Copying is standard in Formula 1. That says Formula 1 technical director Ross Brawn in response to Renault’s protests against Racing Point, which allegedly had parts (especially at the brakes) of last year’s Mercedes car copied.
“Each team copies from each other. In standard times, photographers of the pit lane teams take thousands of photos of each car to analyze them to capture the best ideas.
In my time as a team boss, we sent photographers into the pits with a shopping list,” writes Brawn in his column on the Formula 1 website.
There is a lot to do about the pink racing car of Racing Point, which is very fast this year. The team used the Mercedes engine and was allowed to take over other parts in the past. For this year, the rules have been changed to the extent that certain parts have to be designed by the teams themselves.
The part about which Renault has now submitted two protests (the brake ducts), concerns such a part. According to Renault, Racing Point has not designed anything themselves and the team uses an exact copy of Mercedes in violation of the new rules.
Brawn sees no harm, even though the international motorsport federation FIA is investigating the protests. “Racing Point was allowed to use the Mercedes brake parts last year legally and should now erase all that knowledge and make its own design.
There is no logic in that. The team does what has been used in Formula 1 for years; no racing stable has not copied anything from others. I have certainly copied others.”