Double points cap off ‘fantastic day’ for Racing Point in Baku
Racing Point enjoyed what Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer was calling their “strongest performance [of 2019] so far” in Baku, with Sergio Perez taking sixth place and Lance Stroll ninth at the flag to record the team’s first double points of 2019.
Perez put in a sterling qualifying effort on Saturday to line up P5 on the grid, before beating the Red Bull of Max Verstappen off the line to take up P4 in the race's opening laps.
Ultimately, the extra pace of the Red Bull proved too much, however, with Perez eventually falling to what was still a strong sixth place by the flag, behind Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari but ahead of two very fast looking McLarens.
“It’s been a good day,” said Perez. “It was looking great at the start when I overtook Verstappen, but then very early on, we saw where our pace was and it was more about beating those McLarens that were very strong today, had tremendous pace.
“It was a very demanding race from my side, because I spent basically the whole race on the limit, fighting those temperatures, struggled quite a lot on the first stint, but luckily we got good points for the team and it’s been a fantastic day for us.”
Stroll was similarly impressive on race day - having failed to make it out of Q1 for the eighth consecutive time on Saturday - the Canadian finishing P9 to take his second points finish of the year.
“It feels good to be back in the points because it was a very challenging race from start to finish,” said Stroll. “This is a track that has no margin for error. Keeping concentration was a key factor and that is what we did today. It was fun.”
All in all, Perez and Stroll’s efforts were enough to leave their team boss Otmar Szafnauer delighted with how his squad’s weekend had panned out.
“We can leave Baku feeling pleased with a job well done,” said Szafnauer. “It’s our first double points finish of the season and our strongest performance so far. Baku has traditionally been a competitive track for us and it was important we took advantage this weekend.”
Racing Point's strong Azerbaijan Grand Prix sees them move to fifth in the constructors' standings, one point shy of McLaren.