(Adds stewards ruling the protest is admissible)
SPIELBERG, Austria, July 12 (Reuters) – Formula One’s governing body impounded brake ducts from the Racing Point cars on Sunday after Styrian Grand Prix stewards ruled a Renault protest met the requirements for further investigation.
Renault had questioned the legality of parts on the ‘Pink Mercedes’ cars after their rivals’ strong showing in Sunday’s second round of the season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.
Mexican Sergio Perez finished sixth and Canadian Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, seventh. Renault’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo ended up eighth.
The alleged breach concerns the design and outsourcing of listed parts.
Stewards said in a statement that the governing FIA’s technical department would seal and impound the front and rear brake ducts for detailed analysis.
Champions Mercedes, who provide Racing Point’s engine and gearbox, were also ordered to hand over the brake ducts used on their car last season for comparison.
No date was set for the next meeting, but Formula One is racing again in Hungary on July 19.
Racing Point have freely recognised their car is a close copy of last year’s title-winning Mercedes but within the regulations.
“I don’t think what we’ve done is particularly new as far as taking a team’s concept and doing it ourselves. That’s been prolific in Formula One since the very first days,” technical director Andy Green said back in testing in February.
Renault and Racing Point, formerly known as Force India, have clashed before over the regulations with the French team stripped of points from the Japanese Grand Prix after a protest by the Silverstone-based outfit.
Racing Point had successfully protested against the brake bias system used by Renault.
Renault finished last season fifth overall, with Racing Point seventh. Racing Point are currently fourth with 22 points while Renault are sixth on eight. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Hugh Lawson)