'Copying' in F1 'around for decades' – Todt

Jul.22 (GMM) FIA president Jean Todt says the practice of “copying other teams” has been in Formula 1 “for decades”.

His statement comes amid the saga surrounding Racing Point’s so-called ‘pink Mercedes’, with Renault’s protest unofficially supported by several other teams.

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn said earlier this week that “there isn’t a team in the paddock that hasn’t copied something from” a rival.

Racing Point, arguing that it designed its 2020 car from detailed photographs, has pushed the regulations to the limit with its car that strongly resembles last year’s Mercedes.

“Copying other teams is something that has been around for decades,” FIA president Todt told L’Equipe.

“All the teams take that into account when it comes to their designs. I remember Adrian Newey always coming to see the Ferrari on the grid,” said the former Ferrari boss.

Renault has now protested the design of Racing Point’s brake inlets after both the second race in Austria as well as Sunday’s Hungarian GP.

“For a team to make a protest is quite normal,” said Todt. “Red Bull did the same in Melbourne to verify the legality of the DAS system.

“Of course, it is always better to make a protest at the beginning of the weekend instead of afterwards.

“But in case of doubt, you always have to protest. Then, it is about the interpretation of the regulations.

“The teams that have interpreted it the best have benefitted the most, but it is very important to know where the limit is,” Todt added.

Former Mercedes boss Norbert Haug told Sky Deutchland that he hopes Sebastian Vettel moves to Racing Point next year, which is set to become Aston Martin.

“They are really the second force behind Mercedes now,” he said.

“It’s a clever project, using certainly a fraction of the money that Ferrari uses. They have done it very, very cleverly,” the German added.

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