Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer doesn’t see any driver change beyond the 2020 F1 season, even when it becomes Aston Martin Racing.
Amid all the speculations, whether Aston Martin is linked with Mercedes or with Toto Wolff takeover, another link which popped was regarding Sebastian Vettel joining the works F1 team, considering his end of terms with Ferrari after the 2020 season.
While it was not said replacing whom but Aston Martin option was certainly listed along with Red Bull Racing and Renault. The chances anyways looked bleak as both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll seems to be on a long-term deal, the former has one until F1 2022.
“It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks in the driver market, with some headline-grabbing moves out there,” said Szafnauer. “I’m sure it’s kept the fans entertained and the media busy – but from our perspective, the headline for next season is the name above the factory doors rather than the names in the cockpit.”
Outside the driver topic, Szafnauer discussed how Racing Point is coping up with the changes in motor racing due to COVID-19 pandemic. The factory is re-opening with all the safety protocol being checked upon, with the scene very different from February.
There are still employees of Racing Point who are working remotely and only those who cannot are allowed to work at the factory. Szafnauer also felt elated for 2020 F1 to start in Austria at Red Bull Ring circuit – the home of its title partner, BWT.
Considering the number of F1 races in store, Szafnauer reckons it is a challenge that they are looking for and don’t think will harm anyone. “It’s going to be an intense few months for us all. But a great deal of thought has gone into this calendar from all relevant stakeholders – including the teams, F1, the FIA, the circuit owners and so on.
“We’re all in agreement that the proposed plan is manageable and, knowing what I know of our team, they’ll relish the challenge. At the end of the day, we’re all racers. This is our passion and we’re excited to get back to it,” summed up Szafnauer.
He also welcomed the new regulations and the budget changes undertaken after long days of meetings. “We’ve always enjoyed that underdog reputation and we’ve made some fantastic memories along the way,” said Szafnauer.
“Now, though, we’re looking to the future and building a new legacy worthy of the Aston Martin name. These new financial rules give every team a more equal shot at achieving their potential and that can only be a positive thing for the sport. The future looks bright and our absolute aim is to be at the very sharp end of that future.”
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