Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul has expressed his dissatisfaction with rival team Racing Point's 2020 challenger, the RP20, claiming that the team are forging from other successful teams.
The RP20 was met with criticism when it hit the track for the first time in pre-season testing last February, with rival teams noticing its striking resemblance to Mercedes' 2019 title winner, the W10.
The RP20 showed impressive pace right from the start of the six-day test in Barcelona, with the team feeling confident with its new car coming into the season. However, Abiteboul is one of many team members that have been critical of their car.
"They've got great photographers, that's for sure," Abiteboul told Canal+. "Also, it's worth noting the sort of honesty they've shown in admitting they copied.
"It's sort of the first time, at least as far as I can remember since I've been in F1, that someone has been really proud of copying. It's like a forger expressing his satisfaction with his work. It's not worth the original work of art or the pride of working on an original piece."
Being dubbed the name 'the pink Mercedes' during its time on circuit over the six-day test, multiple teams have questioned the legality of the RP20 and how the team could have done such an accurate representation of last year's Mercedes W10.
Racing Point technical director Andrew Green has stood firm on the team's new design approach for the RP20, claiming that the team designed the car itself and that other team's comments are down to the frustrations of not doing a good enough job on their own cars.
Abiteboul, however, suspects that there could be more going on behind the scenes, as he questions how the team could have made such a similar replica of the W10 with the information publically available by Racing Point engine suppliers Mercedes.
"The whole question is whether it's possible to do such an accurate job that works so well solely on the basis of public information?" Abiteboul added.
"I won't go any further at this stage, but it is certainly a question we're pondering."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing