Fresh allegations have been laid at Racing Point by Colin Kolles, who was once Team Principal of the squad when it was known as Jordan and Midland.
Now running the ByKolles sportscar team, which last season competed in the World Endurance Championship, Kolles has alleged the Racing Point RP20 is not the product of reverse engineering from photographs.
Racing Point was fined EUR 400,000 and docked 15 points in the constructors’ championship after its rear brake ducts were deemed to have breached the Sporting Regulations.
That followed a series of protests from Renault, who had also raised concerns surrounding Racing Point’s front brake ducts.
Those were deemed legal after stewards deemed there was enough original intellectual property and design influence to allow the underlying Mercedes design to be considered ‘original’.
For 2020, brake ducts must be designed by the team whose car they are fitted to, whereas last year they could be purchased from a rival.
While Racing Point concedes its car is heavily influenced by last year’s Mercedes, it claims it arrived at the design through meticulous reverse engineering from photographic evidence (the brake ducts aside).
“From photos, you cannot copy a car,” Kolles asserted in an interview with German television network Sport 1.
“It’s not just about the brake ducts. It’s about the whole concept of the car. It was not just copied from photos.
“(It’s more than) just parts, they also had certain data.
“They had, so I was told, a 60 percent wind tunnel model and a (full size) show car as a template, from which parts were scanned and then converted into CAD data. Otherwise the concept could not work.”
The extraordinary allegations, however, did not stop there with Kolles also drawing into question the integrity of Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.
Alongside his role in Formula 1, Wolff is also an investor in Aston Martin, a company now controlled by Lawrence Stroll, who is also a key figure at Racing Point.
“As the Mercedes group I would basically ask myself why the Mercedes team boss is always on vacation, on (Stroll’s) boat or in Gstaad,” Kolles said.
“Many other things have happened that, in my opinion, were 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.”
Wolff has previously clarified that his interest in Aston Martin is as a personal investment, and that he has no plans to take an active role within the company.
Kolles and Wolff have history, with the former allegedly trying to blackmail the latter in 2013.
Kolles left Formula 1 following the collapse of the Hispania Racing Team, having worked with Jordan, Midland, Spyker, Force India, and holding a similar role with Caterham.
Racing Point has lodged an appeal of the decision to the FIA’s International Court of Appeals, believing the penalty that was handed out was too harsh. Ferrari and Renault have also appealed, calling for heavier penalties.
No date has yet been set for the hearing.