Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Racing Point critics were “naive” about team’s potential

2020 F1 season

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Racing Point technical director Andrew Green says rival teams who have criticised their change of approach for the 2020 F1 season were “naive” in underestimating their potential.

The team’s new RP20 closely resembles last year’s Mercedes W10. Racing Point already uses several Mercedes parts, including the power unit, gearbox and some suspension components, and the team said its new car follows world champions’ aerodynamic philosophy.

This has prompted criticism from some of their midfield rivals who have described the car as a ‘pink Mercedes’ and referred to the team as ‘Tracing Point’. Green says their rivals should be asking why they haven’t done the same.

“It boils down to the fact that some of the teams may have not done a good job as they should have done. I think they’re probably seeing that.

“We’re a team that finished fourth two years on the on the trot with next to no money at all. We were absolutely hand-to-mouth and we finished fourth in the championship, we beat the likes of McLaren. We could do that with next to nothing.

Andrew Green, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
“I don’t know what they’ve got to complain about” – Green
“For people to think that, to take a team like that and inject money and resource into it, it wasn’t going to improve it, was just naive. And I think they just haven’t stepped up to the plate.

“So I think a lot of their frustration is probably looking inwards and going ‘crikey, we haven’t done a very good job’. That’s what I’d be thinking if I was looking from the outside, then I’d be looking at my aero department going. ‘Come on guys, what on earth have you been playing at?'”

Asked whether he was surprised fellow Mercedes customer Williams hadn’t adopted the same approach Green said: “Yeah, very. I’m surprised a few teams haven’t done it.”

Green insisted there are no legality concerns over the RP20. “I don’t know what they’ve got to complain about because what we’ve done is completely legal,” he said.

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George Russell, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Green is surprised Williams haven’t done the same
“What we’re doing is racing with the rules that are written. Which I think is the idea of the game, really: You’re given a set of rules and you go fast. And that’s what we’re doing. We’ve been given a set of rules, we’re going as fast as we can.

“If other teams haven’t taken the route that we’ve taken, for reasons unknown to us, then that’s their decision. They have the opportunity to do exactly what we did, but they elected not to for reasons I don’t know.

“It’s something that we’ve been wanting to do for a very long time and haven’t had the budget to do. This was a natural thing for us to do. Absolutely, 100% natural.”

Criticism of the team gives Green “encouragement”, he said. “People are complaining about us. That is a good indication to me that we’re doing something really good. I’m happy. If we were at the bottom of the pack, no one would be mentioning what we’ve done at all.”

[smr2020test]Racing Point, previously known as Force India, went into administration in the middle of 2018. Green said the decision to pursue their new design philosophy was taken immediately after Lawrence Stroll purchased the team’s assets.

“We couldn’t go this route earlier,” he explained. “Our hands were tied financially and had been for many, many years.

“We had to carry over a huge amount of components from one year to the next and it wasn’t possible to do a reset like we’ve done. We didn’t have the financial resource, we didn’t have the people and we didn’t have the manufacturing capability as well. It takes a lot of infrastructure change to be able to do what we’ve just done and we didn’t have that.

“From the time that Lawrence and the consortium took over, for me to explain what we wanted to do and how we wanted to work, for all that to be implemented took quite a while. It took six to nine months and then we could start work. It was a long process, but one we decided we were going to do right from the very beginning, as soon as we came out of the administration.”

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2020 F1 season

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15 comments on “Racing Point critics were “naive” about team’s potential”

  1. Hmm ok. Personally I don’t have an issue with what RP has done for this season, but I’m not sure I’d be pounding my chest about it quite yet either. Let’s see how they do in the actual races. Oh sure it is hard to imagine they won’t be more competitive than last year, especially given that last year’s car was compromised due to the late start it got in design and build due to the Stroll takeover in 2018.

    But for now as I say let’s see them actually translate what they have done to race results when all the teams have likely progressed and should be closer to each other than last year. As to Green saying he is surprised other teams haven’t done what they have, I sort of chuckled because realistically, when you look at the primary goal of winning the Championships, that will never happen by designing a lookalike to last years Championship car, as that was then and this is now. They’ll surely improve, but will never win a Championship this way, and a win this year would only have to come from the attrition of the top teams who are driving actual current cars. And it is not like the current RP is going to literally perform like LH’s Merc did last year.

    Next year RP won’t have a 2021 car to copy, so they’re on their own, and no doubt they’ll have bolstered themselves even further in investment of staff and facilities, and they’re going to need it in order to really play with the big boys and not just ape what the winner did the previous year.

  2. What a sad story, if all the midfields cars end-up being a carbon copy of previous year winning car the “sport” will lost a lot of appeal… What they have done is not what I want to see in F1, it does not matter to me how well they perform with it. The direction Tracing Point and Haas are going is detrimental to F1.

    Hell everyone keep saying its a team effort and not all about the driver, but if now the design part is out of equation we may as well leave the top 5 competing and ditch the rest of the grid. It has became clowny.

  3. I don’t like much those sister teams (Haas, RP, Alpha Tauri) but that shows also that unfortunately that is the approach to get best results for your bucks within current regulation, no doubt about that and RP seems to have done a good job this year. As Haas showed last year, it’s not a given, one year is not the next.

    I feel bad for teams as McLaren, Renault and Williams (I don’t really know where to put Alfa as there seems to have some independance left from the Sauber days) which want to do as much as possible in house and are at risk from those low budget teams. McLaren and Renault still managed to stay on top of this midfield while Williams was nowhere near anyway. It kind of give them (McLaren and Renault) credits being 4th and 5th on 10 teams, wouldn’t be the same picture with 6 teams on the grid, and hopefully they will get to the top three teams soon. Thus I think sister teams is the best of two evils.

    When it happens, another issue will arise as remaining teams will fight for leftovers from the top 5, and their point hauls might become a lottery depending on their position when incidents happen up front… Given the increase in reliability, I think point system should extend to more than 10 places.

  4. If all teams, except the top three took this approach then we may as well get Dallara (or similar) to build 14 identical cars like last years winner and call it F1B or similar.

  5. “If we were at the bottom of the pack, no one would be mentioning what we’ve done at all.”

    That says it all. The fact is they are in no position yet to design a championship winning car from scratch. The next best thing is to use the rules to maximize your returns. That’s what they’re trying to do. It’s not guaranteed to work but the odds are more in their favor. It would be even more entertaining should they end up beating the Mercs on occasion because of some evolution they’ve stumbled upon.

    1. He’s wrong though. Haas did bad last year and still people called them a Ferrari copy every time.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        28th February 2020, 16:54

        It’s simple for me – people talk about the “DNA” of F1 and what that means to them. It’s different to everyone so people will have differing views but for me, one of the key components in the “DNA” of F1 is that you design your own car. It’s what sets it apart from the likes of Indycar and F2.

        What Racing Point are doing is within the rules but it’s taking the easy route. It’s like the difference between a musician who writes their own music vs a pop singer who sings other people’s songs through an auto-tune unit. The pop singer may end up with a better, more catchy song that sells more copies but ultimately, I respect them less for it.

  6. Well it was certainly a decision that bore a huge amount of risk. If the car is terrible then that’d be a heck of a lot of egg to wipe off their faces.
    I hope the car goes like stink. They’re a darn good team

    1. I think a lot of the admiration for the team in recent years has been due to them being feisty midfielders: best bang for the buck and all that, apart from the team’s heritage.

      It just seems like this decision isn’t going to continue to win them fans for the same reason. Yes, they might continue to grow fans due to their drivers, and better results that seem to be around the corner. But the sort of “you go, guys” admiration that they had all these years is likely to dwindle if they use this same approach in 2022 as well.

      I don’t think Haas have won any fans for their operating model. Grudging acknowledgement and respect for pushing the envelope right up to the edge of the regulations? Yes. Admiration for the same? Hardly.

      It makes me uneasy to see Force India go down this route. It has (almost) increased my respect for the Williams ship to go down with their own principles of building their own car.

  7. They’re already convinced they’ve got it in the bag!!! They may just turn out to be fools when the music starts.
    We’ll see.

  8. He seems very defensive. A neutral statement like:” RP looks a lot like last year mercedes.” Is not criticism. Just like “Haas looks a lot like Ferrari.” Is just an observation. I think many fans understand the business model. I do have more respect for teams like McLaren and Williams who really do their own thing (as far as I know), which maybe can be interpreted as negative on other teams, but it isn’t.

    I am surprised that he is surprised other teams haven’t adopted it. Surely he understands the pride and joy of building a F1 machine by yourself.

    1. I am surprised that he is surprised other teams haven’t adopted it. Surely he understands the pride and joy of building a F1 machine by yourself.

      This is why Haas are extremely venomous about RP attitude, considering all the bad press they got from them early on… Hypocrites.

      I do agree it put a lot more emphasis on Williams, McLaren and Renault for doing their own things despite being in the middefield. Those are team with pride who won WCC in the past. Even if they are not longer in the run, they still knows what it means to be in F1. Not content swallowing breadcrumbs like a bunch of low end.

  9. Well, even in case their car gives them the leap ahead of midfielders like McLaren and Renault at the beginning of the season, they’ll need to evolve this car. I trust McLaren to steady develop throughout the year and in case Renault has learnt from their mistakes, that they will be also strong on the development race.

  10. Let’s face it the total excitement of Formula 1 racing is wheel-to-wheel passing and out braking who gives a damn who designed the car or what ….I want two hours of action-packed racing not to sit there with a micrometre and measure the distance between the slats on the front Wing give me a break

  11. Can copying be called innovation?

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