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BWT becomes title sponsor of Racing Point

NEWS STORY
17/02/2020

At the unveiling of its 2020 contender, Racing Point today announced the expansion of its partnership with Austrian water technology specialist, BWT, which becomes the team's title sponsor.

Having turned heads with the world's first pink F1 car in 2017 and building upon three successful seasons as principal sponsor, BWT and Racing Point have expanded their relationship so that the team will be known as BWT Racing Point F1 Team.

Unveiled to assembled media and guests today at the home of BWT in Mondsee, Austria, home of the best online casino, the team's distinctive pink livery - a firm favourite amongst fans across the globe - will remain, with BWT branding featuring even more prominently on the team's new car, the RP20.

Drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez were joined by CEO & Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer and Sporting Director Andy Stevenson, as the partnership was formally launched ahead of pre-season testing in Barcelona later this week.

Over the winter, the Silverstone-based outfit has parted company with previous title sponsor, SportPesa, which today announced that it is to drop its sponsorship of English premier League club Everton at season end.

Free of Vijay Mallya's legal issues and the money worries that went with them, it remained to be seen whether Racing Point could pick up where its predecessor left off, and hopefully punch even further beyond its weight.

In all honesty, fans were expecting miracles and it was wrong to do so. Though the team had been saved and was facing an altogether brighter future, damage had been done and it would take a while to repair.

Indeed, such was the state of the team in the aftermath of Mallya's mismanagement that it began 2019 with what Andy Green described as a "vanilla car".

"We did what we needed to get the car out for launch," he told reporters at the time, "but in the background we have always been working on the car for the first race, trying to find the maximum performance we can and bring to Melbourne."

Even the Silverstone-based outfit would admit that the points scored in the opening three races were down to luck more than judgement, however, the double-points finish in Baku was deserved.

Sadly, at that point the team disappeared into obscurity, encountering one anonymous race after another, and while Perez experienced the longest points drought of his F1 career - going 8 races without scoring - the mayhem of the Nurburgring saw teammate Stroll score an impressive 4th.

Ironically, it was in Germany that the team introduced its first significant upgrade, not that race day's difficult conditions allowed it to shine.

In the races that followed further upgrades appeared, allowing Perez to now begin a run of nine races in which he scored points in eight, while Stroll added to his tally in Belgium and Japan.

If the pre-season car was vanilla, by Singapore we had Haagen-Dazs, what with so many changes. First there were the sidepods, then the cooling package, then came the front suspension and front wing.

However, one area where the team was sadly lacking all season was qualifying, with Perez only making it to Q3 on four occasions and Stroll once. On average the Mexican qualified around 13th while his teammate was around 16th.

While some determined drives, decent strategy and some particularly strong starts - especially from Stroll - helped out on race day, the team's poor qualifying performance on Saturday's meant the pair were always up against it.

Be it his faith in the team, or the knowledge that there are few other worthwhile drives available, Perez agreed a new deal which keeps him in place until 2022, while Stroll is there for as long as he wishes.

With the new factory due to be ready for 2021, Racing Point is now beginning to ramp up, the team having agreed a deal which sees it using Mercedes’ wind-tunnel in Brackley.

We saw, during the Mallya mayhem that this was a team that could punch well above its weight, though it must be given the benefit for its 2019 performance, much more is expected this season and going forward.

Check out our Racing Point RP20 reveal gallery, here.

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1. Posted by Chris Roper, 18/02/2020 20:33

"So what happens next year - BWT-Aston Marten ?
"

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