Racing Point to unveil new car to be driven by Stroll at Toronto auto show

MONTREAL — Lance Stroll’s new Formula 1 car will be unveiled in February at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

The Racing Point team, formally known as Force India, was bought last August by a group of businessmen led by the Canadian driver’s father, Quebec billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

His 20-year-old son announced last month that he was joining the team after spending his first two seasons in F1 with Williams. The presentation of the team’s 2019 car on Feb. 13 will come five days before the beginning of winter testing in Barcelona.

In the podcast “Beyond the Grid,” Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer said the young driver “absolutely loved his time in the car” during recent testing in Abu Dhabi. Stroll “said the car could do the things that he wants a car to do,” Szafnauer said.

“And we are duly impressed with Lance,” he continued, comparing him favourably with Esteban Ocon, the driver he replaced.

“We were already impressed with him when he ran in the simulator. He was on the pace very quickly — up to Esteban’s level in the simulator — and we were just hoping that the pace that he showed in the simulator would translate onto the track, and it did.”

Szafnauer said he sees “good potential” in Stroll. The team will work with him to teach him how to preserve his tires and to perform better in qualifying.

“He brings some great skills. He’s quick. He usually does a great job at the start, and over the first lap he usually makes up places, so we look forward to working with him,” Szafnauer said.

Szafnauer repeated his desire to build a new factory so all the components of the team’s cars are produced in a single location, but that doesn’t mean the team headquarters will move to Canada. Racing Point is currently based in Silverstone, U.K. The plan is to triple the size of its factory by expanding onto an adjacent lot.

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