Racing Point's 2020 contender has shown a few "glimpses" of its potential so far, but keeping the RP20 at the peak of its performance is a difficult task insists technical director Andy Green.
Racing Point has undeniably taken a step forward this year, with Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll demonstrating on occasion their car's ability to perform among the top three.
The upgrade in performance has come as a result of Racing Point changing its approach to aerodynamic design, with tech boss Green abandoning the high rake concept pioneered by Red Bull to take his engineering queue from Mercedes and its championship winning 2019 W10.
The end result is a blend of Mercedes' concept with Racing Point's own design expertise. The amalgam has proven fast and efficient, although the RP20 has so far lacked consistency, in performance and results.
"Lots of little things haven't quite gone our way," said Green last weekend at Silverstone. "We've seen glimpses of what the car's capable of doing, and we just understand that it is very difficult to keep it there at its peak.
"And we have to work incredibly hard to do that. So I think that's a lot of the problem. I don't think we're the only ones up and down."
Green underscored the fact that the team was still in learning mode with regard to its 2020 car.
"We’re learning a lot every day," he said. "A new car concept runs in a completely different way than last year's car.
"And we only had a handful of days of running around in Barcelona back in February time, whenever it was, a cold Barcelona, to try and understand it. So we're still learning."
Ever since Racing Point's charger rolled down the pitlane in Barcelona in February, the car has been at the center of a controversy regarding Green's design approach that relied heavily on Mercedes' concept.
Renault's protest of the RP20's brake ducts has sparked an investigation by the FIA, the results of which should be know on Wednesday.
The crux of the matter is whether a team should be allowed to copy so closely a rival's design, and whether the engineering similarities were based on photographic evidence alone or the shady transfer of intellectual property.
Racing Point believes its car is legitimate in all aspects, and team boss Otmar Szafnauer says the accusations of infringement or copying have "gone too far".
"Not for me so much, but for the guys in the factory, who worked really hard to develop this car to where it is and are still working hard to make further developments," Szafnauer told Reuters.
"For their work to be discounted, to say ‘Ah, you’ve copied’, or ‘plagiarised’ as I heard somebody say, it’s absolutely not true and it has gone too far."
Green concurs of course, insisting that copying has always been a part of F1, a view shared recently by F1 director of motorsports Ross Brawn who applauded Racing Point's efforts, insisting the team had taken copying "to the next stage and done a more thorough job".
"We’ve been accused of doing something that other people claim they don’t do, which is absolutely wrong," said Green.
"It’s absolutely been rife in Formula 1 for decades, to look at people’s concepts and ideas and take them and make them your own.
"People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones."