McLaren deny any Mercedes role in withdrawing Racing Point appeal

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McLaren has denied any suggestion that their developing relationship with Mercedes resulted in the team withdrawing their Racing Point appeal.

Last weekend, the Woking-based outfit was one of five teams to signal their intention in seeking a harsher punishment against their pink rivals after they were docked 15 points and fined 400k Euros for running brake ducts that breached the regulations on listed parts.

With Mercedes the team that supplied Racing Point with those parts, and leading the attempted peace efforts to avoid an appeal, many were quick to point out the links between the German manufacturer and McLaren, as they will supply engines from 2021, as a possible reason for their withdrawal.

“Just to be clear, it has nothing to do with Mercedes,” team boss Andreas Seidl told Sky Sports.

“The protest from Renault is against the Racing Point and not against Mercedes. What we did at Silverstone first and foremost is show our intention to appeal to give us more time to understand what the FIA and Formula 1 wants to do in order to stop this copying that we have seen this year.

“In the end, I clearly see us as winners from all of these discussions over the last two, three months because there is a clearly an agreement and commitment from the FIA to stop this which for us, as an independent team, is very important for our existence and also for our competitiveness in the future, so we are happy with that and of course we will follow with interest what happens next.

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“For us, it is simply important to have clear regulations in place that stops copying in the way it has been done this year on the Racing Point. What we have seen so far from the communication via the FIA is that we’ll get that for next year and that is the most important thing for us.

“As we know, the International Court of Appeal [process] takes time but we are out of this process at the moment and so we need to focus on ourselves. As we have seen at Silverstone, it’s good to spend the energy with the team and the energy on improving the team.”

The German also said the controversy had not had any impact on their relationship with Mercedes, despite being on opposing sides of the debate.

"[There is] absolutely no bad blood between us and Mercedes," he insisted.

"We have a great relationship anyway with Toto, with Mercedes, with the guys from Brixworth preparing for next year.

"In the end, the case which is on at the minute is with Racing Point and not Mercedes."

Brown Szafnauer

That being said, McLaren CEO Zak Brown did have a little dig at his Racing Point counterpart Otmar Szafnauer, who last weekend accused the American of "knowing more about historic racing than he does about F1" because he's "not an engineer".

“A lot of what Otmar said is true, I’m not an engineer but as CEO I’ve never been fined a dollar let alone €400k," he said, "and Otmar also thought it was 7.5 points until Sky told him differently.

“I’d invite him to come and join me [historic racing]. He’s got a historic car that he’s currently racing.”