From Road & Track

Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.

Ferrari’s Upgrade Packager Isn’t a Game Changer

Ferrari’s 2020 season isn’t looking great. Two races in, Maranello’s team is in sixth in the constructor’s championship. The SF1000 struggled to outpace rivals during the Austrian GP and, when the upgrade package was introduced for the Styrian GP, the two Ferraris crashed into each other so quickly that we didn’t really see what the updates had done.

According to Sebastian Vettel, though, the upgrade package hasn’t had a massive impact. At least, not enough to fundamentally change Ferrari’s standing in the field. As Motorsport.com reports, both Ferrari drivers recognize this is going to be a hard-fought season.

“We know that the parts have worked,” Vettel said. “We would have liked them to be obviously a game changer: it doesn’t look at this stage, like that.

Leclerc, for his part, added: “I think realistically we are struggling with the performance at the moment, so I don’t think we can consider us fighting for podiums at the moment. But we try to change that. And we are trying to work as hard as possible to change this.”

McLaren Boss Thinks Racing Point Copying Mercedes Sets a Dangerous Precedent

Among the teams currently beating Ferrari in the constructor’s championship is Racing Point, a midfield team that’s shown impressive pace so far this year. The team has been pretty open about how that’s possible: It took photos of Mercedes’ winning W10 from last year and mimicked that car’s design.

But Renault has now lodged a formal protest on the Racing Point car, alleging that Racing Point’s copying of the W10’s brake ducts amounted to using another F1 team to develop listed parts. McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl, for his part, would be surprised if the protest works, per Motorsport.com.

He still thinks Racing Point’s strategy is dangerous, though. If the FIA rules in favor of Racing Point, Seidl thinks you could see a “copying championship” that stifles innovation and unique designs.

“Do they want Formula 1 to end up in a copying championship? In a championship where you end up with two or three constructors or manufacturers, and we simply have then more cars of one manufacturer or constructor on track?” Seidl asked, according to Motorsport.com. “We definitely think [it] is the wrong way to go for Formula 1, and is not a sustainable way for us.”

New York Is Getting Serious About Electric Charging Infrastructure

California’s EV explosion has been aided by the state’s aggressive development of charging infrastructure, with tens of millions of state funds used to expand access. And while other states have put a few million into the problem here and there, none of them have had the success of California.

New York, though, might not be far behind. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $750 million investment in charging infrastructure, as Automotive News reports. State utility companies will spend $701 million through 2025, with the other $49 million coming from Volkswagen’s diesel settlement. The plan is to create over 50,000 public charging stations, plus procure electric busses and set up charging for them.

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