Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer said 2020 was a “year of missed opportunities” for his team, but one with many positives to take away.
It was generally accepted that Racing Point had at least the third-best car coming into the 2020 season. After all, it was controversially based on the double-title winning Mercedes W10 of 2019.
And although over the course of the season teams like McLaren and Renault made strides in closing the deficit to Racing Point, the RP20 remained arguably the strongest package if Racing Point were able to put a race weekend together.
The problem was though that it didn’t happen often enough in 2020.
Golden opportunities came and went, albeit not always under Racing Point’s control. Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez were running P1 and P2 in Turkey, only for Stroll to later begin burning through his intermediate tyres due to damage discovered after the race, leaving him to finish P9.
The Bahrain Grand Prix where Perez retired from P3 due to an engine failure was another noticeable example.
And at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP Perez suffered another retirement while Stroll managed only a P10 finish, allowing McLaren to overturn the 10-point deficit heading into the event to snatch P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
So, a season of “missed opportunities” was definitely an accurate summary from Szafnauer, though he was pointing the finger at McLaren’s Carlos Sainz for the events of Abu Dhabi, even though the Spaniard was later cleared by the stewards.
“A difficult evening where things didn’t go our way. Lance’s race was heavily compromised by being held up by Sainz deliberately driving slowly in the pitlane, while Sergio retired on lap 10 with a loss of power,” he told the Racing Point website.
“Those developments left us facing an uphill task to retain third place in the Constructors’ Championship and we finished just seven points shy of that goal in the end.
“It’s been a year of missed opportunities for several reasons – including more than our fair share of bad luck that cost us valuable points.
“We will take the disappointment tonight in our stride and focus on the positives of an incredibly strong season where we enjoyed some great moments.
“We have shown that we have a competitive car and team, which will give us a great base to come back even stronger in 2021 under the Aston Martin name.
“A big ‘thank you’ to everybody in the team for their huge efforts and a fond farewell to Sergio after seven years with the team. We wish him all the best for the future.”