Otmar Szafnauer, Racing Point, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Racing Point “not surprised” by difficult 2019 campaign

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In the round-up: Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer says he isn’t surprised by the difficulties the team had during 2019 because the development of its car was compromised.

What they say

Szafnauer was asked how well the team had developed its car throughout 2019:

Not as well as we usually do this year. It was very tight in the midfield.

[It’s] understandable, last year when we started developing the car we had big financial problems. That always manifests itself into performance the following year, six to 12 to 18 months down the line.

So I’m not overall surprised, but looking forward very encouraged and also encouraged by the fact that we learned a lot this year. And in trying years, tough years like this one, sometimes you learn more than in ones where it all comes to you.

I think our drivers have learned a lot to and the engineering team I think will be much stronger next year.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

We’re just over a year away from a budget cap being introduced, and some are still sceptical whether it can actually be enforced:

Call me a sceptic, well because I am one, but I cannot see how this can be policed.

In the case of Red Bull Racing, will Red Bull Technologies be subject to the FIA’s auditors? Ferrari? Mercedes?

F1 teams with large parent corporations, like Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and possibly Renault, it will be so easy to slip a 10 million here and there. Have you ever known anyone in F1 not to exploit a loophole?

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  • 20 comments on “Racing Point “not surprised” by difficult 2019 campaign”

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      28th December 2019, 1:44

      One way to police how much the teams will spend their money is if FIA or Liberty or whatever creates a fund that belongs to each team.

      Lets say for example the McLaren Fund, where McLaren deposits in advance (for all the season) the quantity allowed by the budget cap. Someone from FIA or Liberty would be responsible for that fund to ensure that not a penny can be deposited further.

      With that in mind the teams must plan their upgrades according to their fund. I think if something like that needs to be implemented to prevent cheating.

      Thats my 2 cents

      1. The actual cash spending can be quiet easily policed through “normal” auditing. You don’t need a specific fund for that. The biggest challenge will be transfer pricing between the team and associated (visibly or not) companies. They have taken this into account in the rules, but I am very curious on how they are going to police that. We’ll see.

      2. Mercedes now have a road car powered by a version of the F1 PU, I imagine they can spend whatever they like developing the engine for the road car, and further I suspect that any great improvements to the performance/reliability of the road engine will simultaneously appear in a dream had by the chief race engine developer. How do you price a dream/inspired guess.

    2. I Suspect Racing Points driver line up may be exposed even more if they deliver a better car in 2020.

      Last season enabled them to mask Strolls performance with the excuse that the car wasn’t well developed. Let’s see how 2020 turns out and whether they’ll take any action if they find one driver is costing them several places in the mid field.

    3. “What are your thoughts on Formula 1’s new owners? ‘They are doing a good job. But we miss Bernie (Ecclestone).’ ”
      – Except they aren’t ‘new’ anymore, but I agree partly in that I miss Bernie a bit as well.

      1. @jerejj I’m genuinely curious about what do you miss about him? I mean he can be fun at times but he was stuck in his own time and since then there are a number of exciting things going on. The biggest changes the sport has known in its history is ongoing thanks to Bernie having been put aside. It remains to be seen if all this will lead to a better sport but personally I don’t regret the change so far. Why do you regret him?

        1. @spoutnik The occasional funniness, as well as, straightforward-talking a bit like how Niki Lauda used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t truly miss, but there were also some good things about his time even if less of those than since.

          1. @jerejj I think I can miss him a bit in the sense that his life was F1 , he was really breathing F1 24/7 and was like the grandad which always has something to say. The closest we got now is Chase Carey I guess? Doesn’t exactly look like the pure petrolhead we’d like to see running this business I reckon. Also, the loss of Whiting may add to the impression that the sport is missing something which is true in some ways.

            In the meantime Bernie ran a bit out of ideas and I think it was reasonnable for him to let it go? I’m really watching for Ross’ team though and what they prepared for 2021. Probably not as petulant as Bernie but his records shows he’s usually pretty serious and logical, which should lead hopefully to something interesting.

            1. Let’s also not forget Lauda!

    4. Regarding the Telegraph article: do Hamiltons actions outside racing really help F1? It surely helps him, as it gives him a lot of fun (I presume). In the Netherlands he is still only known as a F1 driver. People not interested in motorsport hardly know him, let alone start watching F1 because of his latest fashion show appearance. Is this different in the USA? The last time I saw an interview with Hamilton about this subject he told he loved the US because he could just do his thing without being recognized. Maybe this was an old interview, since it doesn’t support the point the article is making that he is of such a great ambassador for F1 for other reasons than being one of the best drivers ever.

      1. My impression is that he’s quite popular in Britain, but not so much abroad. Max seems to have much more appeal in different countries (and he also gets a lot of hate, which is also a kind of passion). I think that from the driver’s side, F1 is actually in a pretty good shape, with Verstappen and Leclerc having fought very exciting battles this year. As long as these two get cars that put them on the same piece of tarmac frequently and the cars allow for overtakes on merit, the show will be good.

        1. Hamilton is probably the only current F1 driver my French friends who are not into f1 might know.

        2. Mate stop it,

        3. As Hamilton himself has said, he’s not even a blip on the radar here in the States. That’s because F1 isn’t either.

    5. People don’t realise how shut out Hamilton is. Hamilton fans will be disappointed for many years to come if they’ve been hoping for him to be honoured.

      Is he even British any more? Or is it like some Mercedes type setup.

      1. @theessence, what exactly do you mean by “Is he even British any more? Or is it like some Mercedes type setup.”?

        1. Cristiano Ferreira
          28th December 2019, 13:39

          I think what he meant is if Hamilton is still capable of “be himself” most of the time or is he is just a product manipulated by Mercedes PR machine.

          That’s what i understood @anon

    6. Cristiano Ferreira
      28th December 2019, 13:40

      edit: to be himself

    7. With a single F1 driver and a spoilt boy playing F1 driver, Racing Point will never be as competitive as they have been historically.

    Comments are closed.