Racing Point already out of reach for midfield rivals and more is to come

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Racing Point's midfield rivals claim they are already out of reach in terms of pace after Sergio Perez's performance in Austria.

After struggling in the wet in qualifying and only managing 17th on the grid, the Mexican stormed through and could have finished fourth but contact trying to pass Alex Albon instead dropped him to sixth on the final lap.

That recovery though was a clear indication of the potential the Racing Point has, and for McLaren's Lando Norris and Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, it was much more than they could handle.

"We had a little bit of luck with Perez on the final lap," said the Briton. "I don't know what position he started, but he was a long way behind and he would have finished way ahead.

"The Racing Points are way too quick for us. When someone extracts all the pace out of the car like Sergio, then I think he showed how fast their car is.

"But like the previous weekend, we made the most out of our opportunities, with Stroll and Ricciardo battling and making mistakes, and I gained on them, and then with Sergio and his front wing."

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Ricciardo added: "I saw the race plot, with all the lines and all that stuff, and Perez had some serious race pace.

"When the team told me Perez was behind me, I was like, huh! And I thought we were having a good race. Obviously, he started way back and he was coming. They're fast, a little too fast for our liking.

"Even watching the onboards, watching his lap from Practice 2, that car is hooked up. I'll take nothing away from Perez because he is obviously a very good driver, but that thing is working very well at the moment.

"They're a bit of a handful."

Racing Point has even caught the attention of Red Bull, with team boss Christian Horner claiming "everyone should be worried"

And ominously, CEO Otmar Szafnauer is warning the RP20 will only get faster.

“There might be some circuits that suit us a little bit better than this one did, and we will be closer,” he admitted to

“But how much? I don’t know. It’s really hard to tell. I’m just happy that the race pace is good but there is still some learning to do and we still haven’t optimised the race weekend.”

Also, despite what might be a limited development life in a design that is so similar to last year's Mercedes, he claims there is more performance to come.

“You’ve got to do experiments and I remember years back when I was at Honda, there came a point in time in the latter half of the season, where suddenly you turned your focus on the following year and you were bringing no updates to the car.

“Eventually, with four, five or six races in a row with no updates, you learn more and you still went quicker, so that even happens in a mature car when you’re not changing.

“With us, you know, there’s still a lot more to learn and do. It’s just, you do it through experience and experiments. The more Fridays we get in, the more we’ll learn about the set-up.”