Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Racing Point’s car is “effectively last year’s chassis”

2019 F1 season

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Racing Point’s new RP19 chassis for the 2019 F1 season is closely based on last year’s car as it was designed while the team was in administration.

The team, formerly known as Force India, went into administration in July last year. Design work on its 2019 car had begun and as technical director Andrew Green explained, the team had to make conservative choices due to its financial situation.

“Some of the decisions we had to make on this car were made whilst the company was in dire straits and it was going through administration,” he told RaceFans and other media today.

“We didn’t really know what was going to happen with the company and we had to make some quite big decisions on what were going to do with this car that we’ve got here now because there was a chance the team weren’t going to get the big cash injection and we were going to still going to have to try and get a car out with no money.

“So some big decisions were made. The chassis is effectively last year’s chassis. The gearbox is last year’s gearbox. So in that respect there’s a lot of continuity.”

The team’s assets were later purchased by a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll, who re-entered it into the championship under the name Racing Point and invested heavily in the team. But the team didn’t know this was going to happen when the car was designed.

“We haven’t been able to do some of the changes that we’d probably like to have done,” said Green. “Had we been able to predict the future we probably would have done things slightly differently.

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“But we weren’t to know. We had to make some decisions to ensure that it gave us the best possible chance to get a cat here today assuming that a big cash injection wasn’t going to happen. Luckily it did and it allows us to do other things.”

Green said the team intends to introduce a significant upgrade to its car at the first race and expects they will be able to develop it more quickly following the investment from its new owners.

“It’s going to be continuous development throughout the season. Because of the change in regulations the development slope that we’re seeing, the increasing performance week on week, is very large. So if we’re now in a position where we can bring parts to the car on a regular basis because the development is so steep, we will because we can’t afford not to.

“That’s going to be true of the car that runs in Melbourne, it’s going to be a step change from where we’re running here. But then that will continue. Maybe not every race but at very short intervals, reasonable changes to the car, until the performance starts to asymptote.

“We can do that now. We can start to develop in the same way as our competition have been developing forever. It’s a new thing for us.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Racing Point’s car is “effectively last year’s chassis””

  1. “We had to make some decisions to ensure that it gave us the best possible chance to get a cat here today” :-)
    Chasing purrfection?

    1. It is a pink panther, after all.

      1. @phylyp: Fur real. They’re not lion – with mew owners, this season will be more pawsitive.

        1. @jimmi-cynic – nice to see you sharpening up your puns as we head towards the season!

          1. @phylyp Don’t you mean as we claw our way sharply towards the season? We’re just a whisker away before they pounce on Australia, fleaing off the grid into turn one. Hope nobody ends up in the kitty litter, but it will be ironic if it is Perez or Stroll, no?

          2. Look at what MaliceCooper started! @robbie @partsguy20

            Also chuckling at kitty litter being the perfect trap for a Racing Point cat.

        2. If they don’t keep development up until the tail end of the season, things could get quite hairy in their quest for points.

          1. @partsguy20: Yes! Hisstoric battle of the fast and furrious.

  2. Kind of disappointed that Racing point didn’t have enough time to develop their car with the increased injection of funds. It was a mid season acquisition, so I thought there was enough time to plan and invest in next year’s challenger.
    What’s the point of fielding a clown like Stroll if you aren’t going to accelerate your progress on the car?

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      20th February 2019, 18:51


      and the occasional points in Monza and Baku.

    2. @todfod Why be disappointed over something out of their control? The timing obviously wasn’t on their side even if you thought it was. They had to get started on this year’s car knowing what they knew at the time, which was not everything they would soon afterwards learn. I’m sure they’ve been accelerating the progress of the car since as soon as they knew everything was secure, which was unfortunately only after they had to commit to start on some sort of car for 2019 albeit 2018-like. I predict many upgrades for them throughout this season.

  3. This means they are in trouble in the opening rounds. Lap count for 3 days is quite low, so far in testing they are at the bottom of the midfield battle, only Williams (still unknown if the car is any good) looks in worst shape then them.

    1. Hopefully for them, RB/Honda integration problems means sacrifices made at Faenza.

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      20th February 2019, 21:39

      They weren’t that good in the beginning of 2018 either. They were slow in pre-season testing, and barely any good in the opening 3 races. they might recover, I expect them too. They’ve previously shown they can turn things around and introduce massive upgrades mid-season. (look at the 2015 VJM08B).

      With Perez they have a seasoned and dependable driver. and with Stroll they have much more money now.
      on an unrelated note; both drivers are really strong in Baku. Expecting a 20 points haul from that race alone.

      1. That’s what I expect to. They will struggle in the beginning just like last year, but this year McLaren seams allot better and Sauber is also allot better, it’s gonna be a great season in midfield again. Just hopping the front battle is as interesting as the one we will get in midfield.

  4. I have the bad feeling they’ll only be fighting Williams this year. Wishing them all the best, though.

  5. Force India to Racing Point? The name switch doesn’t change the fact that some of the F1 teams are struggling financially as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have walked away with most of the pot for several years.

    1. Wrong, liberty have walked away with most of the pot for the last several years, more than Merc, Ferrari and RBR CONBINED! It’s the money that liberty steals from the teams is the reason the small teams struggle, money that liberty has not earned and isn’t increasing by way of better business.

      1. @megatron Wrong. Liberty has so far only had two full seasons at this, just starting their third, so where do you get ‘several’ from?

        As to ‘stealing’ from the teams, Liberty is subject to contracts that existed before they took over, and things will change once those contracts run out after 2020. They have only ever talked about a fairer and more balanced sharing of the money so the lesser teams will struggle less. Liberty are earning their money as we speak, firstly because they have stepped up and taken the risk and taken over F1, and secondly because they have made big plans to better all aspects of F1 as soon as they contractually can which is also at a time that will have given all the teams a chance to absorb and adapt to the new F1 post-2021.

      2. no doubt the shares need to be re-balanced more fairly, but calling it theft is a little harsh when it’s Liberty paying the teams.

      3. I think Liberty is in trouble financially; when Liberty bought F1 they financed about $5 billion to pay off debt from Bernie’s nice little ‘profit’ payments to shareholders. Servicing that debt while venues are clamoring for reduced payments will become more and more difficult. Any new races will pay much less than Silverstone is now paying and Silverstone is leaving unless that payment is reduced. Approximately half of Liberty’s income is paid to the teams; I don’t see how that is going to be increased without another profit center. Yes, Liberty has started selling direct feeds to fans, but there will be conflicts with TV contracts in quite a few countries. It looks like interesting times ahead for F1.

      4. @megatron Akin to what @robbie has said, Liberty have also plowed a bunch of money into Brawn’s department to research how to improve the sport, and into streaming, social media outreach, market research and development, and other areas to bring F1 into the 21st century. Bernie did none of that when he was in charge. That stuff does all take money.

        They don’t get unlimited slack to do what they want, but they’re approaching F1 like any company should when making a long term investment. This doesn’t seem like a pump and dump prospect for them, they aren’t strip mining it like CVC did.

  6. I think them and Williams will be fighting for the last spot this year sadly. I could be wrong because i know they always punch above their weight but with the f 1.5 championship being so tight its going to be really hard for them to hold onto the front of that set of cars

  7. I predict racing point beats red bull in the points for 2019, with a redbull exit to follow…. maybe not for 2020, but definately a “toys-out-of-pram” moment to quote you brits.

    The Honda thing is a giant risk… imho they should’ve stayed with Renault. It seemed to be working fine last year, despite the cries from RBR.

    1. I disagree because they had to try with Honda. Winning a few races at a few venues that are less Pu or HP necessary, will never win them the trophies, and they had no sense that Renault was going to step up their game, and in fact has wanted to put more emphasis on their own factory team. So knowing what they know about Renault, they have little to lose with a more works-like relationship with Honda than they’ve had with Renault. What they have with Honda is greater potential than had they stood pat.

      As far as them leaving, I doubt that too. 2021 is going to bring a fresh opportunity for all teams to get the new regs right, and they will be stoked to see what Newey will do for them when that time comes. And there will be this season and next for Honda to keep up their work.

      I think RBR has done exactly the right thing all things considered. And I didn’t always think that. Going back to when we were waiting to hear what RBR were going to do pu wise I thought they should have stuck with Renault for one more year while they were at least somewhat competitive with it, which would buy them more time to observe Honda. But once they gave their reasons for doing what they did, when they did, it made more sense to me.

    2. I predict racing point beats red bull in the points for 2019

      Bookmarking this to look back at the end of November for a good laugh.

  8. Glad to see the pundits have this all worked out. Results are all but finalized.
    Three days into testing and it looks like I can save a bundle on TV charges and avoid getting up at 5:00 am to watch qualifying and races (live).
    The really good news, is that I don’t expect any (or most) of the prognostications to pan out, so the unpredictability of the whole show will keep me in the game.
    I just did a quick search and couldn’t find a record of anyone predicting that Sauber (sorry, Alfa Romeo) would top the time sheets. Still looking for the other comment that the Red Bull B-Team would surpass Raikkonen.
    Guess that there is still some news to be made and excitement to be had. Bring it on.

    1. If they’re not making predictions, there’s absolutely zero reason to watch pre season testing…

      It’s a double edged sword, if you don’t care to hear every two bit journalists making predictions, come back when it’s time for Australia!

      Testing coverage is for fanatics.

      1. B-b-but we’re no longer F1Fanatics, we’re RaceFans. Is it so much to ask them to include test races during testing?

  9. Come on, they do it every single year as far as I can remember, starting with “beta-version” last-year-carryover car for the first part of the season, then bringing “B-spec” car around starting of european GP’s or even as late as summer brake. Yet every single year some people start whining about it with their “sure to be last” predictions.

  10. The chassis is effectively last year’s chassis. The gearbox is last year’s gearbox. So in that respect there’s a lot of continuity.

    Too bad this logic doesn’t work in all walks of life…
    If i tell my boss about the continuity in my output/efficiency, he is going to ensure continuity with my pay !!!

    Not a really wise thing to say so early. But it does seem like they will certainly improve at-least in the latter half of the season.
    Should they under-perform, I believe RPF1 can be excused for all the ill timing surrounding the transition.

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