Racing Point technical chief Andrew Green says the squad is in “damage limitation” mode for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, due to struggles with its low-downforce package.
Racing Point has performed strongly this year with its RP20, inspired by last year’s Mercedes W10, and scored highly in Britain and Spain, taking fourth and fifth at that event.
But in Belgium it was sucked back into the midfield group as Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll finished at the foot of the top 10.
It allowed McLaren to leap into third place in the Constructors’ Championship at its expense, while a substantial haul of points lifted Renault into contention, just seven points down, with Ferrari also in the mix.
Stroll and Perez classified eighth and 10th during Friday’s second session at the venue.
“It’s not where we want to be,” Green said of the RP20 at Monza.
“We do appreciate it is massively close in this area of the midfield and a few tenths can make a big difference, but finding those few tenths is really tricky.
“The disappointing thing about the last two events is the good balance that we had in the car up until these events has disappeared on us and we have a car in a low-downforce spec that doesn’t have the same characteristics as we had previously.
“We knew we were on the backfoot heading here after Spa and we still have a lot to do to get the car where it can be.
“Our competition is strong, maybe they’ve taken half a step forwards but we have taken half a step back and we are looking at damage limitation in a way, for this event.
“If we can get both cars in Q3 and score a handful of points we’d be very happy, then just get it behind us and get on to some tracks that suit the car a bit better.”
Green admitted that Racing Point’s relative lack of pace at venues where it has historically performed well came as a surprise.
“I think we were just a bit too bullish at the beginning of the weekend [in Belgium], we went in thinking we would have a really good car – I did – and again in Monza,” he said.
“But the characteristics [of the car] didn’t play through to the low downforce set-up.
“It’s a strange position to be in. We know it [the performance] is in [the car], we saw a glimpse on Friday at Spa, but we’ve yet to get it back again.
“It’s the balance of high speed to low speed we’re struggling with. We can get one, or the other, but we can’t get both.”