Formula 1

Szafnauer keen for Racing Point to keep old Force India “efficiency”

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Otmar Szafnauer - Formula 1 - 2018 Abu Dhabi GP
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Otmar Szafnauer wants the Racing Point F1 Team to continue its “efficiency” even with the financial backing that helped save the team last summer.

The team, in its former Force India guise, was pressed into administration by driver Sergio Pérez last summer with the situation resolved by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll before the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

The new finances have led to Racing Point focussing on upgrading its facilities and car performance in the near future, in a bid to return to the top four of the Constructors’ Championship.

Despite hefty budget restrictions Force India performed above expectations to finish fourth 2016 and ’17 but struggled with car correlation issues in the early stages of ’18.

Team principal Szafnauer, who assumed the role from Robert Fernley following Stroll’s takeover last year, expressed his wish for the team to continue its efficient mindset.

“It is something that I’ve told everybody, even though the financial pressures are not going to be there quite like they were before,” Szafnauer said, speaking to Channel 4 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“We can’t lose the ethos and DNA of the team, which is to be able to do things efficiently.”

Szafnauer added that the team does can never have “infinite” money and the cushion only prevents missing payment deadlines to suppliers.

“We can’t and must not lose that efficiency,” he continued. “Because it doesn’t matter who you are, budgets are still capped, we don’t have in infinite amount of money.

“So, we will still have constraints. We will just be able to pay our suppliers on time.”

Racing Point finished seventh in the Constructors’ standings in ’18, having lost all points prior to the Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking on the Beyond The Grid podcast last month, Szafnauer said that Racing Point is only a temporary name for the team until a new one is finalised and filed.

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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