Why Racing Point is threatening to turn F1's 'big three' into 'top four'
Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer has no doubt the team is taking "a step up" in its bid to challenge the might of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Once perceived as nothing more than a midfield runner that could on rare occasions snatch a podium, the team has this year shown it is ready to turn Formula 1's 'big three' into the 'top four'.
Since the acquisition of the Silverstone-based marque by entrepreneur Lawrence Stroll and his consortium, the team has so far put numerous measures in place to ensure it is no longer just an also-ran but instead is becoming a major player.
With the brake duct furore now behind it, Racing Point can now focus on its transition of becoming Aston Martin from next season, and with a marquee driver in Sebastian Vettel on its books.
While it remains to be seen if the German can recapture the form that made him a four-time F1 champion with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, behind the scenes, the team is making all the right moves.
"We've increased the size of the team by 25% in two years, so we've hired a significant amount of people," said Szafnauer.
“We've got great backing from Aston Martin, from title sponsor BWT, from Lawrence and the consortium. Because of it, we can now afford to do things that we couldn't in the past.
“And those are things like a new factory, more manufacturing capability, hiring people that will bring performance to the car.
“It's 1,000 little things that will make the car go quicker. And that gives me great hope for the future. I think we will take a step up.”
Notably, the team is also developing its infrastructure, that includes the development of a state-of-the-art factory adjacent to its current base.
“We're putting in place all of those things I mentioned to be more competitive," added Szafnauer. "I think we have a great aero development group and our new CFD cluster has just come online.
“We've increased our CFD capacity significantly. Now, we're looking at a state-of-the-art simulator – even though our current simulator is hardly out of date – and the factory should be operational in August of 2022.
"It’s all happening and it’s very exciting for our future.”
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