Sochi welcomed the drivers and teams with warm late summer weather, although the temperatures drop considerably once the sun goes down. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel carried out their track inspection by bicycle before starting work in preparation for the race weekend in meetings with their respective engineers.
With the media. As usual, in the afternoon the drivers faced the media in the FIA press conference. The first questions looked back to Mugello and Scuderia Ferrari’s 1000th Formula 1 GP. “We didn’t get the result we would have liked,” admitted Charles. “But it was still wonderful to race on our own track and it would be really great if it could also be part of the Championship in the future. It was very nice to see the fans back in the grandstands. I know that here there will be even more of them and we hope to provide some entertainment, even if, unfortunately this track has generally not suited our cars too well. However, as usual, we are leaving nothing to chance and we are pushing as hard as possible. Qualifying will be even more important than at Mugello and starting from today’s briefings we have begun to prepare for it as well as we can. As usual, it’s going to be a very close fight in the pack and our aim is still to get a good finish in the points”, affirmed the Monegasque driver.
Feelings. Sebastian Vettel said he did not want to have any preconceptions about what to expect this weekend. “I think it’s important to try and have a good feeling with the car and that’s what I will focus on. As far as I’m concerned, along with my engineers, I have to find the best set-up to get all the potential out of the SF1000”. For the German, this weekend’s race will be his 250th GP start. “As many people know, I’m not too interested in the numbers. The important thing is to have a good race, starting with qualifying. It will be important for me not to have to start in the midfield, because I really believe that if I was a bit further forward on the grid it would be easier to have less difficult races”.
Programme. The action starts tomorrow with two free practice sessions. The cars take to the track at 11 and 15 local time (10 and 14 CET). The final 60 minutes of preparation for qualifying takes place on Saturday at 12 (11 CET) with qualifying at 15 (14 CET). Sunday’s race gets underway at 14.10 (13.10 CET).