Anti-copy rule: FIA should make details public soon

( – “Copygate” was one of the defining topics in the 2020 Formula 1 season. Racing Point was suspected of having copied the previous year’s Mercedes car. And indeed the team was punished. However, the RP20 is not illegal. The competition warned of a “copier world championship” and now wants clarity about the new rules of the world association that has reacted to the cause.

Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas

Racing Point was the focus of “Copygate”



In the future, the racing teams should be prevented from generously writing off their competitors – that is the FIA’s vision. The world association reacted with new anti-copying rules to the appointments of Ferrari, Renault, McLaren and Williams in the Causa Racing Point.

“We want to address the concerns of some teams in terms of copying,” said FIA President Jean Todt recently to ‘’. “Formula 1 means that every team is a manufacturer and is responsible for the design of its car.”

Teams vote for anti-copy rules

The teams were satisfied with this reaction, so they eventually dropped their protest. The protagonists have succeeded in getting the FIA ​​to ban so-called “reverse engineering” from 2021. This means, for example, the reconstruction of a racing car based on photos or other information.

Article 22.3 of the Technical Regulations for 2021 (“Listed Team Components”, “LTC” for short) stipulates that teams may not use photographs and other “reverse engineering” techniques to copy large parts of other cars. This also includes a ban on scanners or 3D cameras.

According to information from ‘auto motor und sport’, the FIA ​​teams should also submit all documents for the entire development process of a component upon request. The rulers want to make sure that the intellectual property of all teams has been preserved.

Prominent examples: Formula 1 has always been copied!

Copying is part of the business in Formula 1, and not just since the Racing Point RP20 in the 2020 season. In our video we show prominent examples

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The cars of 2019 and 2020 as well as the first race of this season are automatically included in “Intellectual Property”, or “IP” for short. All new components that were developed after the Austrian Grand Prix are therefore under special observation.

The racing teams approved this rule change on the sidelines of the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Todt confirmed this to our Italian sister side: “The affair revealed a lack of clarity in the rules, which we have fixed for 2021. The document was signed by all teams.”

Under Article 22.3.3. is now clearly stated: “A participant must have exclusive ownership […] to all rights, information or data of any kind […] in relation to the LTC in his Formula 1 vehicles. “This means, for example, the aerodynamics, the cooler or the chassis.

Renault asks the FIA ​​for clarification

FIA monoposto technology manager Nikolas Tomabzis explains to ‘auto motor und sport’: “This season will not change anything. The rules will only have an effect from 2021 onwards.” Since the development process for the coming year has already begun, the new rules already stipulate how next year’s cars have to be built.

It is precisely for this reason that the Renault racing team has asked the FIA ​​for clarification. According to a report from, Cyril Abiteboul Tombazis has written and made some detailed points regarding the LTC that are still unclear.

The French factory team wanted to know, among other things, which data can be shared between teams that use the same wind tunnel or to what extent they can collaborate in CFD research.

Photos: Russian Grand Prix

Above all, however, the decisive question is how far one team can copy another’s LTC. Renault confirms that it has already received a response from the FIA. “Up to a point this exchange with the FIA ​​is confidential. But we expect it to become public at some point.”

After all, Renault is not alone, the information from the FIA ​​is important for all manufacturers. Especially because every racing team is now careful to comply with the regulations. According to Abiteboul, Tombazis is already working on formally preparing the notes and information in order to make them publicly available.

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