Back in 2019, the Racing Point F1 team got the Renault team disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix. The French team had a reasonably good day in the office with both cars in the points. Unfortunately, it did not last long because the FIA seized the team’s steering wheels and Electronic Control Units (ECUs).
They accused Renault of using a pre-mediated brake bias adjustment system on both cars during the Japanese Grand Prix. Evidently, the FIA agreed and disqualified both cars from 6th and 10 respectively. However, it appears that the Renault F1 team has far from forgiven and forgotten.
We confirm that Renault DP World F1 Team has submitted a request to the Stewards of the Event for clarification on the legality of the Racing Point RP20. We have no further comment on this matter until the Stewards have arrived at a decision.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) July 12, 2020
How did Renault exact their revenge?
In the wake of the Styrian Grand Prix, Renault lodged a protest questioning the legality of both Racing Point F1 cars. The French outfit was concerned that Racing Point breached F1’s ban on customer cars and shared parts with the Mercedes F1 team. This is largely in reference to the resemblance between the Racing Point RP20 and 2019 Mercedes W10.
Apparently, the team had been debating about protesting, but elected to wait until this second race. It is worth noting that the Racing Point duo of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished sixth and seventh, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. However, if the FIA considers Renault’s complaint, Racing Point’s double points finish could be in jeopardy.
According to Appendix 6 of the sporting regulations: “A competitor shall, in respect of the Listed Parts to be used in its cars in Formula One, only use Listed Parts which are designed by it.”
“The obligation to design and use Listed Parts shall not prevent a competitor from Outsourcing the design. And/or manufacture of any Listed Parts to a third party (including an Associate of such competitor) provided that:
“It retains the exclusive right to use the Listed Parts in Formula One so long as it competes in Formula One. In the case of the Outsourcing of design, such third party shall not be a competitor or a party that directly or indirectly designs Listed Parts for any competitor.”
Even McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl often dubbed the RP20 as “last year’s Mercedes”. However, McLaren abstained from lodging a protest, but Renault had no such qualms.