Racing Point may issue Hungarian team orders

Date published: July 19 2020

Racing Point

Locking out the second row of the Hungarian Grand Prix grid, Racing Point may issue team orders to prevent a disaster at the start.

Lance Stroll will start Sunday’s 70-lap race around the Hungaroring from third place on the grid with his team-mate Sergio Perez P4.

The duo finished qualifying a second down on the Mercedes team-mates but, more importantly, they were three-tenths faster than the Ferraris.

However, starting alongside one another comes with its own set of problems.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who in the past had to manage Perez versus Esteban Ocon as team-mates, admits he is worried about his drivers colliding at the start.

With Ferrari have committed the cardinal sin as recently as the previous race at the Red Bull Ring, he says he will speak with Stroll and Perez before the start of Sunday’s race.

“We’ve got to be careful that on lap one we employ the same protocols that we had before,” Szafnauer told Motorsport.com.

“They have got to give each other room. And, you know, it’s the first first lap, second lap that are critical.

“We have to make sure that they don’t come together in those laps.

“So we’ll be talking to them, and making sure that the team comes first and we don’t slip back into the ways of before.”

With Perez and Stroll also going at it during the Styrian Grand Prix, it is not just the start when Racing Point may issue team orders.

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Szafnauer says if his drivers pull away from the chasing back he may yet tell them to hold stations to give the team the best chance of a first podium for the season.

“Those are the types of things that we’re going to be talking about, and then we’ll see how the race unfolds,” he added.

“You’ve got to remember this is a team sport and we want to score the most amount of points possible.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good clean start and, if our long run pace is what we think it ought to be, you may be right.

“I still think there will be a fight with others around us. Ferrari have always gone well here, they’re just behind us on the grid.

“You don’t know what the start is going to be like, so let’s let’s wait and see.”

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