TORONTO, Ontario — The familiar pink that Formula 1 fans have grown to love is back for the 2019 season for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, just with a new identity behind it.
Before a crowd that included fans, media, and guests, Racing Point F1 revealed their new identity in the John Bassett Theatre in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as part of the Canadian International AutoShow.
Moving forward into the new era, the team will be known as SportPesa Racing Point Formula 1.
“Basically, we are a team of racers,” Team Principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer. “Racing Point encompasses who we are and is appropriate. It reminds everyone we are a Formula 1 team, not a baseball team. We thought we’d combine our heritage, the fact that we’re racers, and hopefully winners. And thanks to our new title sponsor SportPesa.”
The familiar pink once again comes courtesy of long-time primary sponsor BWT, whom are featured in the team logo. That said, Szafnauer was quick to note that compared to the dire financial state of the team in 2018, they have plenty of sponsors on-board for the new season, as evidenced by the names covering the car.
“It’s a lot different in many ways,” Szafnauer said. “in years past, we’ve had financial pressures. Those pressures have been lifted thanks to the consortium, as well as our partners. All the sponsors, SportPesa, BWT, and others.”
SportPesa Racing Point Formula 1 is owned by a consortium of investors that includes Canadian clothing magnate Lawrence Stroll.
“It’s a new chapter, and he’s been in my corner from day one,” Lance Stroll said of his father. “To be working alongside him of racing, it’s an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to work together.”
The Canadian connection easily made sense for the team to do their unveil in Canada, becoming the first ever F1 team to do so in North America.
While comforting to have everything in line for the season, the new financial state of the organization brings forth a new pressure – performance.
“We’re all working hard to do that,” Szafnauer commented. “We have performed, I believe, well, with the resources that we’ve had. The resources over time now will increase. So now we’re all focused that not only the performance stays where it is, but also gets closer to that top-three.”
For technical director Andrew Green, the rejuvenated approach feels not only like a new chapter, but a new entire book.
“This is something special, and we’re really excited,” he said. “The buzz in the factory is incredible. Everybody faces are enthused by what happened. Then you see the investment in the team, and there’s a real sense that we can show people what we can do. They’ve now given us the tools of what we can do.”
As noted by Szafnauer, the funding will allow them “for the first time in the team’s history” to begin the season with all the new components that they’ve tested and experimented with on the car for the opening race on the calendar.
While there’s optimism, there’s also new challenges as the team will have the room to develop the program more as the year goes on at a “high rate.”
“We’ve worked real hard over the winter,” Green commented. “There’s been some significance rule changes to allow for more overtaking. We’ve been working through the winter to try to maximize the performance, and the guys have done a fantastic job so far as we get ready for Melbourne.
“But now, as we continue developing beyond Melbourne, we can bring the parts to car right when they need them – and that’s a new way of thinking. It’ll take us time to get used to; we’re used to finding a package that you need to run five, six races on before improvement rather than right away. But it’s exciting.”
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Categories: Formula 1