Racing Point are the first team to use their 2020 car at a track since pre-season testing back in February, as they used a filming day up at Silverstone on Friday.
The Racing Point RP20, which showed quite favourably on the timesheets during pre-season testing in Barcelona, has become the first 2020 car to be driven on track since then. With every Grand Prix cancelled in the first half of the season, the revised schedule sees Formula 1 kick off the season in two weeks time.
With a fortnight to go until the Austrian Grand Prix, the teams are finding ways to blow off the cobwebs and sharpen up again for the return to racing after more than six months without a Grand Prix. While Mercedes and Renault carried out two day tests in recent days, they did so with their 2018 cars – as is permitted under the rules of using two year olds cars. McLaren couldn’t use their 2018 car as they’ve changed power unit suppliers since then, so Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz did a track day with Carlin at Silverstone using Formula 3 cars.
Ferrari did a demonstration run using their 2020 car as they drove the SF1000 slowly down the streets of Maranello as a symbolic gesture of reawakening for Northern Italy after the coronavirus devastated the region, but made sure to stop the car as Charles Leclerc pulled out onto the Fiorano circuit – a short demo run with the car in such a fashion wouldn’t contravene the rules.
Racing Point are thus the first team to return their 2020 car to a circuit properly, as they used up their second permitted filming day at Silverstone’s National Circuit on Friday. Decamping across the road from their factory, Racing Point took the opportunity to use their last filming day of the season to refresh themselves with Lance Stroll at the wheel. Filming days mean the team are restricted to 100 kilometres a day with specially provided Pirelli compounds.
Ferrari are also expected to carry out a filming day next week, using their 2020 car. Both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are expected to carry out driving duties, set for Mugello in Italy.