Szafnauer reminds Racing Point owner Stroll: Success "doesn't come overnight"

21-01-2020 16:50
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Szafnauer reminds Racing Point owner Stroll: Success doesn't come overnight

Despite now having the financial backing his team had lacked for several years, Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says it will still take several years for the new investment to really thrust the team forward.

Before being taken over by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll in the summer of 2018, then Force India were known to be operating with the smallest budget on the grid. Despite that, the Pink Panthers still won the midfield battle in both 2016 and 2017, finishing fourth in the constructors' championship.

Since the takeover and the rebranding, Racing Point claim they suffered in 2019 because of the team being in administration for as long as they were the year before, which halted their development of the 2019 challenger.

Now, a year and a half removed from that takeover ahead of the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Szafnauer explains how he stays realistic with the team's expectations despite the bigger war chest, and how he keeps the owners of the team grounded as well.

"I always say reasonable people with the same information come to the same conclusion," the team principal told Motorsport.com.

"In F1, you have do it over time. Even Mercedes took three years to win [a Grand Prix] after they bought Brawn [China 2012] – and that was a team that had just won the championship. Red Bull bought Jaguar, and how long did it take for them to win? Five years! [China 2009] So it takes time.

"But, you're right. Lawrence is ambitious. But he's got to understand: it doesn't happen overnight."

Szafnauer will know better than anyone that having a lot of money does not equal having success. Force India held wealthier teams like McLaren, Williams and Renault behind them while operating on a shoe-string budget compared to them. It's all about investing that money in the right places.

"We don't have all the money in the world," he continued.

"We now have ample money such that we're not held back by developments that we know are there but can't afford to make - which is what we had before. When you are developing the car but you can't make the parts, that's a killer.

"We still have a budget, probably the smallest budget [in F1], but before we were just in survival mode. Now we don't have that here, and that's hugely beneficial to be able to plan and put on the car the developments that you know are available."

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