Tombazis: FIA to send "a very strong message" against design by photography
FIA head of single-seater technical matters Nicholas Tombazis has confirmed Formula 1's sporting regulations will be changed to prevent teams adopting Racing Point's 'design-by-photography' philosophy.
Racing Point was hit with a 15-point constructors' penalty and a €400,000 fine after being found guilty of failing to design its own rear brake ducts following a protest from Renault.
"We, the FIA, and Formula 1 have been spending quite a lot of time discussing this topic and we think it is important to explain a few concepts and what we are thinking to do about it.
“First of all, copying has been taking place in Formula 1 for a long time. People take photos and sometimes reverse engineers them and make similar concepts or, in some areas, even identical concepts, or close to identical as other teams.
“We do not think this can stop in the future completely, but what we do think is that Racing Point took this to another level.
“They clearly decided to apply this philosophy for the whole car by doing what I would call a paradigm shift, or they actually used a disruption in the process of what has been the norm of designing a Formula 1 car in the last 40 years.
“So one should not penalise them for that because they were original in deciding to follow this approach."
Ferrari's former chief designer, however, feels now is clearly the right time to end such a practice by making the rules clear.
“However, we do not think this is what Formula 1 should become," added Tombazis. "We don’t want next year to have eight or 10 Mercedes’, or copies of Mercedes, on the grid where the main skill becomes how you do this process.
“We don’t want this to become the norm of Formula 1, and we do plan in the very short notice to introduce some amendments to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this from becoming the norm.
“It will prevent teams from using extensive parts 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 and local areas, but we don’t want the whole car to be fundamentally a copy of another car.”
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