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Renault withdraws appeal over Racing Point penalty


In the latest turn in Formula One’s ongoing copying row, Renault has asked to withdraw the appeal it lodged against Racing Point’s penalty earlier this month.

Racing Point was docked 15 points and fined €400,000 after a panel of FIA stewards found the design of its rear brake ducts to be in breach of F1’s sporting regulations for being too similar to Mercedes’ 2019 design. The decision was originally appealed by Renault, Ferrari and Racing Point and is due to go to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (ICA) unless the other two appeals are also withdrawn.

Racing Point is looking to clear its name at the ICA, but Ferrari and Renault said they were motivated by seeking further clarity on how much of a car’s design can be based on that of a rival.

As recently as the Spanish Grand Prix, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said he believed Racing Point should be stripped of all the points it had earned since the first protest against the brake ducts was lodged at the Styrian Grand Prix in early July.

However, in a statement on Tuesday night, Renault said it had informed the FIA of its decision to withdraw its protest.

“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,” the Renault statement said.

“Beyond the decisions, the matters at issue were vital to the integrity of Formula One, both during the current season and in the future. However, intensive and constructive work between the FIA, Renault DP World F1 Team and all Formula One stakeholders has led to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality in the sport by way of amendments to the sporting and technical regulations planned for the 2021 racing season, confirming the requirements to qualify as a constructor.”

The announcement came one week after all ten teams signed the latest version of the Concorde Agreement — a contract that dictates the governance and commercial elements of the sport and binds the teams to Formula One.

“Reaching this strategic objective, in the context of the new Concorde Agreement, was our priority,” the Renault statement added. “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.”


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