The lows of Bahrain make the highs of Sakhir ‘even sweeter’ says Racing Point boss Szafnauer
With one car on fire and another upside down by the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer underlined the dedication of his team to bring two cars to the Sakhir Grand Prix – and said Sunday’s victory felt “even sweeter” after last week’s double-retirement.
“The lows, the really really lows that we experienced last week make the highs even sweeter,” said Szafnauer after Sergio Perez won a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time, and Lance Stroll made it a double-podium for the squad with P3 under the lights on Sunday.
Just one week prior, Perez lost out on a podium with flames spitting out of the back of his car right at the end of the race – later revealed to be an MGU-K failure – while Stroll’s car was flipped over after contact with Daniil Kvyat. As a result, Racing Point's race had begun even before the Sakhir Grand Prix, according to Szafnauer, as their engineers worked round the clock and completed 11th-hour deliveries to Bahrain to get their cars ready for the race.
“For me personally, it’s my second win ever in Formula 1 so it’s absolutely massive, but more importantly it’s not about me, it’s about the team – this is a big team effort and it’s all the guys and girls back at Silverstone who put this car together, who work hard, who make sure we have a reliable car, a competitive car, you know – the manufacturing [department],” he explained.
“We had a big shunt last week and we also had one car on fire. Leaving last Sunday with only a week to go we had a scant amount of spares and parts – we couldn’t put two cars together.
“Everybody worked really hard at the factory night and day, we flew Lawrence [Stroll - Racing Point team owner]’s aeroplane back – it waited until Thursday – flew the car parts out so we could build two race cars. I mean, that’s what it’s about; it’s about teamwork and it’s not about any one individual.”
Racing Point are now ahead in the fight for P3 in the standings with 10 points between them and McLaren. Is there more to come from the Silverstone-based team as next week’s season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix beckons?
“Yeah I hope so,” replied Szafnauer. “We still have one race left, I don’t know where we stand in the constructors' championship, but regardless to say, I’m sure this has put us in the fight for third in the last race. We have to do a good job next weekend and after that, focus on the following year.”