(Motorsport-Total.com) – Secretly, Racing Point had calculated more, especially after the Formula 1 test drives in Barcelona in February. And so Sergio Perez’s sixth place at the Austrian Grand Prix 2020 in Spielberg (see the complete race result here!) Is a little disappointment. Because Perez himself admits: “We could have ended up ahead.”
In fact, coming from sixth on the grid, Perez had gradually worked his way forward until he was third in lap 52. From then on, however, his Grand Prix took the opposite turn because Racing Point had opted for a conservative boxing strategy.
The many safety car phases were “bad luck” for his team. “And after such a race it is easy to say, but we should have got into the pits a second time,” said Perez. The Mexican would not have been on the defensive on old hard tires in the final rounds.
Lost post with old tires
“In the end, I had to defend myself against drivers on fresher tires. That was not easy,” explains Perez. In fact, he fell back from P3 to P6 within six laps, which team boss Otmar Szafnauer describes as “annoying”.
Szafnauer continues: “In the last laps we had a podium finish through our fingers. But it was also difficult to keep the vehicles with a tire advantage behind us. We had just decided on the position on the track and against a pit stop the cars got a free stop behind us. “
Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz passed Perez with fresh tires. At that point, Lance Stroll had been a spectator for a long time: Perez ‘Racing Point team-mate had parked his RP20 on lap 20 with a technical defect. Cause: loss of performance.
A handful of points, but no sensation
“We were still trying to play with the settings, but then we had to pull the car back,” says Stroll. Team boss Szafnauer speaks of a “disappointment” and explains that the exact cause is still the subject of an investigation. The Stroll car was taken out of the race as a precaution “to protect the drive,” said Szafnauer.
He draws a mixed conclusion about the first appearance of his team this year and says: “It was important to us to start the season with a handful of points.” There were eight points, possibly less than Racing Point had expected after the test drives and starting positions six and nine.
Perez also concedes: “Today we had to fight.” Sixth place was a “good start to the season”. And the most important thing anyway is the “strong pace” of the Mercedes replica. Perez was the sixth fastest lap of the race, eight tenths behind and after McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari.
“The bottom line,” says Perez, “was a good race in which we learned a lot about the car and our performance. The positive thing is that we have a competitive package. And I think we can do it again next week drive a good result. ” On paper, however, you are at most the fourth force.