RACE DEBRIEF

    From 2021 Racing Point will become the Aston Martin works team – and owner Lawrence Stroll has told staff at the factory his target is to establish the outfit as one of the top teams in Formula 1.

    Racing Point have been an independent team ever since their first incarnation as Jordan Grand Prix. Since then they have been through various guises – including Spyker and Force India – and have built a reputation as solid midfield competitors, always squeezing the most out of often relatively small resources.

    But after Stroll, who took control of the team in 2018, pulled off a deal to become an investor in iconic British motoring brand Aston Martin, the team will become a works squad next year – and the billionaire businessman hopes that move will allow them to take the fight to F1’s big guns.

    READ MORE: Why Aston Martin-Racing Point deal makes sense for all concerned

    2019 Azerbaijan GP
    Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll says his team will challenge at the top of Formula 1

    Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer said there was already excitement among the team’s staff about the plans. “It certainly provides a real injection of energy for the 465 loyal and hard-working staff in Silverstone,” he said.

    “The team has been in business, under various names, for 30 years and is more than ready to become a manufacturer team. Lawrence [Stroll] spoke to the staff last week and set out the clear objective to establish Aston Martin as one of the top teams in the sport. Everyone is proud to represent a legendary car manufacturer returning to the pinnacle of motorsport.”

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    Szafnauer also confirmed the Racing Point name would disappear after the 2020 season. “We will continue to compete as Racing Point until the rebrand takes place at the start of the 2021 season. From then we will be known simply as ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ - so the Racing Point name will disappear,” he said.

    “It’s exciting to transition into a manufacturer team and we’ve got the best part of a year to make all those changes – much of which will be happening behind-the-scenes. It’s important we don’t take our eyes off the main task for 2020, which is to be competitive on the racetrack with the RP20.”

    F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Practice
    Team boss Otmar Szafnauer says the news has already provided a real boost for the staff at the factory

    The American, who has worked at the Silverstone-based outfit since 2009, said the deal is a perfect fit for the team and the road car company. “Creating a works F1 team achieves a number of objectives for Aston Martin.

    “It delivers a high-profile marketing platform for the road car division, which will enhance commercial appeal in all areas of the business. There is also the obvious technical collaboration between the F1 programme and the road cars, with F1 technology filtering through to the products Aston Martin launches in the years ahead.

    "This is particularly relevant to the mid-engine philosophy that is just around the corner. The competitive environment of racing is a rich avenue for innovation and the opportunity for technology cross-over is incredibly exciting.”

    Racing Point will launch their 2020 challenger on Monday, February 17.

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