Racing Point “Ticked All The Boxes” During Practice in Spain, Despite Stroll Crash

by Craig Venn

SportPesa Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says his team “ticked all the boxes” during practice for the 2019 Spanish Grand, despite a crash for Lance Stroll and a severe lack of pace from Sergio Pérez.

Like most teams in Barcelona, Racing Point have introduced their first upgrade package of the year. Szafnauer says the team have already “learned a lot” but need time to “optimise” their new package.

“We worked through a big job list today and learned a lot about some of the new developments we introduced here in Spain,” said Szafnauer. “On the whole I would say we need a bit more time to optimise things. In terms of mileage and data, we ticked the boxes and have enough information to guide our decision making tonight.

“I’m confident we can find some steps forward to improve for tomorrow. Some of the new parts on Lance’s car were damaged at the end of this morning’s session, but we are working hard to get everything back to the new spec for tomorrow.”

Despite his crash at turn 9 during Practice 1, Stroll remains positive, believing the upgrades are a step in the right direction.

“I feel that we have made some progress today,” said Stroll. “The car is feeling better than it has at the previous races so that’s a positive.

“Unfortunately I put a wheel on the grass in the morning session at the entry of turn nine. We missed a bit of running in the afternoon as a result, but the team did a great job to get the car repaired and we still got our programme done.

“We have some parts being delivered tonight so we should be in good shape for the rest of the weekend. My feelings on the updates were generally positive, but let’s wait and see what the data says.”

While Stroll’s day was curtailed by his accident, Pérez’s day was marred by a lack of outright pace. Stroll finished both session in thirteenth on the time-sheets, at best 1.555seconds from the front, while Pérez’s best lap time of 1:19.448 was only good enough for eighteenth.

 “It was quite a tricky day and difficult to know how we will perform for the rest of the weekend,” said Pérez. “We completed lots of laps and collected the data, but we are not yet happy with the performance so we need to understand where we can unlock more potential tonight.

“We were a bit up and down today – at times we seemed more competitive and then at other times we seemed further away. So the work we will do over the coming hours – looking through the data – will be really important to get us in better shape for qualifying.

“It’s early days to give a definite decision on the new parts we tried today and we need more time to really understand them.”

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