Formula 1

Racing Point’s Szafnauer: “It was important to bank a couple of good results and that’s exactly what we did”

3 Mins read
Photo Credit: BWT Racing Point F1 Team

After a weekend full of drama off the track, BWT Racing Point F1 Team will be happy with a solid result on track at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, with Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg finishing in sixth and seventh place respectively.

A brilliant qualifying put Nico Hulkenberg in third place to start the race, but a better result was not meant to be as he slipped down the order. Vibrations in the tyres forced a change to a three stop strategy, but the German is pleased to be scoring points for the team in Sergio Perez’s absence.

“I’m happy to have scored points for the team. P7 is a good result, especially when you haven’t raced for nine months,” Hulkenberg said. 

“It wasn’t an easy race, and it was tough physically, but first of all, it was important that I made a good start and got through the first lap because once the race settled down, I could use my experience of managing tyres and driving these types of Formula 1 cars. I was quite relieved after I got through the first few corners! 

“In the second stint, it was tricky to manage the tyres. Unfortunately, we had to pit again and move onto a three-stop strategy because there were some vibrations, and we needed to make sure I could make it to the finish.”

Hulkenberg has now launched himself into fourteenth in the driver’s championship despite only finishing one race in the points. His six world championship points puts him ahead of the likes of Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat, and Kevin Magnussen.

Lance Stroll also had a strong performance at Silverstone. The Canadian got a great start and gained a few positions at the start of the race, but he was eventually jumped by the likes of Charles Leclerc who was able to complete a one stop strategy. In the end Stroll finished right where he started in sixth place, which some could say is better than losing positions. 

“I had a good start to the race and made up some places off the line, which put both of our cars into a great position early in the race,” Stroll said. 

“It was fun to have a battle with Nico and I managed to get him around the outside of Turn 6, but I locked up a little bit, and he was able to get by again. We then settled into P4 and P5, but it was clear that Leclerc was able to make a one-stop strategy work and the Red Bulls were very quick today. 

“We’ve banked some good points with a solid strategy. We always want more, though, so we’ll go away and look into all the different strategies used today and learn from it. Nico did another good job, and it’s a strong result for the team.”

Stroll’s eight points gained actually allowed him to jump his teammate Perez for seventh place in the driver’s championship. Stroll now has 28 points to Perez’s 22. 

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer was also pleased with the team’s results, but felt like the team left something on the table. However, he was happy to collect a good haul of points, which will be needed after the team’s 15 point penalty handed down this weekend. 

“Given our starting positions, we were hoping for a bit more today, but as the strategies played out I think we can be satisfied with sixth and seventh places,” Szafnauer said. 

“Lance and Nico drove clean and tidy races, and we had solid pace. It was important to bank a couple of good results and that’s exactly what we did – coming away with 14 points. 

“We chose to play it safe and pit Nico a third time when his tyres picked up a severe vibration. I think it was a sensible decision and I’m pleased he could still score good points after stepping into the car only last week.”

This result keeps Racing Point in fifth place in the constructor’s championship, five points ahead of Renault DP World F1 Team. The team will look to grow this advantage and try to keep up with McLaren F1 Team ahead of them next week at the Spanish Grand Prix.

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