Perez looking forward to Monaco after ‘weekend to forget’ in Spain
Lance Stroll ended his Spanish Grand Prix in the gravel, having made contact with the McLaren of Lando Norris. But finishing the race in Barcelona didn’t appear to make his team mate Sergio Perez any happier, as the Mexican struggled to a lowly 15th place – leaving him looking forward to this week’s test sessions at the same circuit to provide some answers for his team’s dramatic pace deficit.
The weekend wasn’t auguring well for Racing Point when the team locked out the eighth row of the grid in qualifying, with just the Williams pair and the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi behind them – and with Stroll having failed to make it out of the first segment of qualifying for the ninth Grand Prix in a row, having crashed his RP19 in Free Practice 1.
Their pace didn’t improve come race day either, Stroll’s fastest lap of the Grand Prix slower than both of the Williams’, while Perez lost out in the final third of the race to both Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen as he eventually fell to 15th. And despite admitting on Saturday that Barcelona had “never been our best circuit over the years, so I'm not too concerned”, Perez was still hungry to get to the bottom of Racing Point’s pace issues over the coming weeks.
“It was a tough weekend, all in all,” he said. “Unfortunately it was as expected in the race – the whole race was difficult for us, but I’m looking forward to Monaco.
“It’s a weekend to forget, [but] luckily we have some testing on next week so hopefully there we can analyse and see what we can do better for the coming races.”
“We simply didn’t have the pace to challenge for points in the closing stages,” agreed Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer post-race. “It’s one of those races where track position is especially important and it was difficult to make much progress...
“We will take this one on the chin and focus on learning more about the car in the test... so that we can come back stronger for Monaco and beyond.”
Perez will be out on track in the RP19 on the first day of testing in Barcelona as he tries out prototype tyres for Pirelli, alongside Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Stroll planned to take over that role on the second day, while the team’s simulator driver Nick Yelloly would be Racing Point’s ‘regular’ runner across both days of the test.