Russian Grand Prix – On the shores of the Black Sea
Ahead of the Russian challenge: Scuderia Ferrari drivers’ comments:
“It’s really nice to come here, I enjoy this place and the track . The circuit itself it’s not very hard on the tires, or at least, that has been the case in the past years; they seem to last forever, so you never really make the difference on the tire war, anywhere, and this makes it very difficult to overtake.
Usually, this circuit doesn’t bring about very exciting races. The first time we came here it was quite tricky to make the tires work, but as the tarmac gets older the grip increases. We’ll see how it is this year. It is one of those circuits where you think you can always push more and more, but if you try, you actually end up going slower.
It’s a very nice circuit, but not so easy to make the best lap time. We always aim at doing the best we can and then we will see what happens. We’ll push hard this weekend and try to maximize every race”.
This track in Sochi is a fast one, with long straights and obviously we expect to do well as we are one of the top three teams, but I don’t have a clear idea of what will happen. After tomorrow we’ll see how the other cars work and how we feel with ours.
We are some points behind in the championship and we need to catch up to make sure we are there; that’s our target and the best way to do it is to finish ahead. That’s what we generally try to do, so our plan doesn’t really change from race to race. We try to give everything we have and I still believe we have a chance to win.
We always have a look at what we did over the weekend and certainly after qualifying in Singapore we didn’t get the best out of our package, but we tried everything during the race. I think we had a good start there and then we tried to use all the opportunities we had, but it didn’t work well enough; we didn’t perform the best way and the others were faster than us. So, we need to give credit to the others.
Our car is different this year as last year I think it was a surprise for many people to see we were so competitive, but this year everyone knows it is strong. I think we don’t have to get distracted by the result, but we need to focus on the job we have to do and see where we are.
Some races didn’t go the way we wanted to, but all of us are very motivated; the guys in the team have been nice to me – and they meant it – and this really helps me to overcome these races. I get all my energy from outside, thanks to our fans and supporters. It’s great to receive positivism and support from all of them.
Sochi kicks off another double header
This will be the fifth Russian Grand Prix in the modern era, but the event has come from a long way back. Over a hundred years ago, in 1913, even before the creation of the USSR, the first race was run. At the start of this century, racing driver Sergei Zlobin drove in some tests and there was a stillborn project to build a race track on Nagatino island, which isn’t actually an island, but a district. Other ideas, also in the Moscow area, came to nothing. Eventually, the decision was made to move 1600 kilometres to the south of the capital, to the shores of the Black Sea. The rest is history.
The Sochi track, which is actually closer to the town of Adler, wends its way through the buildings of the winter Olympics. It features a particularly smooth track surface, which is well suited to the softer tyre compounds, the Soft, Ultrasoft and making its first appearance here this weekend, the Hypersoft. Temperatures should be of the order associated with a late summer. The track combines a very fast section with a sector featuring right-angle turns. The run from the start line down to the first corner is a little bit more than 400 metres, but in reality the first braking zone is much further down the track, so that, after the start, drivers can get in the slipstream of those ahead. The 3-4 turn, a long left handed semi-circle, is actually taken almost flat-out. Fuel consumption is high and mechanical grip is not that excessive, given the need to balance the amount of downforce from the wings, for the fast sections.
Russia marks the start of another back-to-back, with two races in two weeks. Come the Monday after the race, the crew and equipment of Scuderia Ferrari will already be Japan bound, for the classic event at Suzuka.