Wolff: Mercedes involvement in Racing Point brake duct case is "total nonsense"

Toto Wolff says suggestions Mercedes may have played a role in Racing Point's bid to copy its 2019 title-winning Formula 1 car are "total nonsense"

Wolff: Mercedes involvement in Racing Point brake duct case is "total nonsense"

Racing Point was hit with a 15-point constructors' championship penalty and fined €400,000 after it was deemed to have copied Mercedes' 2019 brake duct design.

The team has openly claimed it attempted to reverse engineer the Mercedes W10 in designing the Racing Point RP20 by using photographs of the car, doing so within the regulations.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the stewards' ruling on the brake duct case proved this claim was "BS", and that the rest of the RP20 car also had to be questioned.

The stewards' ruling made no suggestion of wrongdoing on Mercedes' part, but both Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and Red Bull F1 chief Christian Horner have hinted at questions over Mercedes' involvement.

Horner said that "questions will get asked" of Mercedes, adding: "If the team in question are guilty of receiving [designs], surely the team that has provided has also been in breach of those regulations?"

But Mercedes F1 team principal Wolff said it was wrong to suggest Racing Point had gone further than using photography in designing its car, and would defend any questioning of Mercedes' role in the case.

"Copying the car more than from photos is something we would know," Wolff said.

"That is why from my perspective, it is total nonsense to pursue that argument.

"I will be defending our brand firmly if somebody were to go down that route."

When asked by Autosport if the suggestions made by Mercedes' rivals was a consequence of being a leader with a target on its back, Wolff said he did not see it that way.

"I don't think it's related to being a leader," he said.

"I think Formula 1 has always been the competition on the track and also the competition off the track.

"As hard as we race each other on Sunday or on Saturday, we also fight the political game that is important, and has always been the case.

"The Racing Point case is an opportunity for your direct competitors to maybe push us hard and that has always been the case.

"We have a clear position on the Racing Point situation and in that respect it doesn't really bother us, and it shouldn't bother us, because the FIA have made that clarification.

"The little nudging that is happening around that is something that is acceptable."

The FIA has already confirmed it will clamp down on teams trying to copy other cars through reverse engineering from 2021, allaying fears from many on the grid.

The move prompted both Williams and McLaren to withdraw their appeals against the Racing Point ruling, but Ferrari and Renault are continuing with action.

Racing Point has also lodged an appeal with the FIA International Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn the penalty.

shares
comments
Leclerc stopped from rejoining F1 Spanish GP by Ferrari engine issue
Previous article

Leclerc stopped from rejoining F1 Spanish GP by Ferrari engine issue

Next article

Red Bull has "a lot of belief" in Albon despite current F1 struggles

Red Bull has "a lot of belief" in Albon despite current F1 struggles
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022