Racing Point hoping aero upgrades will pay dividends at Hockenheim

Whilst most of the attention of race fans this weekend will understandably be on the battle at the sharp end of things, with Mercedes celebrating 125 years of motorsport, there will be interesting stories up and down the grid.

The battle for supremacy in the middle of the pack will be just as intriguing as the fight at the front, with only 23 points separating fifth-placed Renault from five other chasing teams. One of those teams is Acronis partner SportPesa Racing Point.

The Silverstone-based outfit currently lies seventh in the constructors’ standings, level on points with Toro Rosso but only seven points behind Alfa Romeo. And with aero developments arriving in time for the German Grand Prix weekend, team principal Otmar Szafnauer is confident his team can close the gap.

“At the half-way point of the season we certainly believe there is more potential to come from the RP19,” said Szafnauer in the team’s race preview. “With an incredibly close middle of the grid, there will be some weekends that play more to our strengths and it’s important that we capitalise on those. Silverstone was a missed opportunity to score points and a number of factors counted against us, combined with some bad luck too.

“This weekend sees the arrival of some aero development items as we continue our push to bring performance to the track. We will use Friday for testing to hopefully unlock more speed from the car.”

For team driver Lance Stroll, Hockenheim brings back good memories of racing in junior formulae and he hopes it will again be a happy hunting ground.

“Hockenheim is a fun place to go racing. I’ve been there many times in my junior career – especially when I was racing in Formula 3 – so I know the track really well,” said Stroll. “I just like the flow of the lap and it’s a layout that creates close, side-by-side racing.

“These traditional European circuits are some of my favourites. It’s a bit like Silverstone with big grandstands full of fans – it sometimes feels like a football stadium when you’re in the final few corners of the lap. I really enjoy the atmosphere it creates.”

Like Stroll, teammate Sergio Perez harbours fond memories of racing at Hockenheim and the young Mexican even lived in Germany when starting his single-seat racing career.

“Racing in Germany brings back the memories of when I used to live there,” said Perez. “I was very young – having just moved from Mexico – and it was my first experience of living abroad and racing single-seaters. Those days were really good fun and I was living not too far away from Hockenheim. I still have friends in the area and I remember how much I enjoyed the German food.

“I hope Germany will be a turning point in our season. I’ve been unlucky lately, especially in Silverstone last week where we deserved to get a decent result. I believe we can make some good steps with the car before the summer break and hopefully our luck will change too. I believe in the work we are doing and I know it’s just a matter of time until we get back to where we belong – scoring points.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.