BWT Racing Point Formula One Team have eased on the side of caution claiming teams are “extremely close” despite being near the top of the timesheets in the first two practice sessions of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll showcased just what the RP20, dubbed ‘pink Mercedes’, could do as Perez finished the first session in fifth and the second session in third just behind the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team cars. Stroll was not far behind but was caught out by other cars and a couple of mistakes, finishing the first session in eleventh and the second session in seventh.
Stroll was happy with the RP20 and the speed which it showed on the track. He touched on testing and how from testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, the team knew where they may be.
“It was very exciting to be driving again and it was a solid day for the team,” said Stroll. “We got a taste for the car in Barcelona during winter testing, but it’s good to see where we are relative to everybody else.
“We looked competitive and after so many months out of the car it was nice to get back in the groove. It’s definitely been one of the better Fridays I can remember for a long time – so that’s a good sign.
“Today, it looked like we had the pace. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Perez impressed throughout both sessions but was cautious when explaining that it will be a hard battle between the teams.
“It’s been an interesting day. Everything is really close out there, especially on such a short track,” said Perez.
“The car feels good and I’m happy. In the factory, the team has done a tremendous job and we have a car underneath us that is working well. There’s still a lot of work to do – tonight and tomorrow morning – but we are in decent shape.
“The margins are extremely close, so it’s going to be really important to put together some really tidy laps in qualifying tomorrow.”
Last year the team struggled at the Red Bull Ring last season, finishing outside the points with both drivers. But the 2020 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix is looking good for them if their pace continues.