Racing Point heads into the 2020 Formula 1 season with a “head start” compared to last year, according to Lance Stroll.

Stroll’s father, Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, led a consortium to rescue Racing Point from administration in the summer of 2018 but the full effect of the takeover and fresh injection of finances was not felt in its entirety in 2019.

The team has set high targets of returning to the front of the midfield pack this season after finishing seventh in the 2019 constructors’ championship, and Stroll is confident Racing Point can take full advantage of being in a stronger position from a development standpoint.

“I’ve seen a big change coming into this season compared to where we were 12 months ago,” Stroll explained at the team’s 2020 launch in Austria.

“We were definitely on the back foot coming into 2019 with a lot of change from Force India to Racing Point and this year we got a head start on the development process.

“It is definitely very exciting for the team and it gives me a lot more confidence coming into this season knowing how much more work has gone on behind the scenes with the 2020 car compared to the 2019 car.”

Racing Point has not graced the podium since the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix but Stroll reckons a return to the rostrum could be “very achievable” in 2020.

“This sport is full of surprises so we will try to be there in the right position when the opportunity comes and capitalise on it,” Stroll said.

“That is the nature of the sport and anything can happen on any given Sunday so we will just focus on Melbourne as it is a long season, a marathon, so we will try to score as many points as we can and hopefully there is a podium in there somewhere.”

And Stroll hopes to get closer to his teammate Sergio Perez this year and provide the Mexican with a much sterner test.

“I hope so, that’s the plan,” Stroll replied when asked if his personal target was to beat Perez.

“I definitely want to beat my teammate. Formula 1 is a competitive business and I am a competitive guy, I want to beat my teammate.

“It is a long year and I have just got to take it weekend by weekend and we will see where we end up in Abu Dhabi.

"I think it has been about building experience and learning my lessons every year and the areas that I can improve on,” he added.

“That is the ongoing battle that we face as drivers every season, as we are dealing with a different beast and you’ve got build a relationship with the new car and see where the strong points and weak points are.

“Then you try to drive around the weak points by working with the engineers on how the car can be better. That is what I am going to dive into when we get to Barcelona and work on it throughout the season.”

 

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