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Racing Point targets McLaren and Renault

NEWS STORY
17/02/2020

Whatever fans might make of the pink look that Racing Point has retained for another season, they had better make the most of it, for next year the Silverstone-based outfit morphs into Aston Martin which is likely to mean another massive livery overhaul.

As the team unveiled what is likely to be the last Pink Panther, team boss Otmar Szafnauer was in no doubt about the ambitious target for the season ahead.

"This year we want to be a strong fourth," he said at today's unveiling of the RP20. "We want to be closer to the top three than we've ever been in the past, and we want to be top of the midfield.

"Last year was a bit of a difficult year for us," he continued, "we ended up seventh, on the back end of the midfield grid, but this year we want to take a step up and be where we normally can be.

"In order to do that, we've had to do a lot of development work over the winter. It's not that easy, the competition is getting stronger," he admitted. "McLaren did a really good job last year; Renault, with the might of the motor company behind them and the 650-plus employees that they have, aren't going to be easy to beat. Even Toro Rosso with the resurgence of the Honda powertrain did really well towards the end of last year.

"But I'm confident that the work we've done over the winter on the new car, and the work that Mercedes, our powertrain partner, has done on the powertrain, and the hard work the drivers have been doing to keep fit and work in our simulators, we will have a good chance to hit our targets."

Title sponsor BWT, of which Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff is a shareholder, has pledged to donate a well in Gambia for every race in which the team scores a point, which is providing added inventive for the Silverstone-based outfit.

"We've got to get both drivers in the points at every race," said Szafnauer. "I predict that before the race they will both be drinking water... and after the race this year both of them will be on the podium at least once drinking the champagne.

"I'm confident with the work we've done over the winter on the new car and the work Mercedes has done on the powertrain, we'll have a good chance to hit our targets for the team as well as the wells in Gambia," he added.

"We want to out-score our competition and for us to achieve what we've set ourselves to do this year we've got to get both drivers in the points at every race. We've done that in the past, and we've had the potential to have both of them in the points at every race.

"But sometimes on lap one you don't know what's going to happen," he smiled, "Grosjean's still racing, he could run into you, you never know."

Asked about former title sponsor, SportPesa, originator of the Sportpesa bonus, he said: "They still want to be involved but maybe at a different level, not as title. So we're still talking to them and they're friends of the team and hopefully we can also include them as part of our sponsors and partners.

"But, first and foremost, BWT are a great new title sponsor and the car looks fabulous," he added. "A little bit more pink, big BWT three letters on the rear wing, which I think works tremendously well.

"BWT are a good story for the environment too," he continued, "with what they're trying to do, and it's in line with what Formula 1 are trying to do as well. Formula 1 are looking at sustainability, including making one race, initially, plastic bottle free. BWT is talking to them about helping them do that and hopefully eventually make all the races plastic-free.

"But we've got to take one step at a time and hopefully BWT can help not just our team but the whole of Formula 1."

Check out our Racing Point RP20 reveal gallery, here.

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1. Posted by F1nerd, 18/02/2020 9:57

"Aston Martin - British Racing Green, what else?"

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