Despite their original choice of team name initially being described as a “placeholder”, the Racing Point F1 name will continue into 2019.
Following their replacement of the Force India team part-way through 2018, the Silverstone-based team were known as Racing Point Force India in the second half of the season. Keeping the ‘Force India’ part ensured they complied with the FIA’s rules on team and chassis names.
The name was widely believed to be changing for 2019, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer telling Motorsport.com: “It is just a placeholder to indicate future change which will take place and be announced before the 2019 season.”
This indicates that the team were seriously considering a change of name, and may have even had one planned, but this idea has fallen through, which has encouraged them to continue with the Racing Point F1 name.
Their team/livery launch (as opposed to car launch, which will come later on in the month) will take place on 13th February.
The Haas F1 team, which will have a title sponsor of Rich Energy, will also be revealing a new livery tomorrow (7th February).
Elsewhere, the entry list confirms that the company Sauber Motorsport AG will run the team ‘Alfa Romeo Racing’, which will also have the chassis name of ‘Alfa Romeo Racing’.
Whilst this isn’t an unusual move, if reports are to be believed that the Fiat Group have until the summer of 2019 to take up the offer of buying the team outright, then already using the same team and chassis name would allow for a neater transition of ownership, unlike the scenario where last year’s Formula One grid had ‘Racing Point Force India’ for half-a-season.
The rookie drivers of Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and George Russell, along with returning drivers Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat and Robert Kubica have confirmed their race numbers for 2019.
Norris, Albon and Russell will take numbers 4, 23 and 63 respectively, whilst Antonio Giovinazzi will use number 99, previously used by Adrian Sutil back in 2014.
Kvyat will continue to use 26, and Kubica will take number 88, previously used by Rio Haryanto in 2016.
Click the image below to see the full entry list for the 2019 F1 season:
By: Luke Murphy
All Images: Motorsport Images