Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Racing Point only planning one update for 2020 car

2020 F1 season

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Racing Point is unlikely to bring more than one significant update for its car once the 2020 F1 season begins.

Technical director Andrew Green explained how the disruption to the start of the season has affected the team’s development plans.

“We had a big review of our development strategy since we got back [and] we got visibility of the calendar,” he explained. “Things like where we are racing.

“Are we racing at Monza? Are we racing at Spa? Those two tracks require specific packages to go with them. Are we racing at Monaco? Well, the answer to that was ‘no’ quite quickly.

“[But] we still have to race at those tracks. They need their own, individual packages.

“Beyond that, at this time of year, as we get into June, July, our focus is always turning towards next year’s car. Which is really odd considering this year’s car hasn’t turned a wheel. So we’re in a strange situation.”

Green said the team still intends to bring the original development package for the RP20 which would have coincided with the start of the European season on the original calendar.

“We had a set of updates that were that were going to come through, which was going to be for the old race six, the old Barcelona timeframe. All we do is we’ve moved that by nine weeks. So we’ll still be targeting that update which is probably going to be mid-season in the new season.”

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However the changes to the floor regulations for next season has led Racing Point to reconsider its priorities.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Rear floor change means teams need “front-to-back” aero rethink for 2021
“Beyond that our focus has changed to next year’s car,” said Green. “It’s a huge change, believe it or not. A very small change relatively speaking, to the floor has had quite a significant impact on the performance of the car.

“It is not just a redevelopment of the floor, unfortunately, it’s a redevelopment of almost the front-to-back aerodynamics to try to recover it. So it became quite clear quite quickly that our focus has to turn to 2021 because of that.

“It isn’t going to be a significant amount of aerodynamic carry-over from 2020 to ’21. Mechanical, yes, but aerodynamically probably not. So it became quite clear that we need to be moving our focus.

“Still sitting here now we don’t have a visibility beyond about eight races. So we would be unwise to be targeting a very big update for race nine, given that we don’t know what race nine is, when it is going to happen and where it’s going to happen. So we think the update that we’ve got planned and already had planned, when that comes through, that’ll probably be it for this year’s car.”

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2020 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 11 comments on “Racing Point only planning one update for 2020 car”

    1. ”this year’s car hasn’t turned a wheel.”
      – Incorrect as it, of course, did in Montmelo back in February, so misleading wording. A more precise wording would be something along the lines of ‘Which is really odd considering this year’s car hasn’t been run in racing conditions.’

    2. On the one hand, it is nice to get some insight into these kind of things. On the other hand, why is it always Racing Point that brings up these kind of things?

      And hadn’t they agreed NOT to do much aero development? And the floor change was meant explicitly to cut downforce, so teams now putting in a lot of work to negate that seems kind of contra productive? SHouldn’t they sit down and discuss that with the FIA?

      1. They were going to redesign much of the car anyway – that’s normal development which they’ll keep doing until the regulations specifically ban it, regardless of the intentions of any agreements. Paying no more than lip service to that sort of agreement is how you make progress on your rivals.
        Cutting out some of the floor surface area does reduce downforce – if it wasn’t useful then they wouldn’t have developed the floor that way in the first place. No matter what they do this year, they won’t get it all back.

        What they should do is go back to Pirelli and ask for the 2020 tyres and actually make it worth the redevelopment and expenditure that each and every team will throwing at it.

      2. @bascb the act of removing part of the floor does also shift the aerodynamic centre of pressure, which in turn is going to unbalance the handling of the car (with the aerodynamic centre of pressure potentially shifting forwards and now being out of sync with the centre of mass). That is inevitably going to require at least some development work so that, if nothing else, they can rebalance the handling of the car to bring it back into equilibrium with the centre of mass.

        1. In reality, they could get away with cutting some front wing out of it to maintain aero balance. Just accept that the car won’t be aerodynamically ‘perfect’ for a while.

          But since they are making a change to the floor anyway…
          Oh well, we might as well redesign the entire thing and coincidentally get much of that downforce back again. Oh dear, what a shame ;)

    3. Well.. considering that they’ve just taken the Mercedes’ championship winning car of last season and painted it pink.. they should have a pretty competitive machine anyways. In fact, I wouldn’t even risk too many updates on a car they haven’t built, as the development curve will be nothing like the people who actually built the car.

      1. They designed and built the car. Just accept it.

        1. It’s true. They designed and built the car to be exactly the same as last year’s Mercedes.

    4. Well….that’s one more upgrade than Haas is planning to introduce.

    5. Good thing the update is already outdated by now. The change to the floor is so f1, what a way to ruin things.

    6. The pandemic has been hell on tracing paper supply.

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