Szafnauer dismisses claims of Racing Point design 'short-cuts'
Otmar Szafnauer is adamant Racing Point was not a "bookend" example of a team taking development 'short-cuts' despite an early-season penalty for copying.
The team was docked 15 constructors' championship points and fined €400,000 after being found guilty by the FIA of running illegal brake ducts that were deemed as not being designed in-house as required by the regulations.
Questioned about the advantages of working closely with another team, McLaren CEO Zak Brown - without naming Racing Point - said: "There’s obviously been a lot on this topic this year. I think we’ve seen, at the extreme, what it’s capable of producing."
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul described Racing Point as being "on the other extreme" of his own team in that it designs and manufactures the car and power unit in-house.
Insisting his remark was "not a controversy", Abiteboul added: "It is clearly no secret that Racing Point has the model of buying as much as they can from Mercedes".
Dismissively shaking his head at the time of the comment, Szafnauer said: "Well, I don’t see us as one of the bookends.
"Although we don’t have the manufacturing capability of some of the others, we do have design and development capability and we mustn’t forget that - very similar to McLaren - when we were renting a Toyota windtunnel it was as capable.
"We had 400 people designing and developing everything and with that, we finished fourth in the championship twice. It should have been three times.
"With our financial capability now, and growing, we should be able to compete with those in the midfield and maybe even move up. But I don’t think our model is much different to a McLaren model."
Racing Point had initially announced its intention to appeal the sanction handed to it by the FIA as rival teams called for a tougher punishment.
Due to a tightening of the regulations, however, by motorsport's governing body, all parties opted against pursuing the matter further.
Szafnauer added: "I think we’ve taken a step forward this year in defining the rules. They’re much more clear.
"We continue to hire people, expand our manufacturing capability, expand our design and development capability. We started at a smaller base than some of the others but with Aston Martin coming in, we, too, are growing and will right-size the business.
"I think we’re going to grow by another 20 to 30 per cent and we, too, will work hard to design, develop and construct our own car, to do the best we can."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.