‘Stroll’s investment allowed for pink Mercedes’

Date published: May 22 2020

Racing Point

Racing Point had long been wanting to switch to the Mercedes aerodynamic philosophy but wasn’t able to do so because of finances.

That changed when Lawrence Stroll bought the team in 2018.

Powered by Mercedes with the car also sporting a gearbox from Brackley, team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Racing Point had for many years been wanting to follow Mercedes’ philosophy.

That, though, was hampered by their starting point and a lack of funds.

Given that the team was often forced to carry over parts from one season to the next to save money, it wasn’t until Stroll’s investment that they were able to completely scrap the old car and start fresh.

Fresh resulted in the pink Mercedes.

“We have been looking at that concept for a long time, mainly because we are constrained with the gearbox that we buy from Mercedes,” Szafnauer told the official F1 website.

“Mercedes have developed their gearbox casing to go along with that concept.

“We would buy that casing from them and use a totally different aero concept, which meant we are always compromised.

“So for a long time, we wanted to move to the Mercedes-type aerodynamic concept – not having a high rake, a lower rear end – but we just never had the financial resources to do it.

“We always had to carry things over.”

With the new RP20 proving to be quick in pre-season testing, the great news for Racing Point is that this year’s cars will be used next season.

So while it was a massive investment for the team swapping philosophies for what would have been one year before the new rules came into effect, it will now be two seasons.

“We knew when we made the decision that it would only be for one year, but now it looks like we will have a year-and-a-half,” Szafnauer said.

“Hopefully we can extend that even further. The [2021] car concept was mainly to have closer racing.

“If we show that we have very good racing with the cars we have now, it would be prudent to look at either delaying it [the new aero rules] by another year or looking at the whole concept again and saying what we have now isn’t that bad, it’s actually pretty good and if you don’t change the regulations, you end up saving money.

“In this day and age, we should be doing everything we can to try and spend less.”

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