Carlos Sainz says it isn’t possible to predict the 2020 pecking order based on testing, but expects Racing Point to be “very quick”.
In what will be their final season under the identity before becoming Aston Martin, Racing Point started the controversy early in pre-season testing with their overhauled aero philosophy.
The problem was that this redesigned RP20 had an uncanny resemblance to Mercedes’ W10 which earned a sixth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ title double in 2019.
It did little to please their rivals, and the impressive pace which they showed throughout pre-season testing sparked talk of them possibly even challenging Ferrari at the season-opener in Australia.
Of course testing is a very poor guide to judging where the teams stand in terms of performance, but Sainz nonetheless expects the RP20 to be “very quick”.
“I think every single team, at some point of the tests, they’ve done a very strong laptime, so it’s very difficult to know who is in front of the midfield or behind,” the McLaren driver is quoted by Autosport.
“I think the Racing Point and even the AlphaTauri, I would put them as probably the most dangerous guys to beat.
“The team [McLaren] doesn’t have a clear picture of how far we are from the top three.
“But we will see immediately in FP1, FP2 [in Melbourne], when we will run the same fuel loads or more or less.
“On the midfield, the Racing Point – they’ve been very quick the whole of the two weeks.
“They hit the track on the first day and they did a [1m]17.3.
“And since then they haven’t improved much because I don’t think they want to – but that 17.3 on the first day, I think it impressed all of us and they’re going to be quick, very quick.”