Initial Racing Point car will be 'quite vanilla' - Andrew Green
Racing Point Technical Director Andrew Green says the team is ready to kick on through the 2019 Formula 1 season, but that it will begin the year with “quite a plain car.”
Force India’s development stagnated in 2018 amid financial constraints but a mid-season change of ownership led to the green light being given on a raft of planned updates.
Force India has been renamed as Racing Point for 2019 and its new ownership has already outlined the long-term goal to compete at the front of the Formula 1 field.
But to begin with Green has cautioned that it is likely to start the year slowly before bringing a series of updates for its RP19.
“Expect quite a plain, ‘vanilla’ car to start with as we produced what we believe is a car capable of delivering what we need to achieve in Barcelona – working on reliability and understanding the tyres,” he said.
“We did what we needed to get the car out for launch, but in the background we have always been working on the car for the first race, trying to find the maximum performance we can and bring to Melbourne.
“We are planning to update the car for the first race and probably the two or three races after that.
“They’ll be fairly significant changes ahead of another big step forward in Barcelona, in race five. Hopefully, by the time we get to Europe we will have a decent platform to be working with and developing.”
Speaking further about its new car, Green said: “The design and build process for the RP19 has generally been an improvement compared to previous years, which is a positive result of the change in team ownership.
“We are already looking beyond our testing-spec car, actually: we’re planning what to bring to the first race, what to bring to round five in Barcelona and what we should be looking at as we develop this package, something we’ve been unable to do previously.
“The new car uses certain parts and assemblies from last year’s car and the 2018 chassis has been modified to suit, so it needed to be re-homologated.
“This was one of the big decisions we had to take early on, back in July when the team’s future was still uncertain.
“We had to find the most cost-effective way to keep development running throughout last year and decisions were made to use as much of the 2018 car as we possibly could.
“What we had to avoid was stopping development for two months while we waited to understand what the future held, as that would have been a significant blow to our 2019 competitiveness. Looking back, we know it was a good call.”