Ferrari gains were down to Sochi track characteristics, not upgrades

Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted that the Maranello team made progress with its troublesome SF1000 in the Russian Grand Prix, but not as a result of the new parts they introduced.

Charles Leclerc finished sixth, scoring his best result since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in early August. However Binotto believes the team’s improved form was largely a result of the differences in the track layout compared to previous races.
“No, I don’t think it’s down to the upgrades,” the Ferrari team principal explained. “That’s not the reason.

“I think we’ve got a better balance here on these track characteristics. So let’s hope again that we’ve found again some competitiveness that will give the opportunity at least for the two drivers to compete for a better position in the future.”

It was a mixed picture for the team in Sochi. Ferrari lapped 1.6 seconds slower than they did … Read the rest

Bittersweet Russian Grand Prix for BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

For BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, the Russian Grand Prix was a tale of two halves, with Sergio Pérez bringing the car home in fourth place and Lance Stroll retiring from the race at the Sochi Autodrom

Having qualified in fourth, Pérez got a clean getaway at the start, on what was a dramatic first lap, losing two places to the Renault DP World F1 Team cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, however the Mexican managed to reclaim fourth place where he remained to the flag. 

Pérez was pleased with his result, despite a rather lonely race, saying: “It was a lonely race out there! We got the absolute maximum out of the car today and P4 was the best result we could achieve, so I’m very happy.

“We knew the start would be difficult on the dirty side of the grid, but I was Read the rest

Ferrari to bring new floor upgrade for Eifel GP and focus on diffuser area

Scuderia Ferrari leaves Sochi with a sixth place courtesy of Charles Leclerc and a 13th with Sebastian Vettel, after a relatively straightforward race, apart from two incidents on the opening lap that brought out the Safety Car. Starting from tenth, Charles soon found himself eighth, after Carlos Sainz hit the barriers at turn 2 and Lance Stroll spun after a collision with the Monegasque. From then on, he did a perfect job of managing the tyres, which was the key to his race. Leclerc was actually the third from last driver to make his stop on lap 29, going from Medium to Hard. Charles ran at a consistent pace and made no mistakes, thus making up two more places, getting ahead of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, to finish sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo.

The Maranello team brought a small aero update which seemed to have a positive effect on the … Read the rest

McLaren very happy with two top ten starts in Russian GP qualifying

McLaren F1 Team have had a positive day in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix this weekend after both drivers qualified within the top ten.

Carlos Sainz Jr. put a 1:32.550 on the timesheets, meaning he will start from sixth position, using the soft compound tyre. His team-mate, Lando Norris, will start in eighth, also on the soft tyre, setting a 1:32.847 personal best.

Sainz Jr. said that while their performance in the final practice session had been encouraging, once qualifying got underway they saw that the track and wind conditions were different, altering the balance of the car.

“I’m very happy with sixth today after a challenging session for us. We were encouraged after our Free Practice 3 pace but, as soon as qualifying started, we saw that the wind conditions and track temperature had changed, which compromised our car balance.”

Despite this, he considers it to be … Read the rest

Ferrari Sporting Director explains team’s qualifying result in Sochi

Qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom for the Russian Grand Prix did not go well for Scuderia Ferrari. When the race gets underway tomorrow at 14.10 local time (13.10 CET), Charles Leclerc will start from 11th on the grid and Sebastian Vettel from 15th.

Laurent Mekies Sporting Director:
We’re unhappy about qualifying for various reasons. Sebastian crashed, fortunately emerging unscathed, but the impact with the barrier did considerable damage to the car, which will require a lot of work by the mechanics to repair it.
Charles should have been able to get into Q3 but he had a very hectic time in the final part of Q2. In a strange situation like this, it’s difficult for all the drivers to get a clean lap and in fact, only four of them managed to improve their time in the final two minutes. Charles managed to start his lap in time, but … Read the rest

To Sochi Autodrom to start the next thousand – Scuderia Ferrari

Sunday sees the seventh running of the Russian Grand Prix, the tenth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. It takes place at the Sochi Autodrom, near the Black Sea coastal resort, with the 5.848-kilometre track using roads around the Olympic village built for the 2014 Winter games. The nearby Luna Park and its brightly coloured rollercoasters provide a backdrop at various parts of the track.

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18 corners. The track has 18 corners, 12 to the right and 6 to the left, with 1.7 km on public roads. The lap starts near the train station and heads for the Medals Plaza, which was where the Olympic prizegiving ceremonies took place and the five linked rings still mark the spot. The distance from the start line to the first corner is just over 100 metres, with a slight bend to the right that … Read the rest

James Hinchcliffe Returns to Andretti for Remainder of 2020 Season

James Hinchcliffe will pilot the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport for the remainder of the 2020 season, following Zach Veach‘s departure from the team on Wednesday.

Hinchcliffe has already run three events with Andretti this season, piloting the No. 29 Genesys Honda for the season opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and the Indianapolis 500.

The “Mayor of Hinchtown” also raced for Andretti from 2012 to 2014, and team owner Michael Andretti credits their relationship with the Canadian driver as the reason why he was chosen.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” Andretti said.

“James has an existing relationship with Read the rest

Ferrari sporting director says Sochi updates first step after ‘rock bottom’

Scuderia Ferrari says the updates it has brought to the Russian Grand Prix must be regarded as the “first small step” on its recovery after believing it has hit “rock bottom.”

Ferrari is in the midst of its worst campaign in 40 years and holds only sixth in the Constructors’ Championship at the mid-point of the delayed campaign.

It was a regular points contender early on, and even scored two podiums, but has form has tailed off in recent races, which included failing to take a top 10 at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.

Ferrari has brought minor aerodynamic revisions for its SF1000 at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix but has cautioned that they are primarily tasked at understanding where to improve for 2021.

Ferrari’s Sporting Director Laurent Mekies commented that the team’s trajectory after the opening rounds “was certainly not as we wanted otherwise we would not be in this situation.… Read the rest

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN encouraged by recent performance ahead of the Russian Grand Prix

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN is looking to build on the team’s encouraging results from the past two races in Italy at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom

Kimi Raikkonen picked up two points at the Tuscan Grand Prix, two weekends ago, it was the much needed boost the team needed after a tepid start to the 2020 season. 

Kimi has not had much luck at Sochi in the past but the Finn is not going to let it get in the way of pushing forward for the second half of the season. He said: “I don’t have many good memories about racing in Sochi as for some reason it’s always been a fairly unlucky track for me. However, I am not someone who looks at past form too much: my focus is on having a good weekend and [to] get the most of what our … Read the rest

Charles Leclerc on Ferrari upgrade for Sochi: “We don’t expect much performance from it”

Do you feel like you have outperformed the car this season, making the difference?
Charles Leclerc: “Overall this year I feel myself in a very good form, better than last year. I am trying to push the car at its limit in every session which helped my consistency. Surely I made mistakes sometimes, but there are also races where I took the risks and it worked out. We managed to do some podiums, lucky or not, we managed to do some podiums. I am happy with how the season is going on my side but there is still a lot to do. Last year I was pushing in qualifying, but there was a bit more left in FP1/FP2/FP3. Now I try to extract the maximum out of the car all the time and it seems to work for now.”

Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc on the Maranello team’s upgrade … Read the rest