Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer has set the target of fighting for podiums in 2019 alongside a top four finish in the constructors’ championship.
A new title partnership with SportPesa was announced on Wednesday as Racing Point unveiled its new livery at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. With the team under new ownership after assets were purchased by a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium last summer, Szafnauer says that the increased resources translate into bigger targets for the coming season.
“The long-term aim is to take this team to the very top of the sport,” Szafnauer said. “In the short and medium term we need to take the fight to the top three teams and establish our position as a podium contender.
“This won’t happen overnight, and the new owners are realistic about the amount of work needed to get us to that level. We are putting the building blocks in place to deliver on these ambitious targets, and it’s important that we take a good step forward in 2019.
“We want to be fighting for podiums on merit this year, and aiming for a top four finish in the championship.”
Expanding on some of the work that is taking place to allow Racing Point to chase those targets, Szafnauer says a new factory at Silverstone is planned over the next two years.
“The aspirations off-track are just as ambitious,” he said. “The new shareholders are investing in all areas of the company to establish Racing Point as a premium brand with strong commercial appeal.
“We have already signed an exciting new partnership with SportPesa, which sits alongside the BWT relationship as our top level partners. We’ve also welcomed new names such as JCB, Bombardier and Hackett into the Racing Point family – brands which share our vision for building a first-class racing team.
“There is also the creation of a new factory, which we expect to be completed by 2021, and the introduction of a new motorhome at European events later this year.”
While the new livery was the focus of Wednesday’s event, Szafnauer says he has been trying to balance the plans to grow the team with car development.
“There is a huge amount going on behind the scenes and I would say it has been the busiest winter I can remember. Not only are we delivering the new car, but we are also planning for the future and trying to improve our facilities and tools following years of under-investment.
“We are expanding the current factory to accommodate a growing workforce and simultaneously planning the build of a new facility, which will also be located in Silverstone. These are not easy tasks and they require lots of energy and resources to deliver. But we are well aware that the focus of our key people needs to remain on the performance of the car and that’s very much the case.”