Russian GP: Preview - Red Bull


How are you feeling now you have had time to reflect on the race in Monza?
Max Verstappen: I think you can reflect all you like but it's important to look forward and keep pushing. I still believe it was a racing incident, but we have been given a three-place grid penalty and we just have to work with it now. The race in Monza definitely wasn't our day for many reasons, but now I just plan to look forward to Sochi.

Last season you claimed Red Bull Racing's first ever podium at Sochi. Does that give you confidence heading into this weekend's challenge?
MV: It was great to finish second there last year in Sochi especially as it has never been a good track for us as a Team. We have been more competitive this year and we have a better package at the moment so it will be interesting to see how competitive we can be there this year. It will be of course completely different to Monza and it looks like there might be some rain this weekend. The track itself and the layout is completely different to the previous races so I'm definitely looking forward to going back there and seeing what we can do.

You are leading the Drivers' Championship by five points after Monza, how much influence will the three-place grid penalty have on your strategy for the race?
MV: The penalty is of course not ideal but nothing is lost, that's how I look at it. As for the Drivers' Championship, we still have a lot of races ahead of us and it's a very tiny margin. We will try and make the most from the weekend and work with the package we have.

How are you feeling after a strong performance in Monza where you moved through the field from ninth to fourth?
Sergio Perez: We knew going into Monza that it wasn't our best track and it was a shame to lose the podium after the race with the penalty, but there are plenty of positives to take from the weekend. We're going to a very different kind of track in Russia and so I really hope we can continue our form and start strong on Friday.

Christian praised the great job you did for the Team in Friday qualifying at Monza. How important is teamwork in such a tight championship battle such as this one?
SP: It is very important we help each other out and try to get the most from each weekend for the Team, especially as we come towards the end of the season where there are less races to capitalise on.

You finished fourth at last year's Russian Grand Prix. Is it a track you enjoy driving and do you expect it to continue favouring the Mercedes?
SP: Mercedes have won every race at Sochi since 2014 so they're the favourites this weekend. They're definitely going to be hard to beat but like always we will give it our best. Sochi is a track I like because it is very technical, fast and fluid which I think makes qualifying quite exciting.

Stats & Facts

At a reported cost of US$51 billion, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi were the most expensive Olympics ever staged, Summer or Winter. It is the third former Olympic site on the regular F1 calendar to have subsequently staged a Grand Prix, following on from the Ile Notre Dame in Montreal and the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Max has achieved the oddity of scoring five points at race weekends where he has not finished Sunday's Grand Prix thanks to the new sprint qualifying format this season, taking three points in the Silverstone sprint and an additional two at the Monza sprint.

Checo has a 100% point-scoring record in seven previous Sochi starts, including a fourth place finish last year and a podium in 2015.

Max celebrates his 24th birthday next Thursday following this weekend's Russian GP. Having started his Formula One career aged 17, he has achieved over 130 race starts, more than 50 podiums and still holds the record for youngest ever race winner (2016 Spanish GP).

The 2022 Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme will utilise most of Russia for the longest and toughest bicycle stage race in the world in which competitors will pedal for 9,105 km and 77,000 metres of altitude changes while following the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.

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Published: 22/09/2021
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