Perez talks about tough F1 2019 as he eyes podiums/P4 for Racing Point in 2020
The Mexican states what went wrong for the team in 2019 as he looks forward to 2020.
Sergio Perez reflects on a tough 2019 F1 season for him and Racing Point as he targets podiums and fourth place for the team in 2020.
Following a chaotic 2018 F1 season for the then-Force India team, Racing Point had their first full season in 2019, which was a moderately successful one, as they finished seventh in the constructor's championship, with 73 points, and a best-finish of fourth.
The team had troubles in getting on the 2019 F1 car due to the issues in 2018, which affected their performances. Their qualifying pace pulled them back, even though the race pace seemed better as both drivers managed to gain some ground on Sunday.
With one season done and dusted, looking at 2020, Perez feels the stable regulations will help them in pushing towards podiums and also fourth place in the F1 constructors' standings, even though there are multiple outfits eyeing the same position.
"I think we can improve a lot [next year]," said Perez, when asked by FormulaRapida.net. "There are great teams up there and everyone is going to improve, so for us to catch up and improve even more is going to be difficult.
"So, I think podiums and fourth in the championship should be the target for us next year. This year we managed to improve step by step. Obviously it was not enough and I don't think we got close enough to McLaren as they were strong this year.
"Renault, as well, were a step ahead. But we were very close with Toro Rosso. They obviously did a better job than us and scored plenty of points when the opportunity was there, so that made a huge difference.
"In the midfield when you are able to score those big points, it's a big difference." Perez pointed at the qualifying weakness as Racing Point's drawback which went up against over the course of the year, as race-pace was competitive enough.
"I think qualifying hasn't been strong but race pace has been very strong as usual," said Perez. "Also, the race team has done a tremendous job this year. I think more than any other year, maximising our performance, was really strong.
"I think it's some fundamental thing with the car. Being very difficult on new tyres. And it was so much circuit-related this year - some circuits we were strong, some others we were really bad. That midfield group was so tight that two tenths in one sector was everything."
Even though the team faltered in the constructors' championship, Perez still ended up 10th with 52 points, only two places and 10 points less than what he managed in 2018. He was also consistently ahead of Lance Stroll, who had better races but average qualifying.
[Image courtesy: Racing Point] [Note: This story was co-written by Duncan Leahy on FormulaRapida.net]