ANALYSIS: What happens now after Renault’s request to withdraw Racing Point appeal?
There was widespread surprise within Formula 1 circles on Tuesday night when Renault revealed their decision to withdraw an appeal against the penalty handed out to Racing Point for running what were deemed to be illegal rear brake ducts on their RP20 racing car. So now what?
Why have Renault asked to withdraw?
Renault have been the strongest voice when it has come to questioning the legality of Racing Point’s brake ducts, the French manufacturer the ones who protested the parts to the stewards and kept the pressure on with subsequent protests.
Along with Ferrari and Racing Point, they also moved to appeal the ruling – which handed Racing Point a €400,000 fine and a deduction of 15 world championship points for running brake ducts that were deemed to be of Mercedes' and not their own design, whilst allowing them to keep the offending parts on the car.
But on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix, Renault shocked their rivals by requesting a U-turn of their appeal. They said the signing of the new Concorde Agreement gave them piece of mind that “originality” in F1 – which was at the crux of their issue with Racing Point’s actions – would be safeguarded.
It was this signing that has been enough for Renault, now led by new CEO Luca de Meo who was in Spain and is believed to have held talks with a number of his respective counterparts, for them to back off and allow them to focus fully on securing a strong finish in the constructors’ championship.
Will Renault’s request be accepted?
This is a highly unusual situation, but it is believed Renault’s request will be accepted by the International Court of Appeal, who are set to come together to adjudicate the meeting.
What will Ferrari do?
Renault’s decision leaves Ferrari and Racing Point as the two parties still set to appeal the decision.
It is understood Renault informed Ferrari of their plans to withdraw before the announcement, however, there is believed to be widespread surprise as to the timing of the news.
As of this moment, Ferrari intend to push on with the appeal as they still disagree with the level of penalty and also want further clarity on the decision.
What about Racing Point?
It remains unclear whether this will impact Racing Point’s decision to appeal.
Owner Lawrence Stroll was “angry” at the penalty and “appalled” by the “poor sportsmanship” of his rivals. Ultimately, he was furious that the team’s (and by default his own) integrity had been called into question.
Regardless of Renault’s move, Racing Point may still feel that an appeal is worth pursuing as they do not believe they have done anything wrong and therefore do not deserve a penalty of any kind.
What happens if Ferrari and Racing Point push on?
The case will go to the International Court of Appeal, an independent body with its own administration detached from the main structure of the FIA.
A date has yet to be set, but it’s unlikely to take place until the middle of September at the earliest.