French GP: Racing Point have their work cut out after opening practices

Lance Stroll in the Racing Point RP19 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard. <i> Image:Mark Thompson / Getty Images </i>
Lance Stroll in the Racing Point RP19 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard. <i> Image:Mark Thompson / Getty Images </i>
Mark Thompson

Both Sportpesa Racing Point Formula 1 drivers felt positive about their runs in the two free practice sessions for Sunday's French GP but know they have a lot of work to do. 

The results however tell a different story with Lance Stroll P13 in first practice and P18 in second practice with a best time of 1:33.884 and team mate Sergio Perez marginally better with P11 in practice one and P16 in practice two with a best time of 1:33.300. 

Here's what the drivers had to say...

Perez said: "The new tarmac was very dirty this morning and there was big track evolution during the day. That’s why we saw so many cars struggling this morning and a few spins. We worked on understanding the current package because we don’t have big upgrades for this race.

So we just tried to find a balance that I’m happy with and evaluated some of the things we’ve added to the car over the last few events. I can feel the potential in the car and we are making improvements, but we need to make a good step tonight."

Stroll said: "It was a challenging afternoon and we are further back than we want to be at the moment. Compared to where we were on Friday afternoon in Canada, it looks like we have a lot of work to do overnight to understand where we can make up some ground."

"This place is a demanding track for the car and the long corners are tough on the neck, but it is what we train for and I am feeling pretty good. We need to find some pace for the performance runs, but the car felt better during the long runs and I’m confident we will be able to push when it counts on Sunday."

Otmar Szafnauer said: "The programme today was focussed on improving the balance of the car and continued evaluation of the aero components we have brought to the car recently – including front wings and floors."

"That went to plan and we also collected important tyre information with hot track conditions similar to those anticipated for Sunday. There’s a lot of information to digest this evening to ensure we make the correct decisions for tomorrow."

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