FIA bans 3D cameras as part of F1 car copying clampdown

Formula 1 teams will be banned from using 3D cameras and complex software systems to copy rival designs, as rules preventing a repeat of the 'Pink Mercedes' controversy are revealed

FIA bans 3D cameras as part of F1 car copying clampdown

Racing Point's actions in cloning last year's Mercedes W10 caused controversy earlier this year, with rivals unhappy that the Silverstone-based outfit had gained such an advantage by copying a rival car.

Following a protest from Renault, Racing Point was found guilty of having illegally used Mercedes' design IP with its rear brake ducts. The team was fined 400,000 Euro and docked 15 constructors' championship points for its actions.

Amid concerns that Racing Point's tactics could open the door for other teams to be forced to go down a copycat route to be successful, the FIA moved to come up with regulations that would prevent that happening.

The FIA's head of single-seater matters Nikolas Tombazis said at the time: "This will prevent teams from using extensive part of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in the way that Racing Point has done.

"We will still accept individual components to be copied in local areas, but we don't want the whole car to be fundamentally a copy of another car."

The new technical regulations have been revealed and explain in detail that teams will no longer be allowed to share IP with another outfit, or 'reverse engineer' rival designs for those listed parts that it must create itself.

The rules make clear that teams can be 'influenced by the design or concept of a competitor's' design.

However, they can only do so 'using information that must potentially be available to all competitors' and such knowledge can only be gained at race and test events, so no work on this front can be done away from the track.

To prevent teams from reverse engineering rival designs, the FIA has imposed strict bans on a number of actions that have been open to teams previously.

The FIA states that teams will not be allowed:

a. The use of photographs or images, combined with software that converts them to point clouds, curves, surfaces, or allows CAD geometry to be overlaid onto or extracted from the photograph or image

b. The use of stereophotogrammetry, 3D cameras or any 3D stereoscopic techniques

c. Any form of contact or non-contact surface scanning

d. Any technique that projects points or curves on a surface so as to facilitate the reverse-engineering process

If there are occasions where there are big similarities between listed components on different cars, the FIA has to right to investigate the matter and will ask teams to prove that the design was done independently.

The regulations state: "It will be the role of the FIA to determine whether this resemblance is the result of reverse engineering or of legitimate independent work."

Teams will be asked to provide data and information to prove that they have complied with the rules and designed components themselves from scratch.

While Racing Point's 2020 design was in breach of the regulations, and will be used again next year, the FIA says that there will be a cut off point for judging if components were reverse engineered - so the outfit will not need to change things for next season.

It says that any listed parts components used in 2019, or the first event of the 2020 championship, will be classified as having been designed by teams and not reverse engineered.

However, any new parts used after that period will need to comply with the new restrictions.

shares
comments
Steiner accepts risk of all-rookie F1 line-up at Haas in 2021

Previous article

Steiner accepts risk of all-rookie F1 line-up at Haas in 2021

Next article

F1 makes $104m loss as income recovers due to late start

F1 makes $104m loss as income recovers due to late start
Load comments
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021