Lance Stroll reckons Racing Point’s transition from the former Force India squad put the team “on the back foot” heading into the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The Silverstone-based outfit was rebranded as Racing Point during the second half of 2018 following a summer buy-out of Force India by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll.

While the takeover injected fresh funding into the team, the lateness of Stroll’s arrival meant the full effects of the changes were not felt straightaway in 2019.

Stroll, who joined his father at Racing Point having made a winter switch from Williams, helped the team claim seventh spot in the constructors’ championship, 12 points behind Toro Rosso.

“[The car is] very different, it’s like a different category really [compared to Williams],” Stroll explained.

“Formula 1 is always changing. Tyres are changing every year, a new car is developed, with experience, and I think next year is a really exciting year for the team.

“We had a lot of challenges coming into this year with everything that went on in 2018, with the transition from Force India to Racing Point. I do think that put us on the back foot coming into this year.

“I think next year is really going to be representative of what we can do over the winter, and how strong we can be when we show up in Melbourne.”

Asked what differences he has witnessed between Racing Point and former team Williams, Stroll replied: “I see a difference in speed.

“You look at the grid, there’s definitely a much more competitive environment.

“There’s a great group of engineers that work here. It’s great working with the guys around me, and I think everyone is really excited about next year, to be a part of that is very exciting.

“We’re already looking forward to 2020. I think there’s some unfinished business.”

 

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