Racing Point’s Szafnauer – “It’s important we don’t take our eyes off the main task for 2020”

by Nigel Chiu

From 2021 SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team will become the Aston Martin works team and Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal of the team, is excited at the prospect of one of the most iconic car brands in the world joining the Formula 1 grid.

Owner, Lawrence Stroll spoke to the staff at Racing Point about the clear objective to establish Aston Martin as one of the top teams in the sport.

Nevertheless, Szafnauer is very excited that the Aston Martin name is back on the grid:“It’s significant news for Aston Martin and for Formula 1 itself.

As one of the most iconic sports car brands in the world, Aston Martin needed a presence on the F1 grid and this solution delivers a fully-fledged works Aston Martin F1 Team from 2021 onwards. It’s news that will excite fans around the world and will shine a spotlight on a brand that is widely regarded as Britain’s finest luxury sports car manufacturer.”

Aston Martin has a number of objectives and Szafnauer is excited about the prospect of such a big manufacturer joining the sport and what it means for the team: “Creating a works F1 team achieves a number of objectives for Aston Martin. It delivers a high-profile marketing platform for the road car division, which will enhance commercial appeal in all areas of the business.

There is also the obvious technical collaboration between the F1 programme and the road cars, with F1 technology filtering through to the products Aston Martin launches in the years ahead.

This is particularly relevant to the mid-engine philosophy that is just around the corner. The competitive environment of racing is a rich avenue for innovation and the opportunity for technology cross-over is incredibly exciting.”

It is not just Szafnauer who is excited, every member of the team is eager to work and give it their al for the Aston Martin brand: “It’s certainly provides a real injection of energy for the 465 loyal and hard-working staff in Silverstone.

The team has been in business, under various names, for 30 years and is more than ready to become a manufacturer team. Lawrence [Stroll] spoke to the staff last week and set out the clear objective to establish Aston Martin as one of the top teams in the sport. Everyone is proud to represent a legendary car manufacturer returning to the pinnacle of motorsport.”

Even with the exciting and big news, Szafnauer is aware that there are still 12 months until Aston Martin come into the sport and there is a lot of work to be done before then: “There’s no immediate impact on our current campaign and we will continue to compete as Racing Point until the rebrand takes place at the start of the 2021 season.

From then we will be known simply as ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ – so the Racing Point name will disappear. It’s exciting to transition into a manufacturer team and we’ve got the best part of a year to make all those changes – much of which will be happening behind-the-scenes.

It’s important we don’t take our eyes off the main task for 2020, which is to be competitive on the racetrack with the RP20.”

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