Rival slams Renault as Daniel Ricciardo problem cripples teammate

Racing Point has hit back at Renault’s “misconceived and poorly-informed” protest about the legality of its cars after the Styrian GP.

Renault lodged a protest with the stewards in the hours after Sunday’s race against their rival’s RP20 car in what was effectively a culmination of a long-running saga since winter testing in February.

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Renault said it had requested “clarification on the legality” of their rival’s car, which Racing Point says has been influenced by last year’s Mercedes.

Stewards deemed the protest admissible on Sunday night, with the brake ducts on Racing Point’s cars impounded for analysis by the FIA. Mercedes has also been asked to submit the brake air ducts on its 2019 car.

In a statement, Racing Point, who has always insisted it adhered to all F1’s regulations in the design of the RP20, said it expected the protest to be dismissed when it is heard.

“BWT Racing Point F1 Team is extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest,” the statement read.

“Any and all suggestion of wrongdoing is firmly rejected and the team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulations to the facts.

“Prior to the start of the season, the team co-operated with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the designs of the RP20.

“The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response.”

Racing Point’s cars finished sixth and seventh at the second Austria race, just ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, and the team sits fourth in the constructors’ championship after two events.

Renault cited several clauses in the Sporting Regulations — most notably the one regarding listed parts — in its documentation to the stewards.

A date for the case to be heard will be set once all the evidence has been gathered by the FIA technical representative.

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Racing Point is under the microscope.Source:Getty Images

Renault has problems in its own backyard. Ricciardo retired from the season-opening race in Austria with a radiator issue and his teammate Esteban Ocon was crippled by the exact same problem at race No. 2 on the weekend.

After two grands prix Renault is sixth in the constructors’ standings and doesn’t have much time to fix its mechanical woes before this weekend’s event in Hungary.

Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski told motorsport.com the car troubles have been “extremely, extremely frustrating and extremely disappointing”.

“We used the same radiators in Barcelona pre-season testing, and we had no issues whatsoever,” Budkowski said. “So whether it’s the kind of thermal duty cycle of the circuit, whether it’s the famous kerbs of Spielberg, there’s something we didn’t understand, or we didn’t manage to spot.

“So we’re going to take stronger containment measures for the next race, but we’re extremely disappointed that we had the same problem twice and we lost two point scoring opportunities with each driver.

“So we are going to look at it very, very hard again, so all the radiators are on the way again, back to Enstone to be checked.”

Renault has had a rocky start to the 2020 season.Source:AFP

With Sky Sports

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