It was a strange Saturday for Racing Point, which saw them face disappointment at different times. But primarily, the big blow for the team was not having Lance Stroll due to an illness.
The nature of Stroll’s discomfort still remains unknown. But, Nico Hulkenberg was then brought in as his replacement for the Eifel Grand Prix this weekend.
And where he failed to do anything in Qualifying, the responsibilities lay on Sergio Perez’s shoulders. The Mexican racer looked in good nick overall, and will start the race in P9 tomorrow.
Racing Point handed big blow in fight for third
The repercussions of Stroll being unavailable, saw Hulkenberg brought in as the stand-in driver. He put in his best efforts, but ultimately he finished P20 in qualifying.
And while expectations must not be mustered, it could see Racing Point concede third place in the table. The likes of McLaren and Renault are breathing down their necks, sitting fourth and fifth respectively.
Speaking to Motorsport Week, Perez is quoted as saying, “It all changed very quickly with Lance not coming in this morning, I could see some stress in the team.”
“I didn’t really know what was happening. I hope health wise Lance is okay and we can have him back soon.”
Stroll has had a great season so far, with the podium at Monza being a personal highlight. So in that regard, not having an experienced professional hurts Racing Point’s ambitions.
Uncertain weather conditions beckons ahead of the Eifel GP
Despite the disappointment of the news, things could change for Sergio Perez and Racing Point. The fact that rain could have a say in tomorrow’s race, adds to the intrigue.
It is here that Perez needs to be alert to step up and claim any slip-ups that the McLaren and Renault cars offer. He will also take encouragement from his drive in Sochi, which saw him get P4.
Should Perez replicate that kind of a performance, it would give Racing Point a huge boost in the midfield battle. And if Stroll’s illness is not serious, that could see the team setup a great foundation going into the business end of the competition.