Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed that the team will race with a vast upgrade package on the RP19 in Australia.
Racing Point were nondescript throughout pre-season testing, never featuring close to the forefront of the times with either Sergio Perez or Lance Stroll. However, on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed that the team have held back a large upgrade package and that the RP19 will be vastly different to the one used in pre-season testing.
“The car you will see in Melbourne is quite different from the car we ran in Barcelona.” said the team boss.
“We took the strategic decision to give ourselves the maximum time to develop the car, to maximise our performance at the first race, and that meant holding back a little during testing. It’s not easy introducing new parts late in the day and we know it will be a steep learning curve, but we believe this approach will pay off in the long run.”
Szafnauer went on to explain that the RP19 was designed when the team were still the under-resourced Force India squad throughout most of last year, meaning the upgrades have all been designed since the funding injection under the new owners: “We begin 2019 with a new identity and new energy. There’s fresh investment, too, with new partners joining us, but it takes time for this investment to be translated into performance on the track. A big part of the RP19 was designed before the new shareholders acquired the team so this is very much a year of transition.”
“The aim this year is to take a step forward and compete at the front of the midfield once again. We recognise this won’t be an easy task because it’s shaping up to be one of the closest midfields we have seen for a long time – with just a few tenths separating a handful of teams.”
“We are realistic about the challenge ahead of us and the amount of work needed to achieve our objectives. It’s a long season and we have a solid development plan in place. I’d like to think we can be fighting for points in Melbourne and that’s certainly the first objective heading into the first race weekend.”