Racing Point won the Sakhir Grand Prix despite running out of spare parts following the first of the two races in Bahrain.
It left the team needing to make a mercy mission back to the factory at Silverstone, using team owner Lawrence Stroll’s private plane, in order to collect parts to rebuild the two cars for the penultimate round of the 2020 season.
As well as Perez’s fiery exit from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lance Stroll also had to retire when his car collided with Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri and turned upside down.
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) December 7, 2020
“We had a big shunt last week and we also had one car on fire. Leaving last Sunday with only a week to go, we had a scant amount of spares and parts,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Sky F1.
“We couldn’t put two cars together. Everyone worked really hard back at the factory, night and day.
“We flew Lawrence’s airplane back. It waited until Thursday to fly the car parts out so we could build two race cars. That’s what it’s about – it’s about teamwork, not about any one individual.”
Szafnauer had been broadcast with his head in hands after Perez’s chance of third position in the Bahrain Grand Prix, behind Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, had slipped away due to the MGU-K failure.
That result dropped Racing Point behind McLaren in the chase for third position in the constructors’ World Championship, but they are now back on track to claim the ‘bronze medal’ after finishing P1 and P3 in Sakhir with Stroll joining Perez on the podium.
“The really real lows we experienced last week make the highs even sweeter,” added Szafnauer, whose head-in-hands posture turned to him punching the air within the space of a week.
“I’m really happy for the team. What a great drive from Sergio, last to first, not many people can say that. He has a heart of gold and is a very generous man.
“Lance drove a stunning race too, another podium for him. He’s quite young and learning and it was just great for both drivers.”