Racing Point is enthusiastic about the potential of its 2020 car and is still only halfway through learning about it after pre-season testing, according to the team’s technical director Andy Green.
The RP20 bears a striking resemblance to last year’s Mercedes W10, with Racing Point utilizing the Mercedes power unit, gearbox and wind tunnel among other aspects. The car is a big departure from last year’s RP19, and Green admits that means the team is still not able to exploit its full potential as it takes longer to gain a full understanding of its characteristics.
“I’d say we’re still in the experimental stage,” Green said. “Still running through lots of different set-ups. It’s a very different car to anything we’ve ever had before. So as we expected really, it’s taking a bit of time to understand how we go about changing the balance of the car for the different types of conditions, different types of corners, different tires.
“There’s a lot of work to do and I’d say we’re probably about halfway through it. So it’s going to be interesting going to Melbourne, which is really where we turned our focuses (during testing), trying to understand how we change the car for all the different tracks that we’re going to, not necessarily optimizing it for Barcelona.
“But, so far so good. The car is responding, which is great, and we can move the balance from one end to the other and I think the drivers can feel the car underneath them, it gives them confidence to drive and gives them confidence to push, which is good. When conditions got tricky (in Barcelona), the car exhibited some really good trace compared to last year’s car, so it was very encouraging.”
Despite suggesting there is a lot more to come from the car, Green says there is clear correlation between what was developed in the wind tunnel and the performance that is being seen on track.
“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t happy with where we are, we are happy,” he said. “The level of performance that we’re seeing from the car is – it’s sort of as we expected after we got the data out of the tunnel, we got it in the simulator when the drivers drove the car a couple of weeks ago they were massively enthusiastic about it.
“They were prepared for what was to come, we were just unsure whether we’re going to realize the full potential of what we’re seeing in the simulation work. Everything that we’ve seen so far suggests that we’ve transferred across from the model size to the full size.”