Lance Stroll, Racing Point, 2020

Podiums “very achievable” for Racing Point in 2020 – Stroll

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lance Stroll is confident he and team mate Sergio Perez will have the chance to finish on the podium this year.


What they say

Stroll was asked whether team principal Otmar Szafnauer’s aim to get both cars on the podium during the 2020 F1 season is achievable:

Very achievable. This sport’s full of surprises.

We’ll try and be there in the right position when the opportunity comes and capitalise on it. That’s the nature of the sport.

Anything can happen on any given Sunday so we’ll just focus on Melbourne and it’s a long season, it’s a marathon, so try and score as many points as we can and hopefully a podium in there somewhere.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Williams can’t afford to set their sights too high this year, says Dan:

Surely at this stage Williams need to be hoping for “average” as opposed to “tragic”. If this turns out to be an average car which can fight in the mid-field then it will be something of a victory. With the regulations changing completely next year, I completely understand that it’s not sustainable to spend so much research and development on one season.

Stripping the car back and learning what went wrong is probably more valuable at this stage.
Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)

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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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  • 41 comments on “Podiums “very achievable” for Racing Point in 2020 – Stroll”

    1. I love Imola I really do but I honestly don’t think it’s suitable for modern F1 given how important a factor overtaking has become since 2006.

      When Imola was part of F1 in the past & it was one of the hardest circuits to overtake on most people overlooked that because it was always seen as a fantastic circuit to drive on where just watching the cars driving around it was fun to watch.

      Today however I doubt the modern F1 fanbase would put up with such a thing because they need something to happen & no longer seem content with simply enjoying the thrill, the challenge or the spectacle of watching the fastest race cars on earth been pushed towards the limit by some of the best drivers around circuits designed primarily to challenge them & the car.

      The races at Imola in 2005/2006 were considered some of the most exciting races/battles of those years yet if you showed a modern fan those races they would no doubt pick them apart as been 2 of the worst races they have ever seen because there wasn’t that much overtaking. Would actually be an interesting experiment to show modern fans some of the races from the past that were at the time considered great & see what they think of them, Although I think I already know the answer.

      Maybe an F1TV watchalong or something with classic races, Would be interesting indeed me thinks.

      1. @roger-ayles – Nice comment. A counterpoint would be this – I think 2020 offers the likelihood of some of the closest racing of this hybrid era, simply due to convergence. And in that respect, I think many of us would be totally fine with cars hounding each other, even if overtaking didn’t actually happen.

        Monza 2019 showed us that the thrill of the chase is entertaining enough, and Canada 2019 showed that even if an outright overtake isn’t possible, a chaser can possibly force the driver ahead into an error.

        The kind of “no overtaking” race that would be dreary to watch is where the field spreads out with each lap, and the only time cars come up against each other is when leaders come up to lap the backmarkers.

        Then again, this might be a moot point, given the logistical challenges associated with hosting a race at such short notice. However, Liberty are generally of the “let’s get it done” mindset, so if things start looking possible, then Liberty will put their full weight behind making it happen, and we might see the European leg of this season start a fortnight early.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing a race at Imola in April, given the alternative of a truncated race weekend in China in November. :)

        1. As a counterpoint 2020 could also be the most stagnant year of f1 in recent memory. Or even the most uncompetitive. Only the top teams have money to invest for 2020 and 2021 simultaneously at this stage whereas most of the teams are already looking at 2021 at the expense of 2020. In one scenario the pecking order is pretty much the same as in 2019 with some teams swapping places. Haas should improve, ferrari and merc are probably closer all year long and red bull stays where they are. In other scenario the top teams will inch away a little bit as everybody else are dividing their resources whereas the top teams just increase their spending to get a full 2020 and also build up for 2021. I’d be extremely surprised if 2020 is a good racing year in f1. If ferrari gets closer to merc it might save a lot but the rest of the grid is just not going to change.

          1. @socksolid silliest comment i’ve read in quite some time. Sensationalist reaching at it’s finest.

            Stable regs following a closed up field in 2019 will result in a close season. Stop being silly.

            1. Just because you hope something will happen does not guarantee it will happen.

        2. @phylyp Only two months to go till the original Chinese GP-slot so would be effectively impossible to get everything needed to host an F1 race in place by then even with permanent-circuits.

      2. Overtaking at Imola nowadays would be no more challenging than at any current Grand Prix circuit. You are also wrong about the what recent fans would think of it, they would enjoy watching those particular races from 15 or so years ago because they were very good, very competitive, and most importantly unpredictable, certainly compared with most of the last 100 or so races.

      3. @roger-ayles Well said. Imola is a fan favorite for many reasons, but it stopped being a great venue for “racing” a long time ago.

        As an aside, I always use Imola 05/06 and the last 6 or 7 laps of Monaco 92 to prove to naysayers that you don’t need loads of overtaking to have a spectacular and enjoyable race.

        1. You don’t need lots of overtaking but you need the chance of overtaking. If there is no realistic chance of overtaking, like in Monaco in recent times, it’s literally just a procession and not a race.

      4. I really hope you are mixing up the fia focus for overtaking and what the people actually want. Things like drs only really exist at this point to convert on track quality into quantity and that has been the key focus for f1 since it was added. I think the best races of even 2019 were the ones where there was a chase going on but the pass did not materialize.

        But I really want to believe when a modern fan watches that 2005 imola race for example it is a good race and experience for them even if you exclude the obvious part about cars sounding amazing and pure nostalgia. As a counterpoint I did gave away of the result of that race so the main excitement and unpredictability is lost and if 2005 imola was rated the result of that race would probably set its value a lot lower than it was when it happened. When you were watching that unfold you did not know the outcome like we do know now. I really want to believe just because the f1 leaders are dumbing down the sport the viewers have not been dumbed down to the same level. I want to believe a good fight is s till appreciated more than huge number of button press position changes.

        1. @socksolid You do realize of course that it was under BE and with the top four teams with all the power, that we got drs? And Brawn wants it gone? Drs came about due to lack of leadership and F1’s inability to get off the aero downforce addiction that brought too many processions. It is not that anybody, no fans, nor any teams, nor F1 and the FIA that ever said that a preference to processions was multiple passes per race at the expense of quality…well, I guess BE did, but we found out that aero downforce is still too harmful and still for the most part overcomes even the push button passing.

          Why doesn’t it bode well for you that Brawn wants drs gone and cars able to follow more closely? He has not said at any point that he would prefer numbers of passes for the sake of numbers over quality of racing , and indeed stands for exactly what you would wish for…closer racing and more passing attempts. Do you not get that? Passing attempts…not passes. Show me the quotes that have you convinced it is about sheer numbers of passes with Brawn and Liberty. Explain to me exactly where Brawn is supposedly ‘dumbing down’ F1, when he is trying to make it a more balanced, less predictable series, harder fought by drivers racing more closely. You want the action and not the push button passes and that is exactly what Brawn wants too. As I said to Roger, this can only be a case of you only reading into it something you want to read, just for the sake of being in a huff about something. But you’re misguided. For you to have the attitude you do about quality of passes over quantity you should be absolutely stoked about the changes coming for 2021.

          1. If brawn wants drs gone then why is it on the 2021 car?

            1. @socksolid As he explained it was simply to have it there in case the teams found loopholes or ways to retain a harmful amount of clean air dependence, which I personally do not believe they will be able to do with the new regs being so heavily ground effects oriented and the wings being so altered. So I expect there to be a minimal chance that drs will be needed and used, and should fade away.

              As I said already, you will not find quotes from Brawn or Liberty, nor the teams, that implies they want more and more passes simply for the sake of numbers. You will find quotes of Brawn saying he is no fan of drs. So I would suggest you not hang your hat on the fact they are retaining drs as a mere backup, and rather take all the weight of what Brawn has been saying since he took over, and take that as a great sign of things to come. I’ll go so far as to suggest that if for some reason they do feel they need drs initially in 2021, then Brawn will quickly tweek the technical regs to see that more clean air dependence is removed completely, along with drs.

            2. I don’t generally put much emphasis on what public people say if their actions contradict what comes out of their mouth. So it is somewhat weird seeing you trying to claim that what I write is wrong simply because of what brawn is saying to journalists. I never said brawn has been openly a fan or supporter of drs and I don’t even base my criticism on his words. His action contradicts what he is saying. Drs is on the 2021 cars. And the factor that decides whether it will not be used will be based on number of passes.

              Also you are getting it wrong when you say the drs is a backup. Fia has the option to not use the drs by not assigning drs zones for each track individually. It is not an opt-in system. It is an opt-out. It is not that drs might be enabled but that it might be disabled. That is an important difference:

              Also what you claim about drs being there just in case someone finds a loophole. For 2021 the rule system will change so that changes can be made quicker to ban loopholes at the next race. How would an opt-out drs work against sudden appearance of a design based on loop hole that creates… reduction in passing?!

              So I’ll sum it up:
              – drs is on 2021 cars and it is on by default. Fia can choose to opt-out from using it. Who at fia makes this decision? Brawn works for liberty, not fia.
              – drs is not intended to be used for loopholes. Instead new rule systems are being put in place to make it possible to close any loopholes as quick possible by making those loophole designs illegal.

      5. The layout of Imola has also changed, so can’t really compare it to the past races. I’m guessing they would not use the final chicane with F1 cars, leading to a long DRS zone from Rivazza to Tamburello, making overtaking easy-ish.

      6. @roger-ayles Don’t include me in the old vs modern fans theory as I always detested the racing on the track, and was super happy when it was stricken from the calendar. I even new it was ultra dangerous too before that ’94 weekend, having seen Berger smash into the same wall with no changes made. Rubbish track except to drive on in the sim.

        1. @balue Imola in 1994 wasn’t really that much more dangerous to other circuits at the time.

          Talburello was a fast corner with a bit of runoff & a wall but there were a dozen other corners in F1 at the time that were just as fast with just as little (And in some cases even less) runoff. Look at the speeds/runoff at corners like Curve Grande, Lesmo 2 (Which used to be flat out in qualifying), Eau Rouge, Blanchmont, Copse, The old flat out T13/14 at Montreal, Parts of Estoril & Suzuka.

          There had been some very big accidents at Imola/Tamburello but there had been many similarly big accidents elsewhere. Look at Alex Zanardi’s at Spa the year before for instance.

          1. @roger-ayles True but I honest to god had Tamburello down as THE death trap (and maybe the Monaco chicane too) after the Berger crash and was just waiting for something there. When they went to put the blame on Williams after the Senna fatality, I was bloody furious when everyone and their dog could see that the blame lay squarely on those who approved having a concrete wall 5 meters from such a fast corner (FIA/Mosley), and even regular joes like me had spotted it years before. When the corner couldn’t be altered because of nature conservationists not allowing cutting down of trees or whatever, and they put the chicane to kill of the only realistic overtaking place, Imola just became torture to watch after that.

      7. @roger-ayles I don’t subscribe to your theory that overtaking became important after 2006, like it wasn’t before, or like that was a bad thing, nor do I agree that today’s is now a ‘modern day’ audience and 05/06 was something different. I think you are making some assumptions or assertions to support a general view you have about F1 that not everyone shares.

        Oh I do take your point, that being it would not be good to encourage passes simply for the sake of the numbers of them, as opposed to passes being rare and memorable which is how F1 has been for the most part all along.

        But I think you are painting the audience, and especially with your highlighting your belief that 05/06 is not even part of the ‘modern fan’ era, with a broad brush, and you are also painting F1 and Brawn with one too.

        Interestingly though, your cited hinge year of 06 came right after the MS/Ferrari trumped up dynasty where the whole of F1 was skewed towards one driver on one team compiling numbers, so yeah, after that run of ultimate predictability, sure there was an appetite for less processions by even the old guard of fandom, all the while with viewership in general declining.

        But nothing did really change did it? F1 put together a group by 08 to encourage closer racing, but under BE giving power to the top teams nothing came of it as they all stayed motivated and permitted to just continue escalating the spending while burying the smaller teams while doing everything they selfishly could to continue short term gain with an unsustainable model.

        Along came hated drs and hopefully it will be gone soon. A question for you…if you think today’s ‘modern audience’ as well as Liberty and Brawn are so hungry for quantities of passes over quality, why is drs so hated? Why does Brawn want to see it gone?

        Sorry but I think you are going down the wrong path with your assumptions about today’s audience, as well as Brawn’s (and all the teams of course) direction going forward. I defy you to find me one quote from Brawn or the teams that imply they want an increase in passes for the sake of the numbers. No, what you will find though are quotes of them talking about an increase in close encounters amongst drivers. An increase in passing attempts, not literal passes. An increase in the enthralling action you want to see, and a decrease in easy push button passes that are forgotten the minute they have been done. Brawn wants a driver vs driver series, not a satellite team of engineers vs satellite team of engineers telling drivers what to do to maximize a computer generated optimum race strategy.

        I fail to understand how everything Brawn has said since taking his position with Liberty has you down this incorrect path. I think the phenomenon must be that some people read what they want to read, and will even rewrite history or redefine it to suit a point that misses the mark, imho of course.

    2. I can see ̶F̶o̶r̶c̶e̶ ̶I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ Racing Point snatching a rare podium for the midfield, if this season has a wild race or two like 2019.

      Pérez has shown himself to be capable of putting himself in the right place at the right time to capitalize on lady luck (an ability that the Hulk sadly couldn’t demonstrate). Further, I am hopeful that their car will also run well right from the outset, with them having had stable financials for well over a year now.

      I don’t think Stroll might get a podium, but stranger things have happened, such as Kubica scoring Williams’ sole point.

      On another note, can someone please remind me who Racing Point’s title sponsor is? I just can’t put my finger on it. Drawing a total blank here. If only they had put the name on the car, it’d help people like me. Oh, well.

      1. A little understated, @phylyp, but believe the title sponsor is Austin Martian Big Water Telephone company. Need to check the fine print tho.

      2. I don’t think Stroll might get a podium, but stranger things have happened

        Baku’17 technically is not ‘stranger’ but rather at the same level of ‘strangeness’.
        Bashing Stroll becomes a bit boring though.

        1. @coldfly – good point, and he did hold on to his podium position for nearly half that race, not just lucking into it close to the end.

          Bashing Stroll becomes a bit boring though.

          Please do point out to me when I have been bashing Stroll, at least since the “Stroll challenge”. I definitely rate him in the lower half of the midfield drivers, not one of those I’d pick to replace a driver in a top team.

          Assuming any criticism of Stroll is “bashing” or “hating” becomes a bit boring, though.

      3. No midfield team can take a podium on merit. Any midfield team can take a podium if 4 of the top 6 cars have a problem. That’ll be no different this year than the last few years.

    3. Imola would be an awesome addition, if only because Europe should have more races. Mugello would be great, too.

    4. NASCAR’s Daytona 500 finally finished and while Denny Hamlin’s beat Ryan Blaney in a photo finish, all thoughts are on Ryan Newman. After Coming to the line he was turned by Blaney and the car flipped over. He was subsequently hit in the driver side window area by Corey Lajoie. Last word is that he was removed from his car and sent immediately to a local hospital. As of this time, there is no word on his condition.

      1. @dragon86 – saw the video, pretty scary. That second impact on what is probably a compromised safety cell is very worrying. :(

        Here’s hoping that he’s fine.

      2. Update: NASCAR Vice President Steve O’Donnell made an official announcement that Newman suffered Serious, but non-life threatening injuries in the last lap crash.

      3. @dragon86 Pack racing is & always will be silly.

        Putting drivers in a situation where you have 30-40 cars lumped together in a big pack where 1 small mistake from somebody can leave half the field nowhere to go so you get ‘The big one’ is just not racing in my view. And you have drivers been encouraged to bump into each other at 200mph which is what caused the newman accident, It’s just not racing or even a true sport as far as i’m concerned.

        And if they didn’t have the gimmick green white checker finish artificially extending the length of the race the Ryan Newman accident would have never happened as the race would have ended under yellow after the 2nd ‘big one’.

        nascar is show entertainment pretending to be a sport, it’s a joke and always will be for as long as they continue doing this with a ‘championship’ system that isn’t even a true championship, It’s a total joke.

        1. Yeah I don’t disagree but just wanted to point out a few facts in slight defence of NASCAR. At Daytona and Talladega, the cars’ engines have restrictor plates on them which restricts airflow to the engine cylinders, thus reducing horsepower. They did this to curtail dangerously high speeds at these highest of speed ovals. The downside of this is that by reducing horsepower at these 3 events annually (they go back to Daytona for a 400 miler later in the season) the cars can’t accelerate away from each other, and need to stay in packs in order to gain aerodynamically. Technically they stopped using ‘restrictor plates’ after last year’s Daytona 500, but have since called them ‘tapered spacers’ which do the same thing in reducing hp.

          Just wanted to point out that the vast majority of the races in NASCAR are not like these restrictor plate races, and significantly, the drivers hate it, and are not afraid to provide subtle hints of their dislike for it, usually when interviewed after a race that had several ‘big ones’ due to their close proximity on the track at high speeds with this style of racing. I have no doubt that more than a few drivers will be sarcastically highlighting Ryan Newman’s hospitalization as ‘what NASCAR and some of it’s fans want, since they seem to like restrictor plate racing and the danger that comes with it.’ As I say, the drivers are no fans of this.

    5. I’d really like seeing Imola back! Though I feel they could at least revert Villeneuve back to original. Tosa used to be a nice overtaking point.

    6. Very achievable. This sport’s full of surprises.


      Anything can happen on any given Sunday


    7. Eliud Kipchoge a runner up to Hamilton and Messi at this year’s laureus awards! That’s surprising to me, what does an athlete need to do to win this? Kipchoge was up against the stiffest competition in history broke the record for the marathon and inspired the world by demonstrating that the 2 hour mark could be beaten under perfect conditions.

      1. @twentyseven first of all, why would messi win? Maybe Sane or djik, even ronaldo would make more sense. Both marathon records were beaten using the new controversial nike shoes and many kenyans have been caught by wada. There are lots of people worthy of the award.

        1. @peartree,
          Kipchonge’s shoe was as legal as the W11; just better than the competition.
          The problem is though that all runners can use that shoe, but only Hamilton and his wingman could race the W10.

          1. @coldfly well ham could dope but it wouldnt make much of a diference.
            The shoe was a new prototype from that line-up.

    8. This is what midfield teams should live for.

      That one race per year where they could do a Maldonado and score a victory.

      Until F1 is not in position where midfield teams can compete for roughly 1 win per year on averate, we have a problem.

      Teams like Racing point, McLaren, Renault, etc must be close enough to win 1 race per year. The other 20+ will go to Big 3 by default, but midfielders should be within 30 seconds of a victory, so when teams mess up on strategy or something they have a shot.

    9. I wouldn’t hold much hope for the Imola-idea. It just isn’t hugely realistic to get everything needed to host an F1 race in place at this short notice, especially within two months (referring to what’s left till the original China-slot). The good thing, though, is that the people there also acknowledge the probable realities.

    10. Regarding the COTD, I find it strange that you’d continue without major revision a car design that you despised so much that you sacked the designer, yet that’s exactly the impression we are given. I guess its obvious about my complete ignorance on building cars when I say I can’t help but wonder why some of the claimed improvements of the FW43, e.g. better cooling, better brakes, weren’t addressed last season.

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