Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19

Changes at Racing Point ‘bode well for 2020’

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In the round-up: Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the team has made big gains since it was rescued from administration in mid-2018.

What they say

Lawrence Stroll’s consortium has invested in the team since taking it over and Szafnauer says they expect to make gains in 2020:

We’ve improved a lot. CFD improvements, I think we’re up to the same level as everybody else. Manufacturing improvements, we’ve hired people. There’s a lot of things we’ve done that are now better.

That should bode well for next year.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Lee reckons McLaren have their priorities sorted:

Getting Seidl was the best thing McLaren have done in a decade.

To be honest, I wouldn’t blame them for sacrificing 2020. The rules haven’t really changed, they’ve shown they can make the fourth-best car (with the current rules, that’s as good as they’ll get) and putting energy into 2021 will pay off.

Of course they don’t want to be seen as going backwards, but I think they can relax a bit, maybe take a few risks knowing it’ll all be reset next year but not worry as they’ve proven themselves after a difficult few years.
Lee H (@Stopitrawr)

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Author information

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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12 comments on “Changes at Racing Point ‘bode well for 2020’”

  1. Interesting article about Cyril.

    I suspect he’s kidding himself is he thinks that the big three aren’t as advanced for 2021 as they are.

    It’s concerning though that they’ve devoted a lot of resources to 2021 – that can’t possibly be good for 2020 and I’d have thought they’d want a very positive year this year to have any chance of retaining Daniel. Either that or they have him so integrally involved in the 2021 project he’ll have no choice but to see it through.

    I’m excited at the prospect of a changing of the guard in 2021, but don’t want this season to be ruined by teams shifting their efforts too early and allowing 1 team to dominate in the hope they’ll gain an advantage in 2021.

    1. @dbradock Indeed a bit weird by him to try and imply the big three wouldn’t be as far advanced for the next significant technical reg-changes as Renault.

    2. Abiteboul is buying himself some time. Two years time by telling the board not to worry… We’re focused in 2021!

      What can Ricciardo expect from that comment?

      I trust McLaren judgment better. New pit stop equipment, keep pushing forward to keep the winning spirit alive and transfer that momentum to 2021.

  2. Yes McLaren have made great gains since their aquasition of Seidl, but this year will be the litmus test on if they understood why their car was good or not.

  3. “”There is no team looking at 2021 the way we are looking at that particular year. I don’t think there is any team as advanced as we are on 2021, simply because we have decided to allocate lots of resources to it.”

    Erm…does this mean that he thinks that Renault will be fine in 2021 because they’re chucking a bunch of money at it? Worrying.

    Oh and Mclaren promoting Stella…thats got to be Alonso’s long and evil arms at play…surely.

  4. Re CoTD – completely agree. I dont really see why any team in the midfield wouldn’t do the same, to be honest.
    Minor battles to win in 2020 – retaining a driver, or getting a few more millions (bigger deal for them than I make it sound, of course), but comparing to the gains of potentially being on top of new regulations… I think the latest illustration of what that is like is too recent for anyone to forget.

    1. @minilemm I agree with the COTD 100% as well, but the point about the latest illustration being too recent for anyone to forget is equally valid.

      1. @minilemm @jerejj I too would not be shocked if mid-field teams started putting as much emphasis on 2021 as possible as soon as possible…sooner than they normally would start prepping for the next season when said next season has rules stability. The top teams (I consider Mac one of them) can afford to do both and will have to keep 2020 up for the sake of the title fights, but at least they have the money, staff, and resources to do both at once.

        But just as a reminder, it will be very interesting to see if one team dominates ala Mercedes since the last sea change of regs for 2014, but I think more likely we will not see the types of dominant runs we have had pre-Liberty (I include Mercs current run as pre-Liberty). I would think the hybrid Pu(s) will have converged even more by 2021, and with the teams and the cars running closer (on paper for now but I believe it will be the case), I think we may have seen the end of multiple season in a row utter domination, and rather closer harder fought Championships amongst several players, not just the two on the dominant team.

        I know I am already projecting that in the future I will be happily regaling Max’s Championships (and I don’t get wrapped up in quantity but rather quality), as being closer and harder fought drivers Championships than dominant lift and coast, cruise according to the engineers instructions type of Championships from what BE brought in his last decade particularly.

        1. Who doest love an optimist! :)
          Although I do expect vastly different levels of preparation and understanding from different teams still, I also have a suspicion that the new regs will have less engineering freedom and less perfomance differentiation built-in, so the difference between the class-of-the-field car and a solid midfield car will probably be much less – not sure how I feel about that (probably for the best, but its a shame to lose what always seemed to me like the integral part of f1) but that is my expectation anyway.

          Actually re engineering freedom it seems a rather big deal to me.
          I hope the cars arent made too “prescribed” before the new financial model had the time to set in and produce its consequences – cos maybe we dont even need to help out the backmarkers out in the brave new world we’ll build, but it seems like both is being done at the same time… cos ain nobody got time for that y’know.

          1. I.e… i think the best thing would be to change the regs yet once more when the budget cap has been in place for a couple of years and that would actually give us a level(er) playing field cos the big guns wont have money to throw at it, and wont have any “frozen advantage”

  5. Great to see Seidl making McLaren F1 team his own.
    I expect a lot of him and his team.

    I found another quote by Zak Brown (from McLaren website) much more intriguing:

    What do you attribute the team’s progress to last year?
    We had a lot of changes coming into 2019. First and foremost, two brand new drivers, neither of whom have a world championship on their CV.

    Does he really think that the main reason for the better performance in 2019 is due to the driver change?
    I wish he were right with Sainz being the new and improved Alonso, and Norris the next Verstappen. But I think he is selling his engineers and design team short there.
    Last year’s car was simply very good, creating some space between them and the true F1.5 cars.

  6. Seidl is a superhero, the way he managed to help mclaren become 4th best team is epic, he didn’t even need to do a thing… mclaren has done a good job, it is not down to 1 person especially Seidl. Want to laud Seidl wait till the end of the year.

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