The Silverstone-based outfit has suffered several turnarounds in the latest season, putting its traditional presence in the F1 circus in serious danger until the necessary sacrifice of Constructors' points in exchange for financial salvation. The contribute has come from the father of 20-year-old Lance Stroll, thus gaining the Canadian racer a seat in the next 'Pink Panther'. Lawrence Stroll has recently defined the team’s future ambitions as becoming ‘one of the greatest teams in the paddock’ as he looks positively at F1’s 2021 revamp. Nothing similar is of course expected to occur next year, when Racing Point will still be locked into the midfield fight. A midfield fight where it could seriously shine while going back in pursuit of the fourth place secured in 2016 and ’17.
Considering the Force India team’s remarkable efficiency in drawing the most out of a restricted budget for several years, the recovered financial stability should only lift them further upwards. Andrew Green, Technical Director and ‘father’ of the remarkable ‘VJM’s’ of recent seasons, explained to Italian magazine Autosprint what financial stability means to the British outfit: “It means being able to plan with confidence instead of compromising everything if you plan and then money is not there”. A bonus doubled with the possibility to “put pieces on the car when we believe they will make it quicker, instead of aiming for two or three updates per season. […] Now we can focus on that component that makes the car faster and take it to the track immediately”.
The financial resources will be especially key with the portion of development that will be dedicated to wings next season, in terms of which Green asserted: “Without funds it would have been a real nightmare. When we make new wings, they represent an enormous cost. The rule changes will mean we will upgrade the wings more frequently in the initial term, it’s a large expense and bigger wings, I think they will be hit more often and we will lose more of them through damage, so we will need more pieces.
It would have been a huge headache for the old Force India, now it will be a bit less”.
On the other hand, Team Principal Otmar Sznafnauer, interviewed by Autosport, warned about the “perils” concealed behind the new comfortable situation, highlighting the importance of maintaining the team's renowned traits: "One thing we do well is that we're an efficient team, efficiency, just means for the input that we have, we get greater output. […] Now the inputs are greater, and the output may not be proportionally greater, that's a risk.
"So I always tell people, even though we're going to have the financial resources, we can't lose our efficiency, that efficiency has to stay the same.
"If that efficiency stays the same, and the inputs are higher, then the output will be tremendously higher.
"We have to make sure we don't lose that efficiency, and it's easy to do when you don't have loads of money.
"We have to make sure we don't start going all over the place”, he concluded. "It's not going to be an easy thing. But if you're consciously aware of the perils, then you can always bring things back and make sure we maintain them."
Ultimately, should the Racing Point team deliver as usual, it will definitely stay as one of the protagonists of the midfield battle next year, launching its bid towards the all-important shakeup in a couple of year’s time.