Racing Point believes it can become a thorn in the side of Formula 1’s big budget teams this year and potentially emerge as “best of the rest” again.
The outfit finished seventh in the constructors’ championship in a 2019 season during which its form fluctuated, in part as a legacy of the financial difficulties that left it in administration the season before.
Racing Point did, however, receive a major cash injection from its new owner Lawrence Stroll, who has since gone on to become an investor in Aston Martin – a deal which will result in the team’s rebranding in 2021.
The financial stability offered by Stroll has made the team optimistic it can challenge for fourth in the constructors’ championship – a position it twice secured as Force India in 2016 and 2017 (below).
Speaking before Stroll’s Aston Martin buy-in, team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport: “Now we’re normal, so I think you’ll see a car, even at the beginning of the year, that should be where where we normally are: which is the best of the rest.
“That’s what we’ve got to aim to do.
“It isn’t gonna be easy, because everybody wants to be best of the rest: McLaren, Renault, Toro Rosso, us and Sauber.
“Everyone’s aiming for that – although some are even aiming for top three despite there still being a gap.”
Racing Point has long-term plans to relocate to a new factory near its current facility, but in the meantime it has upgraded its existing infrastructure.
“[Our] CFD capabilities are up there with the best,” said Szafnauer.
“Windtunnel capabilities are up there with the best.
“So all that infrastructure that you need is there.
“We’ve also added machinery such that from [being a design] concept to being on the car, that time is reduced. So that helps.
“We’ve added technical capability as well. We’ve added some good guys in our aero department and CFD, for example.
“We’re at 465 people now instead of 405.
“And we don’t hire just for the sake of hiring. We’ve got to hire the right people.
“All those things we couldn’t have done before with our financial situation, but we can do now. And all those things are important.”