Former F1 team boss Colin Kolles alleges that Racing Point copied its RP20 car based on a Mercedes wind-tunnel model and a show car supplied by Mercedes.
Racing Point has never hidden the fact that the design of its 2020 contender was based on last year’s championship-winning Silver Arrow, although the team insists it worked from photographic evidence to conceive its car.
Several of the Silverstone-based outfit’s midfield rivals have doubted that assertion, with Renault successfully protesting the brake ducts on Racing Point’s RP20, an action that warranted a hefty fine and the withdrawal of 15 championship points for the pink squad.
But Kolles, who enjoyed a rather unsuccessful career as a team boss in F1, working for minnow outfits Midland, HRT and Caterham, claims that Racing Point designed its controversial car based on a lot more than just photographs.
“You can’t copy a car from photos,” Kolles told Germany’s broadcaster Sport1.de.
“It’s not just about the brake ducts here. It’s about the whole concept of the car. It’s not just copied from photos. They not only had parts, but also certain data.
“I was told they had a 60 per cent wind tunnel model and a show car as a template, from which parts were scanned and then converted into CAD data. Otherwise the concept could not work.”
Who told Kolles that information is anybody’s guess, assuming the allegation is true.
The Romanian-German, who now runs a team in the WEC, also took aim at his old ‘friend’ Toto Wolff, whom Kolles attempted to blackmail back in 2013, threatening to reveal an explosive conversation taped by the latter unless Wolff paid him a sum of money.
The matter was reportedly solved privately with the help of then F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Horner hints at Mercedes complicity in Racing Point case
Seven years later, there is still no love lost between the two men, with Kolles questioning the close relationship that exists between Wolff and Racing Point team owner Lawrence Stroll.
“As the Mercedes group, I would ask myself why the head of motorsport is always on vacation on his [Stroll’s] boat or in Gstaad, and why many other things have happened, [which] in my view are not entirely compliant;”
“I think they have a very, very close connection. This is my personal opinion. But that’s not just my opinion – other people have that opinion too.”
In Barcelona, Wolff dismissed once again claims of Mercedes’ involvement in Racing Point’s design process as “total nonsense”.
“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.”
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