Red Bull Ring “Quite a Challenging Lap for the Drivers” – Otmar Szafnauer

by Paul Hensby

Otmar Szafnauer, the CEO and Team Principal of the Racing Point F1 Team, says the team will need to make some sacrifices when it comes to straight-line speed in order to be quick around the corners of the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

Racing Point failed to score a point last weekend at the Circuit Paul Ricard with Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll finishing twelfth and thirteenth respectively, with both also struggling for performance during Qualifying.  Stroll has yet to break out of Q1 in any of the eight races of the season so far.

Szafnauer says some trade offs will need to be made to the RP19 in order to be quick this weekend, with the team hoping for a return to the top ten so they can close the increasingly large gap that has developed between them and the McLaren F1 Team and Renault F1 Team in the fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Austria is one of those tracks where you have to trade off top speed with downforce,” said Szafnauer.  “The are some big straights, especially the stretch from turn one towards two, but most of the corners have a long duration which pushes us more towards favouring a higher downforce set-up.”

Szafnauer says brakes are also under a lot of strain thanks to numerous heavy braking zones, while the kerbs around the Red Bull Ring can cause a lot of damage to the cars so mistakes will be punished.

“Other things to look out for in Austria include the big demands on the brakes and we’ve often seen cars running out of brakes in the closing laps of the race,” said Szafnauer.  “It’s also a track where mistakes are punished with some big kerbs that can do quite a bit of damage.

“In that sense it’s quite a challenging lap for the drivers despite there only being ten corners.  It’s a home event for BWT – Europe’s leading water technology company – and fittingly we celebrate our 50th race together in Austria.”

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