Russian GP: Preview - Toro Rosso


Pierre Gasly: "I raced in Sochi in GP2 twice, coming second in the feature race in 2015, but it was a while ago, so it's three years since I last drove there. I also raced at the Moscow Raceway circuit in Renault 2 litre and 3.5. That gave me the chance to be a bit of a tourist, visiting Red Square and some of the other sites and it's pretty impressive. That's one of the nice side effects of doing this job, that you get to see parts of the world you might not otherwise. Sochi is a relatively new venue and an unusual place, as it was home to the winter Olympics. The atmosphere around the outside of the circuit is strange, as there's nothing much around it except the former Olympic village. Many of the corners are quite similar in nature, but the final part of the lap especially is pretty technical. Will the Sochi circuit suit us? That's hard to tell as recent races have not always gone as we expected. It would be satisfying to get a good result here, not just in itself, but to give us a boost before going to Suzuka the following week for Honda's home race."

Brendon Hartley: "I've only ever been to Russia for a marketing event and that involved being there for less than 24 hours, so the weekend will be an interesting experience for me. Therefore, this will be another new track for me and last week I drove it in the simulator. It's fair to say, our Singapore performance was not what we wanted so we will be working hard back in the factory to try and find ways of moving forward. It's a case of hitting the re-set button, while building on the positive aspects with the aim of looking for points in Sochi."

Toyoharu Tanabe. Technical Director, Honda F1: "We'll now be heading to Russia before having our home grand-prix at Suzuka next weekend.

"Though the timing of Russian GP has been moved from springtime to autumn, the weather forecast seems for fine warm with temperatures in the mid-twenties. Sochi Autodrom is a temporally circuit which partly includes public road and its main characteristic is a very smooth surface, unlike other street circuit, that means tire degradation is never really an issue. Many of the 18 corners are low degree turns, so both the compromising traction and driveability will be a key but at the same time it also has long straights with high full-throttle ration so it has both aspects of high speed and low speed circuit. We need to find the optimized balance for this track and we want to show a good race which will also boost our coming home race in Japan."

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Published: 25/09/2018
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