Russian Grand Prix 2020 – Preview

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43. Tuscan Grand Prix, Friday 11th September 2020. Mugello Italy.

Round 10 of the FIA Formula One World Championship plays host to Sochi’s Russian Grand Prix. Located on the iridescent Black Sea, Sochi is a popular beach destination and has been a fixture on the Formula One calendar since 2014. The Sochi Autodrom forms part of the legacy of the 2014 Winter Olympics, with the street circuit layout emerging from the internal roads that led to the Olympic Park.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: After the excitement of a new and thrilling track in Tuscany, we now return to more familiar ground and the very different challenge of the Sochi Autodrom. We enjoyed a very good weekend in Mugello but were very disappointed not to score any points. However, there were a lot of positives to come out of the last race weekend and our job here in Russia is to continue the good work, build on the momentum and understand how to apply the experience to the streets of Sochi.

Traditionally we have found the tyres difficult to get working on the smooth surface, however, this year Pirelli have brought their softest compounds, and this may make things easier as well as opening up a greater variety of strategies on Sunday.

In complete contrast to Mugello, there are no real high-speed corners in Sochi, but instead a lot of low and medium speed 90-degree corners. The FW43 is not especially well suited to this kind of corner, but we have a few ideas to improve the car in this regard and so we will have a busy Friday.

The drivers and team have enjoyed a brief break from the races, and we are now rested and ready to continue the fight as we look to improve the car and move ourselves up the grid.

George Russell: It was disappointing missing out on those points at Mugello, points that I felt we thoroughly deserved. However, it has given me and the team greater motivation to go out there and extract even more performance from the car.

Russia is a circuit that on paper won’t suit us as much as Mugello, but we have learnt some things with the set-up in the recent weeks that I hope will allow us to be more competitive with our nearest rivals. I think everybody will have enjoyed a well-deserved week off after an intense 11 weeks, and will be back ready and fighting in Russia.

Nicholas Latifi: I am really excited to head to Sochi. It has been good to have this week and a half off following the last triple header to analyse everything and see where we can improve. Sochi is a track that I have done quite well at in the past in Formula Two. I have always had strong races there, so I will be looking to try and carry that form over.  The track itself gives you a street track vibe, which is unique as there are not many circuits like it on the calendar. I am looking forward to the Russian Grand Prix, and I hope we can have a good result there.

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