Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Racing Point to reveal “quite different” car for first race

2019 Australian Grand Prix

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Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the car it will race at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix is “quite different” from the version it ran in testing.

The team will bring a significant upgrade for its RP19 at the first race of the 2019 F1 season.

“Winter testing saw us achieve our main objectives and we took away a lot of positives,” said Szafnauer, “but the car you will see in Melbourne is quite different from the car we ran in Barcelona.

“We took the strategic decision to give ourselves the maximum time to develop the car, to maximise our performance at the first race, and that meant holding back a little during testing. It’s not easy introducing new parts late in the day and we know it will be a steep learning curve, but we believe this approach will pay off in the long run.”

Szafnauer pointed out that the early development of the team’s new car had been disrupted by its spell in administration during last season.

“A big part of the RP19 was designed before the new shareholders acquired the team so this is very much a year of transition,” he said.

“The aim this year is to take a step forward and compete at the front of the midfield once again. We recognise this won’t be an easy task because it’s shaping up to be one of the closest midfields we have seen for a long time – with just a few tenths separating a handful of teams.

“We are realistic about the challenge ahead of us and the amount of work needed to achieve our objectives. It’s a long season and we have a solid development plan in place. I’d like to think we can be fighting for points in Melbourne and that’s certainly the first objective heading into the first race weekend.”

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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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7 comments on “Racing Point to reveal “quite different” car for first race”

  1. “A big part of the RP19 was designed before the new shareholders acquired the team so this is very much a year of transition”

    At first, I was surprised that they were working on their 2019 car when they were struggling for upgrades and parts for their ’18 car itself.

    But then it struck me that this was very shrewd planning. Rather than divert more money into the ’18 car, they were content to lose a place or two in the WCC compared to ’17, so as to remain on similar footing in ’19 as well. The alternative would have been to spend more on the ’18 car and end up with a ’19 car that competes with Williams.

    1. StayLevelHeaded
      12th March 2019, 14:07


      Absolutely true. And they put some late upgrades on last year’s car, after they had been saved. And they have already begun to design the 2020 car! What a wonderfully amazing team.

      1. Didn’t they miss the first test back in 2015? That year they placed 5th (behind Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams & RBR). This team consistently punches above their weight.

        1. Yes they introduced spec b car later in Austria with the nostril design. I hope Bob fernleys exit doesn’t impact their efficiency. But the difference between Force India and Racing point seems to be Force India never compromised on drivers. This year with stroll, they gonna loose points.

  2. 2019 will be a challenging year for Racing Point.

    After consistently punching above their weight (aided by having the best PU), they come into this season better funded but with some question marks over their driver pairing and owner influence.

    If they do worse, some will consider it a failure, but they are smack in the middle of a bunch of midfield teams that potentially all could improve.

    I for one am pleased to see them still on the grid and wish the dedicated group of individuals that have so far managed to develop competitive cars all the best.

    1. Sergio Perez willfully put the team into administration last year, only to completely rip it apart a year later. Racing Point’s situation raises a lot of questions:

      What will Papa-Stroll do when he sees the fruit of his love completely destroyed by Sergio “The Redeemer” Perez?
      Will Racing Point suddenly have a lot of mishaps during Perez’s pit stops?
      Will Babby-Stroll have any credibility left at the end of the season?
      Will Racing Point’s funding mysteriously end in the unlikely event Babby-Stroll limits his time in the team to a maximum of 1 season, and then jumps to ANY other midfield team, in a futile attempt to save his career?
      Will Papa-Stroll do the right thing, and end Babby-Stroll’s contract mid-season and hire actual talent?(Esteban Ocon)

      All joking aside, I sincerely hope The Team and it’s hard working people come out of all this still capable of competing in F1. I may not like the livery of the car, but the past 3 seasons has seen the most colorful F1-grids ever, and the Pink Panthers are definitely a welcome sight to someone who still remembers the “Gray and White” era of F1.

  3. They are a great team! The only thing that worries me is Lance. The midfield battle will be so tight, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to be consistent over the whole season. I think he’s the weak point this year. One of the strengths of Force India was the consistent results from both drivers, I doubt that will be the case this year.

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