Racing Point work through upgrades as both drivers struggle in Singapore

by Vince Pettit

It was a tough day for the Racing Point F1 Team at the opening day of the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix as Sergio Pérez recorded the fastest time for the team with a lap of 1:40.875, good enough for thirteenth in the second practice session.

Both drivers struggled with their setups initially, and both had incidents with other drivers in the second session. Lance Stroll wandered into the path of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, while Pérez collided with Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen.

Despite the tough day, Pérez remained upbeat as the team explored how new parts were working on the car.

“It’s always physically tough in the car here because the heat takes a lot out of you, but I really enjoy the experience: it’s a track that tests you as a driver, and you have to build up your speed session by session,” said Pérez.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but I think we have a car that can fight for a place in Q3. 

“It’s always positive to add new parts to the car, and we have a huge amount of information to explore tonight so that we can choose the right direction for tomorrow.”

Credit: Racing Point F1 Team

Team-mate Stroll failed to make progress throughout the day, finishing both sessions in fifteenth place, while it was far from ideal, the Canadian seemed to be enjoying his day.

“It’s always fun driving here: it’s a very intense lap; you really have to keep your concentration, and that’s not easy in these kinds of conditions,” said Stroll.

“We haven’t found the right balance for the car just yet, and I really wasn’t comfortable in the performance runs. 

“We probably got a bit too close to the walls for a Friday on a couple of occasions, but at the same time, we have to use the practice sessions to explore the limits for the rest of the weekend. 

“Looking ahead, we have plenty of work to do, and we need to put it all together for tomorrow.”

Credit: Racing Point F1 Team

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer was happy with the day despite the issues both of his drivers faced.

“A busy day with lots to get through as we evaluated the new parts we’ve introduced to the car here in Singapore,” said Szafnauer.

“It’s a difficult track in many respects, and the drivers were not feeling too comfortable early on, but we gradually dialled the car into the track, and they were feeling happier when we began the long runs this evening. 

“Being a street circuit, qualifying is especially important here, so we need to focus our energy on improving our one-lap performance for tomorrow.”

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