Racing Point raised eyebrows at the start of pre-season testing with their new 'Pink Mercedes' design, but their controversial strategy appears to be paying off handsomely if the pre-season testing lap times at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya are anything to go by.
Sergio Perez completed 154 laps on the final day of testing with only a minor electrical issue, and set a time of 1:16.634s in the process which made him the seventh fastest driver across the two three-day sessions, and put him ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
“We’ve got plenty of useful data from these six days and I think we are now well-prepared to start the season," said the Mexican. "Everybody has done a huge amount of work over the winter
"I’m looking forward to it and hoping we can be competitive from the first race – but of course, it’s going to be a long season. It doesn’t matter where you start in Melbourne, it matters where you finish in Abu Dhabi.
"For me, the plan now is to do some more physical preparation, with a bit of down time to relax as well before the travelling begins. It’s a long way to Australia, but I can’t wait to get out there and go racing.”
The team's performance engineering director Tom McCullough gave testing the thumbs up as far as Racing Point was concerned.
"Overall it’s been a positive winter for us," he confirmed. "We spent the morning finishing off our optimisation work based on the knowledge we’ve gathered of the car thus far.
"We had a small technical issue at the end of the morning session, which was traced to an electrical fault," he revealed.
"While not a significant concern, we elected to carry out some precautionary checks as it’s important to understand and iron out these niggles before we go racing, which unfortunately cost us some running on the softer tyre compounds.
"We’ve learned a lot about the RP20 over the past two weeks. Now it’s a matter of ensuring we make the best possible use of that data ahead of the opening races."