Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez, Racing Point, 2019

Racing Point expect to announce 2020 drivers soon

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the team is close to announcing its drivers for the 2020 F1 season.

What they say

Szafnauer was asked whether the team is likely to extend Sergio Perez’s contract. The team’s other car is driven by Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence Stroll:

Nothing is done until it’s done but we’re well on our way.

I think in due course, not that far into the future, we’ll make the announcement.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The immediate U-turn over Ferrari’s fine for Charles Leclerc’s unsafe release in Germany points to an obvious conclusion:

It was always a time penalty (when done during the race) until the stewards decided to change it for no good reason. Now we have a discussion about it and we all agree the rule was good in the first place. And if the stewards just did it right in Germany we didn’t even need to have this discussion. They messed up.

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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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  • 22 comments on “Racing Point expect to announce 2020 drivers soon”

    1. Still think a fine was a better solution. Just increase it to make it harder con the offender (maybe even a % of the prize or team budget) and part of it should go to the team that loses out on the situation.

      Not a fan of penalties that are applied to drivers when they aren’t at fault

      1. They race as a team. It’s a team effort. When are people going to learn? If they don’t fit a wheel correctly, it’s that part of the team’s fault and they’re going to place accordingly in the results. Same goes if a driver makes a mistake. He’s part of the team. Or if aerodynamics aren’t good enough. Etc etc. I can’t believe I’m having to explain this.

        1. You shouldn’t have to explain it.
          Why are components, Power Unit, gear boxes and tyres, allocated to a car and not the team?

      2. Then don’t see it as a penalty on the driver, but rather a penalty on the car.
        F1 is a team sport.

        1. @coldfly I see these sort of situations a bit differently. As the team that is at fault doesn’t gain anything either

          If they were to do it on purpose to make a direct competitor lose time, or they would gain time in a unfair manner. Ok, that makes sense.

          See that I didn’t said the team was particularly at fault either? These are race incidents, at the track they wouldn’t get a time penalty. And during FPs infringements in the pitlane get a fine too.

          It is a bit paradoxical. We want them to race at every moment, yet we expect them to lose time and opportunities because of unsafe releases. The one with Max at Monaco for me was the worst of them, RBR does a better job in the pitlane and because of it gets a penalty.

          We either accept that racing that has a big tactical component will have its risk where those games are played (pitlane) and make racing as pure and direct as possible. Or if we are so concerned about the risks maybe pitstops need a rethinking

          1. Or maybe do not race in the pit lane. It is the only area with a speed limit. For a reason. Work on the cars in the pit lane – Race on the track.

            1. They didn’t go over the speed limit though

    2. “An activist who was assaulted, tortured and imprisoned for three years for criticising the Formula One race in Bahrain has been freed by authorities today.”

      I’m not sure how anyone involved in Formula 1 can read that sentence and not feel immediate shame. This is some of Najah Yusuf’s testimony, reported in March this year.

      In April 2017, a week after Sebastian Vettel took to the podium to celebrate his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, the most horrific experience of my life began. For four days, I was relentlessly interrogated because of Facebook posts, including those that called for the race to be cancelled and for the release of others imprisoned for criticising Formula One. I was lured to the Muharraq police station, under the pretence of signing a statement on behalf of my son. When I arrived, the questions began. They forcibly took my phone away from me, threatening to kill my son when I refused to unlock it. They asked me about my relationships with various human rights defenders, activists and opposition groups. They threatened to kill me, they tried to bribe me, they beat me. But worst of all, officers tore off my hijab and attempted to strip me of my clothes, before an officer sexually assaulted me in custody. The pain and humiliation of that week will haunt me for the rest of my life. All this because I took a stand against state repression and the grand prix.

      What do Liberty have to say about this? The teams? The drivers?

      1. @david-br
        The answers Money…,
        What was the question again ?

      2. @david-br Liberty’s answer? Saudi Arabia new track on the way.

        1. @spoutnik When I really shall officially stop following Formula 1.

      3. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        11th August 2019, 15:35

        I literally got goosebumps reading this David BR, pretty sad and pathetic. Every country that hosts a GP has their problems yes even Canada, but the Middle East seems to take it to the next level.

      4. Thank you for sharing that, that made for chilling reading.

        I am very conflicted about this whole thing. And before you lot pounce on me asking “What’s to be conflicted about? It’s wrong and abhorrent” let me stop you there and say yes, it is wrong and abhorrent.

        What conflicts me is this:
        These people aren’t being targeted about F1 by their government(s). Yes, they’ve chosen the Bahrain GP as a platform for their protests and getting more worldwide attention. But the human rights abuses have been there before the GP, they occur in the other 51 weeks of the year. The protesters are protesting other systemic violations of human rights.

        I’ve viewed the Middle East as a bit of a basket case for ages. So, news of torture/beheadings/amputation as a punishment are things I have become desensitised to, seeing as it has become commonplace. This is similar to how I view shootings in the US (“Another shooting? Time to water my plants”) or crimes against women in India (“Another case of rape as a weapon? I think today’s the day the collect dry waste”).

        Now, it takes something with a personal connection to bring home the horror of these events: “That activist who was imprisoned? They waited to grab her until the F1 circus left, barely 12 hours after Vettel hoisted the trophy”, “A shooting at that mall in the US? Dang, my cousin visited there just a week ago”, “That woman who was raped? She was my colleague”.

        So yes, F1 has made me pay closer attention to this, and to be horrified about how this played out.

        Does that mean F1 did good in this instance? Far from it. F1’s motives to visit Bahrain had nothing to do with bringing to light the human rights abuses that occur there, but seeing the GP weekend used as a platform for protest gives the protesters that much more visibility.

        If F1 stopped going there, the abuses aren’t going to stop, they’ll continue. We just might not hear of it as much, since the international press might not descend on the country in such numbers anymore.

        Does that mean F1 should continue visiting those venues? That’s part of my conflict. The size and prominence of F1 makes it a good target for protesters, a good opportunity to get their voices heard (at a brutal cost). On the flip side, there are those who say that F1 visiting Bahrain helps legitimize the regime’s behaviour.

        And that’s the other part of my conflict. Does visiting and hosting a sporting event legitimize a regime? Possibly. I’d think that Putin’s desire to get Sochi in the calendar wasn’t so he could admire sub 2-second pitstops.

        That said, what gives any regime power is money. And this is where many of our elected governments have made a Faustian deal with Bahrain, by continuing to permit trade. Bahrain hinges on petroleum, aluminium, iron ore exports, financial trade, and tourism. Have any of our governments halted petroleum imports from there? No. What about financial trade, have any of the financial powerhouses blacklisted them? Absolutely not, quite the opposite, they’ve grown from strength to strength. Fine, what about tourism? Are we actively discouraged from going there? No, can’t anger their government, they might turn off the export tap.

        1. @phylyp I appreciate the thoughtful reply to what I posted. There isn’t much doubt in my own mind that regimes and governments use Formula 1 to boost their image or even as ‘image laundering’. That’s why the protesters are right to focus on the GP to make their point. Generally I’m in favour of sport as a form of communication and exchange between very different societies, though that’s often exploited cynically by the likes of FIFA. However, I think it’s wrong to include those where part of the population is excluded from participating in the sport or following it, or visiting the country even, for identity reasons (i.e. on the basis of who they are). So I’d have approved the boycotting of South Africa or any country where a particular ethnic or religious group is explicitly (socially) excluded. Personally I disagree with F1 in Bahrain and the UAE due to their abusive and often deadly treatment of women and LBGT groups. And Saudi Arabia resolutely so.

    3. I assumed Racing Point had received a massive cash injection when Stroll took over. I was expecting to see them up towards the pointy end of the races, instead they’ve been a disappointment. Have events been taking place behind closed doors that have affected the team? They have claimed the lack of cash last year put a brake on this year’s design, but they should have been making improvements to the car over the course of this season. But they’re still struggling to get out of Q1 on Saturday.

      We hear of the midfield battles, but all I’m seeing is RP, Haas and Renault going through the motions at every race.

      1. In any organization, it takes time to respond to things like an injection of cash. It seems like it should produce results immediately, but it doesn’t. Particularly when an organization has been cash-strapped and had an uncertain future for a long time, as FI did. I’m sure they lost expertise, they had to cancel orders for things that had really long lead-times, and when it comes to things like designing an entirely new car, doing so on pennies means that a lot of avenues of improvement are entirely cut off to you, because you can’t revise the fundamental design of the car without altering its $$$ fundamentals.

        So I’m not surprised at RP’s performance this year. I’d have been surprised if they were even kind of competitive out of the gate, and able to keep up with the pace of development this season. I think they probably wrote off most of 2019 as a recovery year, focused on 2020, and knew they’d take the hit. Which probably doesn’t even matter all that much, because Stroll’s injection of cash probably came with clauses that committed them to some period of time regardless of performance, since they knew it’d take time to get their sea legs back.

        Which, of course, makes the RP driver announcement a bit anticlimactic. It’s obviously Stroll, regardless of performance. Is it also Perez? At this point, I dunno. But he brings enough sponsor money to mitigate some of Stroll’s risk. He’s also reasonably fast, but not so fast that it’s embarrassing to Lance. So … ? My money’s on Stroll (100%) and Perez (75%).

    4. We keep talking about leclerc germany incident as if it was the first not really unsafe unsafe release, it was the first with a weird not penalty penalty. If we think that’s a penalty we’re going to have 5 unsafe not really unsafe releases per GP and respective 5 s penalties.

    5. The immediate U-turn over Ferrari’s fine for Charles Leclerc’s unsafe release in Germany …

      As far as I’m aware there wasn’t actually a “U-turn” in regards to Ferrari’s paltry fine for endangering people’s lives. To me a “U-turn” implies the Stewards original decision has been found to be wrong and has been revoked. All that happened is the rules were changed to re-affirm the usual stance of a time penalty.
      As I’d said previously, the Pit Lane speed limit should be reduced under Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car conditions, e.g. 40 km/h.

    6. But Lance is already guaranteed of a race-drive there for next season, though, so, nothing to announce on his side.

      I agree with the COTD.

      Regarding the Guardian-article: Again, more or less every country has done something that would justify dropping that country from the championship, not just a handful of them.

      1. Assuming lance still wants to continue his f1 hobby.

      2. Really? So what horror would make you turn away? SA and Bahrain not brutal enough for you? The “problems” in Canada are equivalent to those in SA? Really?

    7. I think what we are witnessed – and I want to stress that I have nothing to back my claim, it’s simply my observation and opinion – regarding the stewarding from the Canadian backlash is that after the that they wanted to loosen up the policing and they went to far.

    Comments are closed.