Otmar Szafnauer admitted luck played its part in Sergio Pérez scoring a point in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, with the retirements of Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo promoting him from twelfth to tenth.
Both Pérez and Racing Point F1 Team team-mate Lance Stroll had difficult openings to the race at the Sakhir International Circuit, with the Mexican being forced to pit after eight laps due to debris inside his brake ducts that was causing them to overheat, while the Canadian was an even earlier visitor to pit lane, coming into the pits on the opening lap to replace the front wing he damaged by hitting Romain Grosjean at turn one.
“It feels good to come away with a point from a pretty tough weekend,” said CEO and Team Principal Szafnauer. “Things didn’t go our way in the early part of the race with Lance having to pit on lap one [after contact with Grosjean] and Sergio pitting on lap eight to remove debris that was causing the brakes to overheat.
From their difficult starts, Szafnauer getting a point from Bahrain was a good result for Pérez, although Stroll was unable to better fourteenth having lost significant time running to the pits that put him well away from the ultra-tight midfield battle.
“From that position, with our strategy compromised, recovering to the points with either car looked challenging,” he added. “It was a shame because both cars made strong starts, gaining places, but all that good work was undone.
“As the race settled down we showed competitive race pace and just tried to recover the lost ground. We were a bit fortunate with the late retirements allowing Sergio to squeeze into the top ten, but that’s all part of racing and we were there to pick up the pieces.”