The penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona showed the race pace of the new Racing Point to be “promising” compared to Ferrari, according to Lance Stroll.
Racing Point’s 2020 car is similar to last year’s Mercedes and has been one of the talking points of testing, as it has shown strong performance out of the box. After finishing within 0.3s of Sebastian Vettel’s fastest time on Thursday and using a harder-compound tire, Stroll was downplaying how close Racing Point could get to the Scuderia but admitted he was encouraged by its overall performance.
“It’s early days,” Stroll said. “We’ve done a great job over the winter bringing this package to Barcelona and we’re still going to be working hard to try and find some more pace before Melbourne. That’s the goal. We’ll only see in Melbourne. There’s still three weeks — a lot can happen in Formula 1 in three weeks.
“It’s easy to get excited in testing, you never know what everyone’s doing, but I’m feeling good in the car and that’s the most important thing. In Australia we’ll see where we are relative to the others.”
When it was suggested that his race simulation in the afternoon was also comparable with Vettel — ending up within half a second per lap of the Ferrari over the final stint — Stroll added: “Yeah, that’s promising but I don’t know what they’re doing and what the situation is over there, so we’ll see when we get to Australia.”
Describing 2020 as the best pre-season he has personally had, Stroll also says Racing Point deserves credit for the work it has done in preparing for the new year.
“We’ve got a great group of guys and everyone did a great job in developing the car over the winter. We’re trying to do the best we can do with what we have and I think last year was a tricky year, coming in on the back foot with all the changes from 2018 to 2019. We had a really solid winter with a head start on this year’s car. The package we brought to the season is due to all the hard work from everyone back at the factory.”