Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer has offered a staunch defence of his team amid their central role in F1's rising off-track controversy, telling Sky Sports they are set to appeal their penalty as they have done "absolutely nothing wrong" - and that he "welcomes" opposition from rivals.
After a lengthy investigation into their 2020 car - and more specifically the brake ducts - by a panel of stewards, Racing Point were deducted 15 championship points and fined €400,000 (£361,000) on Friday morning.
There have been several heated interviews since then at Silverstone, and half the grid have notified the FIA of their intention to appeal the decision.
- Five teams intend to appeal F1 verdict
- Bottas snatches pole, Hulk third
- Hulkenberg 'extraordinary', takes F1 acclaim
Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Williams are set to contest the sanction - having voiced their anger that Racing Point are still able to run their car with the parts it has been ruled had been inspired by Mercedes - while Racing Point are ready to appeal the verdict in its entirety.
"We need to appeal it because we stayed completely within the regulations, both sporting and technical," an emotive and fired-up Szafnauer, the team boss, told Sky F1 on Saturday. "And we need to clear our name.
"We shouldn't be losing 15 points and we shouldn't be charged €400,000. We did absolutely nothing wrong."
The five teams have until Wednesday morning to collect extra evidence and bring forward an appeal to the ICA (International Court of Appeals).
On rival teams lodging their intentions to appeal, Szafnauer added: "Not a problem. The more you dig in, the more on our side it's going to be. Because we did absolutely zero wrong.
"The more you dig, the better off it is for us. I welcome that."
Szafnauer on the F1 'copy' controversy
Racing Point, who finished seventh last season, have leapt up the grid in 2020 with a car which is similar to the Mercedes of 2019, with Nico Hulkenberg's third in 70th Anniversary GP qualifying their latest strong result.
"Formula 1 is all about exploiting the regulations to their limit," added Szafnauer. "You have to look at what's written, and not written, to exploit the regulations.
"Just because we did a good job and we have a competitive car, doesn't mean we did anything wrong."
Szafnauer noted that both Haas and Toro Rosso have used other team's brake ducts in the past (Ferrari, Red Bull), with the controversy over Racing Point's due to the 2020 change from them being a non-listed to a listed F1 part.
"We did design it completely ourselves and we manufactured it completely ourselves," he insisted. "We did not get a part from Mercedes, at all."
He continued that he ultimately didn't feel the matter "is about brake ducts".
"I think the crux of the problem is people are looking at our car and saying you copied aspects of the Mercedes, and you copied more than we would have copied," he said.
"Well, unfortunately, copying is what Formula 1 is completely based on."