BWT Racing Point geared up for Austria after Silverstone track day

The BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, partnered by Acronis, continued its preparations for the long awaited opening grand prix of the 2020 Formula One season by returning to track action at its home base of Silverstone in Northamptonshire, England.

Each team is allowed two in season days of ‘promotional running’ and allowed to clock up 100km over the course of the day. And with the first Austrian Grand Prix taking place on July 3-5, this was the ideal time for the team to have its first outing since pre-season testing in Barcelona.

After months of record-breaking spring weather, it was typical of Britain that the day was an overcast one, with rain falling in the afternoon. In anticipation, Lance Stroll took to the circuit behind the wheel of the RP20 with a set of Pirelli’s demonstration tyres early in the morning to collect photography and video footage of their current car for use by partners, including Acronis, throughout the year

Another important aspect for the day’s running was for the team to get used to the new stringent safety protocols that will be in place at each Formula One venue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s very different and it’s going to be a real challenge going forward,” Technical Director Andrew Green told the official F1 website. “[It] effectively changes the time it takes to do jobs on the car. Jobs now take a lot longer, and we have to try and manage that.

“We only have a certain amount of time trackside to work on the car. When we’re in a race environment, we have curfews in place, so we have to now look at how long it takes to change and modify parts on the car that we would normally do, but reschedule them to make sure we are doing what we need to do during a race weekend and not contravene the curfew regulations.

“I suspect changing an engine now will take quite some time. We can only have certain members of the crew working on the car at any one time, and that does limit the speed in which you can do a power unit change. When we get into the real meat of the car, and centre around the power unit, we’re probably looking at, in some cases, it taking twice as long.”

Although not all teams have opted to utilise a day of promotional running before the start of the season, Green does not think the mileage accrued will give Racing Point any advantage over the competition when the season finally begins.

“You could attempt to do a lot of this work in the factory if you wanted to,” he added. “We were trying to put it in a live environment. By no means have we got all our protocols in place. It was definitely a big learning morning, a steep learning curve, and we’ll make modifications over the next few events to suit.

“We’re still learning, but it did give us a real heads up on how challenging race weekends are going to be, while you’re trying to run the car.”

Motorsport Technology