Racing Point ‘maximised their potential’ in Spanish GP – Szafnauer

Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez finished in fourth and fifth in the Spanish Grand Prix, only behind the two Mercedes’ and Max Verstappen. 

Otmar Szafnauer, the CEO and Team Principal of Racing Point was hugely positive post-race and said: “Fourth and fifth place is a deserved result and there’s no doubt we maximised the points that were available to us. It was difficult to fight the top three on pure pace, but converting our qualifying positions into race results feels very satisfying – especially with split strategies.”

Stroll finished ahead of Perez after a lighting start and a two stop strategy which featured him running in third place for the opening few laps: “I had a great launch off the line and I was able to pass Checo and the Mercedes of Bottas, which set me up for a good race.

“It was a great feeling to race a few laps in third, even if we knew we weren’t racing the Mercedes – P4 was the maximum today.

“It was good to battle with Checo on track for a bit too, even if it probably gave Otmar a few more grey hairs!

“We changed to a two-stop in the race, but I was able to make up places, and I managed to overtake Vettel late on, and I gained a place through Checo’s penalty too.

“Today was all about managing the tyres, which was difficult in the heat – but we made it work. The dark clouds arriving late in the race were a nice relief from the sun! The team did a great job today and I’m happy we scored some big points.”

Sergio Perez was a bit more circumspect and was unhappy to lose the position to his teammate at the start but overall it was still a brilliant return after he missed the past two races due to testing positive for COVID-19: “I had a difficult start today and lost a place to Lance, but we were able to recover and have a strong race.

“I think it was on the edge to make a one-stop work, but we managed to do it, which took a lot of tyre management, and great work from the team to make it happen. It was also fun to battle Lance, but the priority was to save the tyres. I’m disappointed to have got a five seconds time penalty: I don’t think it was fair considering the first opportunity I had to get out of Lewis’s way was into Turn 1. But the main thing is that we were able to hold onto P5, and we scored a lot of points for the team today.

“It’s been a positive comeback for me and I want to thank the team for their help in getting me back up to speed so quickly.”

Szafnauer will be pleased after a tough time for the Racing Point team when they were deemed to design their car illegally and were fined as well as deducted 15 points in the Constructors’ Championship so a good day was very well received: “The team called the race very well today and, in the end, there was little to choose between those two different strategies.

“The 22 points scored – our best result of the season – take us into third place in the championship.”