical directive that said you aren't allowed to use 2019 parts that you have copied and re-designed yourself, to whatever point, in 2020. It doesn't say that, and this is exactly what Racing Point did.

"The interesting bit is that all the other teams seem to think they haven't designed them themselves, which they did," Toto insisted

"There are 1,000 drawings around [886 according to Racing Point], they've re-engineered them, and it comes to the point of an interpretation of a regulation that doesn't exist."

During their investigation, the FIA made it clear there was "no indication" of any Mercedes wrongdoing in the Racing Point process.

And now that an appeal is almost certain, Wolff believes the case both teams put forward will be successful.

"We can have that legal discussion endlessly, but at the end, to be honest, there is zero worry on our side and when I say zero, I mean zero, that we were in any breach," he said.

"Nor do I think that Racing Point was in breach, and I believe that if that would go to the ICA [International Court of Appeal], it would probably be a complex matter because it's technical, but I doubt there would be any outcome."

As it is, the Mercedes boss believes the crux of the matter is more about the ability for teams to copy each other's design and be successful, rather than a set of brake ducts.

"I respect the opinion of the other side, that cars shouldn't look like some other cars but now, none of the regulations prohibits that," he explained.

"I don't think that the brake ducts are the reason that they suddenly come for the first six positions. I think it's a splendid engineering team there that has extracted the most from the regulations. I think we can have the debate of, 'Do we want this going forward in terms of having copies of old cars?'

"Our belief there is nothing that was against the regulations because the technology exists. We saw it last year, on a few occasions, one of our main competitors with a 3D camera scanning our cars, in the garage and outside of the garage.

"So scanning the whole car, and when you plug that into a computer, it gives you all the shapes.

"There is nothing that prohibits that. Everybody has spy photographers sitting on the roofs of the opposite building, we're zooming in to the smallest detail on every car, and if we don't want this to happen then we need to close that avenue."