Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll hit back at rival teams and an FIA stewards' ruling on Sunday, vowing to prove his team's innocence over the copied car part affair.
The Canadian billionaire said he had never cheated in his life, was offended by insinuations that he felt questioned his and his team’s integrity and was appalled by Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Williams' decision to appeal a verdict they considered too lenient.
He accused them of "poor sportsmanship".
Racing Point were docked 15 points and fined 400,000 euros ($472,000) on Friday following complaints, led by Renault, that their 2020 car, dubbed the 'pink Mercedes' as it closely resembled the one used by the world champions last year, contravened the sport’s regulations and had been copied illegally.
The stewards enquiry on behalf of the sport's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), found their brake ducts broke the sporting regulations, but not the technical rules.
Racing Point were allowed to retain the car for use in the 2020 championship, which continued Sunday with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone won by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Under the ruling, they will receive a reprimand after each race for using the parts as they did on Sunday after Lance Stroll, the team owner's son, took sixth with Nico Hulkenberg, standing in for coronavirus sufferer Sergio Perez, seventh.
Racing Point have also given notice of their intention to appeal in a bid to clear the team’s name and prove their innocence.
In a rare public appearance, Stroll read a statement from auto-cue to a broadcast camera.
He said: "I do not often speak publicly. However, I am extremely angry at any suggestion we have been underhand or have cheated, particularly those comments coming from our competitors.
"I have never cheated at anything in my life. These accusations are completely unacceptable and not true. My integrity - and that of my team - are beyond question.
- 'Innocence' -
"Everyone at Racing Point was shocked and disappointed by the FIA ruling and we firmly maintain our innocence.
"This team, under various names, has competed in F1 for over 30 years and today employs 500 people. We've always been a constructor and will continue to be so in the future.
"Throughout those 30 years, this team has been an underdog, punching well above its weight with a fantastic group of people. Between 2016 and 2018, this was the fourth-best team on the grid, operating on the smallest budget and scoring regular podiums.
"Emerging from administration, with stability and fresh investment, this team's competitive form should not be a surprise to anybody. The team can finally realise its potential and should be celebrated for its strong performance."
Stroll highlighted sections of the statement of the stewards' ruling that pointed to great areas in the regulations.
"There was an absence of specific guidance or clarification from the FIA in respect to how that transition to listed parts might be managed within the spirit and intent of the regulations," he said.
He added: "Beyond the clear fact that Racing Point complied with the technical regulations, I am appalled by the way Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams have taken this opportunity to appeal -- and in doing so attempted to detract from our performances.
"They are dragging our name through the mud and I will not stand by, nor accept this. I intend to take all necessary actions to prove our innocence."
The team were deemed to have broken rules by using Mercedes' 2019 rear brake ducts as the basis for a design of their own for 2020.
Racing Point said they received a delivery of the ducts in 2019, when this practice was acceptable, and took a second delivery in January.