Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll is a “great driver” and must put the recent disappointing races behind him.
Once a real contender for P4 in the Drivers’ Championship Stroll has now suffered three DNFs in a row, while at the Portuguese Grand Prix he caused a stir by colliding with Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in separate Turn 1 incidents.
But Szafnauer says the time has come for Stroll to break out of this bad spell starting with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.
“I think yeah it has been a tough run with the tyre failures and being hit from behind by [Charles] Leclerc,” Szafnauer told reporters ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“I think the right thing is just take it one race at a time. You’ve got to put those races behind you, focus on this race, do the best you can. The harder you work the luckier you get and the results will come.
“He’s a greater driver, we have a good car, we just have to focus on the next one and that’s all you can do.”
Fortunately Stroll has a very positive attitude heading into the event as he returns to the Imola track where he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past, including wrapping up the F3 European Championship here.
“Onwards and upwards, looking forward to it,” said the Canadian.
“It’s a great track, it’s really fast, flowing, I’ve got great memories from the past here, I won the European Formula 3 Championship here in 2016 so looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.”
Luckily for Racing Point while Stroll hasn’t put any points on the board in the last four races Sergio Perez has been in red hot form, finishing P4 twice and P5 at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Perez will of course leave Racing Point at the end of the season, and Szafnauer wasn’t denying the fact that he would be missed by the team.
However, they look forward to welcoming in his replacement Sebastian Vettel.
“Checo is a great racer and has been with the team for a long time so for sure we’ll miss him,” he admitted.
“But we do welcome Sebastian and we look forward to working with him.”
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) October 30, 2020
Both Racing Point drivers have tested positive for COVID-19 during the season, but Szafnauer is now looking forward to the team being able to put that behind them and enjoy a strong end to the campaign.
“The fact that both drivers tested positive makes it a little bit more public, but I think Formula 1 has done a great job in general to contain the virus,” he explained.
“We’ve only had a handful of positive cases out of the 20,000 that we’ve done and two of them were our drivers so I think all in all we’ve done a great job to contain it.
“We look forward to finishing off the season very strong.”