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'We did nothing wrong' insists Szafnauer as Racing Point ponder brake duct appeal

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Racing Point are weighing up whether or not to appeal the FIA’s decision to uphold Renault’s protest against their brake ducts, with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer saying the team did “nothing wrong” and therefore the decision is “unfair”…

The pink team were deducted 15 world championship points and fined €400,000 after the FIA stewards ruled, in a 14-page document, that Racing Point’s rear brake ducts must be considered Mercedes designs, which is against the rules.

READ MORE: Racing Point deducted 15 points and fined heavily as Renault protest into car legality upheld

“We are still trying to digest it, we need to ask some questions and get further clarification,” Szafnauer told F1.com. “It’s a bit disappointing. We thought we are well within the rules and did absolutely nothing wrong. We invited the FIA in March to come and view everything that we did. We had full disclosure.

“Thereafter, they wrote to us and said we were completely compliant. So that’s a bit disappointing. However, we now have to assess the sanction that was given. The FIA have acknowledged the rules of non-listed parts going to listed parts were far from clear and ambiguous and they could be viewed from two different sides.

The initial thought is that from our perspective, we did nothing wrong so that’s unfair.

Otmar Szafnauer, Racing Point Team Principal

“They took that into consideration when docking us points for half of the points that we achieved at the Styrian Grand Prix. And we just have to look at that now and decide whether to appeal or just move on.

“The initial thought is that from our perspective, we did nothing wrong so that’s unfair. There’s always two perspectives, I guess. The FIA were the arbiters on this. We now have to discuss with the FIA what is going to happen going forward.”

READ MORE: Under the skin of Renault's protest of Racing Point's RP20

Racing Point will continue to run the same brake ducts in races, starting with this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. “We can’t change brake ducts, we can’t unlearn what we have learned,” said Szafnauer. “My belief is from reading the document that this is the end of it and then we just have to decide what to do.”

He added: “We read the sporting regulations and there is nothing in there which specifically says we couldn’t do what we did. Other teams have done exactly the same, probably even more than what we have done in a way, so it’s a bit bewildering.”

Racing Point's Szafnauer reacts to Renault protest and Perez's absence

It would be very unreasonable to expect Racing Point to forget their knowledge and to design again from a clean sheet of paper from scratch

Nicholas Tombazis, FIA Head of Single Seater Technical Matters

He added: “We read the sporting regulations and there is nothing in there which specifically says we couldn’t do what we did. Other teams have done exactly the same, probably even more than what we have done in a way, so it’s a bit bewildering.”

FIA Head of Single Seater Technical Matters Nicholas Tombazis said it would be “unreasonable” to expect Racing Point to “forget” what they have learned and design brake ducts from scratch.

“On the basis of the stewards’ decision, I think the answer to that question is no,” he said when asked if they need to redesign the brake ducts. “And I think there is plenty of reason for that. It would be very unreasonable to expect Racing Point to forget their knowledge and to design again from a clean sheet of paper from scratch, because designs never work that way, they always start with existing knowledge, so somehow to expect them to do something completely different would be very unreasonable.

“It would also be very difficult for us to ascertain whether something is sufficiently different or not, so that would be quite an unreasonable expectation.”

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