Sergio Perez says Racing Point’s current car will benefit from a “massive package upgrade” ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
Racing Point’s 2019 car was only seen in the flesh for the first time on the opening day of pre-season testing last week, and the team struggled somewhat for mileage during the first four days. Perez says the new ownership and funding has led to a major update being developed ahead of the start of the season but that a lack of spare parts is having an impact on its track time at present.
“Well, yes and no (the money is making a difference) — yes, because we’re having a massive package upgrade for Melbourne, but no because we are very limited on parts as in the past,” Perez said. “Right now… you’re going to see low mileage from us, because simply we’re short on parts — we don’t want to risk it too much.
“But the most important for us is to understand what’s going on with the balance, how we can make it better, how I can be more comfortable. I think in that regard we did good progress.”
The former Force India team’s first week of testing went largely under the radar due to struggles for Williams, and while Perez is keen not to place too much emphasis on the opening test, he admits the rest of the midfield has shown an impressive level of performance so far.
“We know testing, how it can be sometimes, but certainly there are some good surprises around. I think the midfield seems to be very, very tight but it’s too early to say.
“I was expecting Alfa Romeo to be very strong in the midfield, the Renaults, the Toro Rossos — I think there are not slow teams anymore. Any team can be a big surprise right now.”
While a slow start to the year is nothing new for Racing Point, Perez does have a new teammate in Lance Stroll and says he has been impressed by the way the Canadian youngster works with the team.
“Yeah, definitely we worked well together. Actually his feedback has been very good. I think it’s important at this stage to help the engineers and give as much understanding as possible for them to get a bigger picture. Things are going very well.”