It may be Renault who has protested the Racing Point but Christian Horner says “everyone” should be worried about the pink Mercedes’ pace.
Red Bull driver Alexander Albon found himself engaging in a late-race battle with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez at the Styrian Grand Prix.
Heading into the final 20 laps of the 71-lap grand prix, Perez overtook Daniel Ricciardo to run fourth. He was four seconds behind Albon when he made the move.
Within four laps he had that gap down to 1.1s before another epic lap saw the Racing Point driver move to within DRS range.
He shadowed Albon for several laps before attempting a pass on lap 70.
That didn’t go according to plan with Perez’s RP20 suffering front wing damage as they banged wheels.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 12, 2020
Albon brought his car home in fourth place while the damage to Perez’s car resulted in the Mexican driver falling to sixth, losing out to Lando Norris on the final lap.
“I think everybody would be worried by the Racing Point,” Horner told RaceFans.net. “I mean, he was quicker than a Mercedes, Perez, at that point in the race.
“Bearing in mind that [Valtteri] Bottas was on tyres that were within one lap of age to the Racing Point, Perez was three or four tenths quicker.
“So it was very impressive pace that they showed.”
Shortly after the grand prix it was confirmed that Renault had officially protested the RP20, which is heavily based on the Mercedes F1 car.
The stewards deemed the protest admissible and the FIA impounded the front and rear brake ducts of Racing Point’s Formula 1 cars and ordered Mercedes to provide its corresponding 2019 parts.
Renault alleges that Racing Point has breached the rules that demand teams are responsible for designing Listed Parts themselves.
While Perez was P6 on Sunday, his team-mate Lance Stroll brought his car home in seventh place.
The Canadian reckons Racing Point had the “second quickest car” at the Styrian GP.
“I really believe today we had you know, debatably the second quickest car, maybe third, but we were definitely quicker than Renault, McLaren and a lot of other of our competitors. So that was really positive,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“You know, it wasn’t the perfect race setting for both of us. I mean for Sergio starting 17th it was a pretty good result. I think he probably would have signed up for that before the race!
“From my side there were definitely some frustrating parts of the race, being stuck behind Ricciardo, but the pace was there the whole race and that’s what’s really promising going forward.”