Now that the initial brouhaha has died down, though its looks forward to 2021, when, among other things it will become Aston Martin, team boss, Otmar Szafnauer insists that Racing Point will not be losing focus on the forthcoming season.
“There’s no immediate impact on our current campaign and we will continue to compete as Racing Point until the rebrand takes place at the start of the 2021 season,” he says. From then we will be known simply as ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ – so the Racing Point name will disappear.
“It’s exciting to transition into a manufacturer team and we’ve got the best part of a year to make all those changes,” he adds, “much of which will be happening behind-the-scenes.
“(But) it’s important we don’t take our eyes off the main task for 2020, which is to be competitive with the RP20.”
Asked about reaction within the team following the announcement last month, he says: “It’s certainly provided a real injection of energy for the 465 loyal and hard-working staff in Silverstone.
“The team has been in business, under various names, for 30 years and is more than ready to become a manufacturer team. Lawrence (Stroll) spoke to the staff last week and set out the clear objective to establish Aston Martin as one of the top teams in the sport. Everyone is proud to represent a legendary car manufacturer returning to the pinnacle of motorsport.
“Creating a works F1 team achieves a number of objectives for Aston Martin,” he adds. “It delivers a high-profile marketing platform for the road car division, which will enhance commercial appeal in all areas of the business. There is also the obvious technical collaboration between the F1 programme and the road cars, with F1 technology filtering through to the products Aston Martin launches in the years ahead. This is particularly relevant to the mid-engine philosophy that is just around the corner. The competitive environment of racing is a rich avenue for innovation and the opportunity for technology cross-over is incredibly exciting.
“It’s significant news for Aston Martin and for Formula 1 itself,” he says. “As one of the most iconic sports car brands in the world, Aston Martin needed a presence on the F1 grid and this solution delivers a fully-fledged works Aston Martin F1 Team from 2021 onwards.
“It’s news that will excite fans around the world and will shine a spotlight on a brand that is widely regarded as Britain’s finest luxury sports car manufacturer.”