After a productive test in Bahrain, Renault Sport Formula One Team Third and Reserve Driver Sergey Sirotkin will be jumping into Nico Hülkenberg’s R.S.17 for FP1 in Sochi. He can’t wait…
It’s fair to say you’re looking forward to FP1?
Obviously I’m very much looking forward to it! I’ve learn so far this year that it’s not very easy to be at a race track but not in the car. Watching other drivers in action and competing is pretty frustrating as I want to be out there. I am learning a lot with the team and it is a positive and enjoyable process, just not as positive and enjoyable as racing itself.
How was the Bahrain test?
The Bahrain test was a good first time in the R.S.17. The cars are really quick this year but I feel back in rhythm despite having not been in a race car for six months. It was a full programme and I enjoyed every second of being in the car, even if the programme was not the most exciting for the driver. Ultimately, I’m here to do what the team tell me to do, so that’s my approach to FP1; if I have to do aero runs, that’s what I do. If I have to drive a qualifying simulation on Ultrasoft tyres, then that’s what I’ll do too!
What do you think to the track?
I drove last year in Sochi so I’m familiar with what to expect. It’s a modern-style F1 track with some interesting aspects to it. There have been some interesting Grands Prix there. The most challenging sector is the final one, off the back straight, as there are some tricky braking areas through corner after corner, then it’s really crucial to keep the rear of the car under control through this sequence.
Is it good to be in the car at home?
I’m proud of being a Russian driver so to be in front of thousands of Russian fans is always going to be a highlight. That said, I would settle with being in the car anywhere! Of course, there will be a lot of attention in the press and media, and many people I know will be there - which is always nice - however my focus is fully on track. I’m there to do the best job possible and focus on the entire race weekend not just FP1 when I’m in the car.