Ferrari are poised to remain on course for a court showdown with Racing Point in Formula One’s “cheat” row.
Racing Point were docked 15 constructors’ points and fined £361,000 for copying parts of the Mercedes Lewis Hamilton drove to last year’s championship title.
On Tuesday, Renault announced they have withdrawn their appeal against the FIA’s punishment of Racing Point. This comes after both McLaren and Williams decided against pressing ahead with a formal challenge.
Renault DP World F1 Team confirms that it has requested to withdraw the appeals lodged against the stewards’ decisions in relation to BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s brake ducts. pic.twitter.com/4jMHvU8oKC
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) August 25, 2020
But the PA news agency understands that, as it stands, Ferrari have no intention of following Renault, and are keen to seek further clarity over the FIA’s verdict and a stricter punishment.
Despite their points’ reduction, Ferrari head into this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, two points and two places behind Racing Point in the constructors’ standings in fifth.
The matter will end up at the FIA’s International Court of Appeal if the Italian team press ahead with their action.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 24, 2020
Renault, who first protested the Racing Point car at the season-opening race in Austria last month, said they were satisfied that the new Concorde Agreement – rules which bind the teams to the sport for the next five years – would safeguard against a repeat of the copycat row.
“Reaching this strategic objective, in the context of the new Concorde Agreement, was our priority,” the French constructor said in a statement.
“The controversy of the start of this season should be put behind us, as we need to focus on the remainder of an intense and unique championship.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team were dragged into the scandal after it emerged they had supplied a complete set of 2019 brake ducts to Racing Point on January 6.
It was also established that they provided Racing Point with computer-aided design models for the parts which assisted them in building this year’s car, dubbed the ‘Pink Mercedes’.
Better start packing. 🧳✈️ We've got a lovely Spa break planned this weekend. 😎 pic.twitter.com/kBWCWyc7Vw
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 25, 2020
F1’s governing body ruled that the transfer of brake ducts from Mercedes to Racing Point did not constitute a “significant breach of the sporting regulations” and the sharing of data was within the rules. The world champions deny any wrongdoing.
Hamilton holds a 37-point title lead over Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, but despite winning four of the six races this season – including a crushing win last time out in Spain – he has not won at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps track for three years.
“Our next race takes us to Spa where we haven’t won since 2017, so it feels like there’s unfinished business,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
“Winning in Spain was a great reward for all the smart work in the days before and it makes me very proud to see how this team just keeps raising the bar.”