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Horner: Mercedes could be guilty in Racing Point case

Adam Cooper

Racing Point was fined €400,000 and docked 15 world championship points in a decision issued by the FIA stewards on Friday, but is allowed to use the contentious ducts for the rest of the 2020 season. However the team will receive reprimands every time it races with the ducts, as was the case after the 70th Anniversary GP.

There was no sanction against Mercedes, or suggestion that the Brackley-based team had broken any rules.

The verdict prompted notices of intention to appeal from Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams, while Racing Point has submitted one in an attempt to clear its name.

Both Renault and Ferrari have since announced their intention to press ahead with the appeal, while McLaren and Williams have opted out of active involvement in the case.

Red Bull decided not to become formally involved in the case by appealing, but the team is keeping a close watch on proceedings, not least because of its relationship with sister team AlphaTauri and the potential impact on the sharing of technology.

Horner also believes that having supplied CAD information and brake ducts to Racing Point, Mercedes could be a guilty party.

“Well, it's an interesting one,” said Horner. “I think the biggest thing for us is that we just want absolute clarity as to what is and what isn't permissible moving forwards.

“Obviously Red Bull are in the unique position that they own 100% of two Grand Prix teams. So we've always complied stringently with the regulations since the constructor rules within the last Concorde were made very, very clear.

“So for us it's that there is a bigger picture to this, it's not just about brake ducts, it's about what is philosophically allowed, and what isn't.

“Regarding Mercedes, I'm sure those questions will get asked, because if the team in question are guilty of receiving, surely the team that has provided has also been in breach of those regulations? That's something for the FIA.”

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Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko stressed that while his two teams didn’t get involved in the appeal process, they want to see a harsher sanction.

“We are not part of it because there are enough teams who have lodged their intention to appeal,” he told Sky Germany. "And Renault the protest before. 

"But this result is not satisfactory for us either, because it does not bring the clarification we had hoped for. I hope that this will happen in the appeal process.

“As a lawyer, it is very difficult to understand that you get a penalty for the same offence and use the same parts again in the three subsequent races, and there is only a reprimand.

“How long can one reprimand? I think that this is not very balanced and not very well thought through. That is why it is important that it goes into appeal.”