Racing Point Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer reckons progress with a new aerodynamic philosophy will enable his side to fight for points at every race in the second half of 2019.

After an initial strong start to the season with four straight points finishes, drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were only able to record one top 10 appearance across the next six races, until Stroll claimed a breakthrough result with a fourth-place finish during a chaotic German Grand Prix.

The Silverstone-based squad has been developing its 2019 challenger throughout the opening half of the campaign having been boosted by fresh investment from new owner Lawrence Stroll following his takeover last summer, and Szafnauer believes the team’s hard work is beginning to come to fruition.

“We come back from the summer break determined to build on the foundations we have laid in recent months,” said Szafnauer.

“The new aero philosophy will continue to evolve over the next few races and we believe it’s taking us in a better direction.

“I think we can be much stronger in this second half of the season and challenge for points at all the upcoming races.”

Stroll echoed Szafnauer’s views, adding: “I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season.

“I think we can be stronger in the coming races and there are more new parts coming through.

“We definitely won’t stop pushing because there are nine races to go and lots of opportunities to score good points.”

Perez has not scored a point since April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku and has now fallen behind Stroll in the drivers’ standings as a result.

“I’m feeling in good shape as we get back to business,” the Mexican said.

“I always say that Spa is the perfect place to restart the season because it’s such a special track.

“It’s one of the best races of the year and I love the high-speed corners such as Pouhon. It’s a long lap, too, so when you hook everything up it’s very satisfying.

“Spa usually produces good racing, as well,” he added. The first sector and the approach to Les Combes offer good opportunities to overtake.

“I still remember the first lap last year when we were fighting for the lead. It was such a special feeling to get a good result. I hope we can do something similar this year.

“The key to being quick is to find the right trade-off between top speed and downforce. You want to be quick through the corners without losing too much top speed down the straights. We are on full throttle for about 70% of the lap so you don’t want too much drag.”

 

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