Racing Point driver Sergio Perez has set his sights on his “best ever” Formula 1 season in 2020.

The Mexican has been one of the stand out performers in the midfield during the V6 hybrid era and is confident he can turn in his strongest campaign in F1 to date, eclipsing his previous best finish of seventh place with 101 points and two podiums from 2016.

Perez, who took 10th-place in last year’s drivers’ standings, believes Racing Point can improve on a steady 2019 campaign with the full impact of Lawrence Stroll’s investment set to be felt this season.

“[I have] big targets for this year,” Perez explained at Racing Point’s 2020 launch event in Austria.

“I really hope that this will be my best ever season in Formula 1, that I beat all the other years in terms of results. That will be the target for the season.

“I think being best of the rest will be very tough,” he added. “Competition out there will be very big but I’m sure that we can fight for that.

“I think we had a very strong second half of the season so I see no reason why we can’t start strong in Melbourne this year.”

And Racing Point team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer hopes the team return to the top of the midfield pack ahead of its transition into Aston Martin in 2021.

“This year we want to be a strong fourth, we want to be closer to the top three than we’ve ever been in the past and top of the midfield,” Szafnauer said.

“This year we want to take a step up and be where we can be. It’s not that easy, the competition’s getting stronger - McLaren did a really good job last year; Renault with the motor company and the 650 employees behind them; even Toro Rosso with the work that Honda did.

“It was an incredibly busy [winter]. I think we took two days off, Christmas and New Years’, but the rest of the time we worked… we felt like one-armed wallpaper hangers.

“Seasons are getting longer… the nice thing is we only have six days of testing so that helps a little bit but there is no break, it is year round.”

Szafnauer said Racing Point is in a better position from a development stand point compared to recent years but explained the difficulty in finding the right balance.

“The conundrum is really, when do you stop developing and start manufacturing?” he added. “We were looking among the spares we had for Australia and our spares are going to be a bit limited.

“If you have too many parts it means you stop developing too early and you have too much manufacturing time. The successful teams, they can squeeze that manufacturing time.”

 

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