Racing Point “more than ready to become a manufacturer team”

Racing Point are “more than ready to become a manufacturer team”, according to the Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer.

Last month, Racing Point announced that they will become the works team for Aston Martin from 2021 after team owner, Lawrence Stroll purchased a 16.7% stake in the company for £182 million.

And with Racing Point effectively becoming a works team from 2021, Szafnauer believes that his team is ready for the challenge.

Speaking about the reaction at the team’s factory in Silverstone, Szafnauer said: “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.”

2021 will be the first time a works Aston Martin car will be on the grid since the 1960 British Grand Prix, and while the British car manufacturer has focused primarily on GT racing in recent years, Szafnauer believes that the collaboration between them and Racing Point could help enhance Aston Martin’s commercial appeal.

“Creating a works F1 team achieves a number of objectives for Aston Martin.” added the Racing Point Team Principal.

“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.

Although Racing Point will become a works team for the start of 2021, there will be no immediate changes and Aston Martin will still remain a title sponsor for Red Bull for the season.

And while there will be plenty of changes to the team as the season goes on, Szafnauer has warned his team not to take their eyes off the current job in hand.

“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.”