McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown says that Racing Point got off lightly when the FIA ruled that that the team crossed the line of Formula 1 Sporting Regulations with the design of its 2020 car.
And Brown doesn't sound too happy about it.
Renault filed protests following each of the past three F1 races charging that the No. 11 and No. 18 Racing Point machines violated the Sporting Regulations by copying the brake duct design (at the very least) of the 2019 Mercedes F1 car that won the championship.
Brown was clearly upset that while Racing Point was fined £200,000 for each car and docked 15 points (7.5 points for each car) in the 14-page, 8300-plus word ruling, Racing Point is allowed to continue battling in the championship with cars that have already been ruled illegal.
"My initial reactions are that Racing Point has been found guilty and I am concerned that they still have those (parts) what were deemed illegal in Austria on the race car now," Brown said on Friday in Silverstone, where his team is preparing for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday at Silverstone. "I think that is confusing for the fans, how something that is not legal in Austria is still on the car. Around this whole copying, obviously they claimed that they had copied the car via photography. It’s clear from reading the document that is BS and therefore you have to question anything else around that car."
And Brown isn't buying that brake ducts on one team's car is the entire issue.
"I think this is, potentially, the top of the iceberg, the starting point of looking at what’s happened here, because I don’t think it’s healthy for the sport," Brown said. "The constructor gets the penalty, but the drivers don’t. As teams, we all compete with each other, but then all the drivers compete with each other and they’re able to keep their points when driver drivers are fighting for the Drivers’ Championship.
"So, I think it’s thrown up a lot more questions than answers and there’s new evidence that we’ve now been able to see and it’s something we are going to review quickly and understand the appeal process and whether that’s something that we potentially want to participate in."
Teams have 24 hours to appeal the ruling that came down on Friday.
"We’ve always been protective and proud of our status as an independent, true constructor that designs and manufactures our parts ourselves and then takes them to race track and races them," said Claire Williams, deputy team principal at Williams Formula 1 Team. "And then the results come thereafter. Obviously it is a very long document that the FIA have sent out and it is within the FIA’s jurisdiction power to determine what penalties are imposed for any breach of sporting or technical regulations and they have done that.
"Whether I agree personally, or the team, that the reprimand is appropriate or the sanctions that they put in place are appropriate I’ll bite my tongue on that. I think we all need a little bit of time to fully compute the outcome of it and to determine whether or to decide whether we take it any further forwards."