Racing Point's Green admits 'rolling the dice' with RP20 concept


Racing Point technical director Andy Green says the team decided to take a chance on its controversial RP20 concept because a failure would be short-lived in light of F1's planned 2021 rule changes.

Formula 1 was scheduled to introduce an all-new rule book in 2021, but to mitigate the financial effects on teams of the coronavirus pandemic, the sport's chiefs have pushed back the regulation revamp to 2022.

Green admits that last year, Racing Point deliberately focused its efforts on fielding a competitive car in 2020 while research and development work on its 2021 contender was secondary.

In hindsight, the regulation delay and circumstances have played right into Racing Point's hands, especially in light of the RP20's impressive performance in pre-season testing.

"It helps us," Green said of the delay, speaking in Formula 1's latest 'Beyond the Grid' podcast.

"We sort of made a decision that we we're going to try and make this year, 2020, our performant year at the cost of 2021.

"At the time, we were definitely much more biased towards 2020, lots of other teams had set their bias a lot more towards 2021 regulations.

"We made a decision not to do that, and that was a joint decision from the management that we wanted to show what we were capable of doing, with a view to, well we can catch up, and 2021 regulations we can just be fast followers.

"So I think the moving out a year is great, it helps us with the new regulations."


However, extending the life of this year's cars another 12 months could backfire in the case of a flawed concept.

"The big risk for us was while we've gone for a new concept car for 2020, our view was if it doesn't work, we're moving over to 2021 regulations anyway.

"So now we're in a situation where the car we thought may only be good for one season is now good to do two. It's going to be interesting when we go racing to see how it performs."

Racing Point has come under fire for fielding a design that is perceived as a "pink Mercedes" in reference to the car's aerodynamic similarities with the Silver Arrows' championship winning W10.

However, following the criticism, Green defended the team's work, insisting that while its design approach had been similar to Mercedes, the RP20 was not the same.

Green acknowledged Racing Point's form in pre-season testing but insisted there were still many uncertainties in terms of the relative performance of the team's midfield rivals.

"It matched what we were expecting as far as performance was concerned," he said.

"I think the drivers were incredibly enthusiastic about it which is great, but you're only ever as quick as the competition will allow you to be.

"We have no view yet on the competition, but we know we've made a reasonable step from last year. But what step has everybody else taken, we don't really know.

"We're looking forward to the season when it starts, as long as we get to show our hand at multiple tracks and we don't just stay at one track or two tracks for the whole season, then I think we'll be fine.

"It's going to be interesting; we definitely rolled the dice for this year with a view to if it didn't work then we'd change regulations but I hope we're not too far away."

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