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Russian GP: Preview - Williams

NEWS STORY
06/10/2015

After a successful debut on the Formula One calendar in 2014, the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi returns to host the 16th round of the Championship. The Sochi Autodrom is one of the longest in Formula One and circumnavigates the 2014 Winter Olympic venues as well as sharing just over 1km with public roads.

Designed by Herman Tilke, the circuit boasts some of his signature designs such as long straights and sweeping hairpins. The drivers will head back to Sochi with a greater understanding of the circuit and the fans will be expecting another exciting race following a memorable first outing in 2014 that saw Valtteri Bottas claim a third place finish.

Valtteri Bottas: We had a good result last year in Russia so we’re expecting another strong weekend and a good collection of points. We all know the track now and it has a really good flow, with the long straights a good fit for our car. The fans were passionate last year so we look forward to putting on another good show for them. Pace wise we were close to Mercedes in Japan and I think we can be close again in Sochi, just like we were in 2014.

Felipe Massa: Russia is a very nice track with a few long straights which makes it interesting for overtaking. The circuit has almost everything, starting with a straight and then moving into high-speed corners and then very slow corners in the middle sector. This makes setting up the car really important and the importance of downforce evident. I hope to make amends for qualifying last year and I’m confident we can have a competitive race.

Rob Smedley: The objectives for the Championship are fairly clear. We are looking to reduce the gap to the teams in front and extend the gap to the teams behind and we hope to further realise those goals in Russia. The facilities in Sochi are excellent considering it’s a new track and we are hoping for another good race, with plenty of overtaking like last year. The track has some quick straights and low speed corners, so the compromise on downforce has to be correct. Sochi is a circuit that suits our car with high power and drag sensitivities. We managed to have a good weekend last year from a performance point of view and we will be looking to build on this.

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