The challenging Sochi Autodrom saw the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team showing strong performances and fighting for positions in the upper midfield today. In FP1 the Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi took over the cockpit from Marcus Ericsson, to complete his third FP1 session with the team this season. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team finished the session in P10 (Giovinazzi) and P14 (Leclerc). Both drivers discovered the Sochi Autodrom for the first time in their careers, and did excellent jobs in getting up to speed. With the track conditions improving throughout the day, Ericsson took over his cockpit for FP2, heading into the session feeling confident, despite having missed the first free practice session. Ericsson put in a strong performance, and finished in P10. Leclerc finished the second free practice session in P13, and focused on becoming familiar with the challenges of the Russian circuit. The team looks forward to tomorrow, keeping in mind that a good qualifying is essential for the outcome of the race.
Antonio Giovinazzi: “It was great to be back in the car and FP1 was a good session overall. We went through the planned programme, and I could give my feedback to the team after the session. My second run was on the hypersoft tyre compound. The track was improving and I am happy with my lap. I am looking forward to driving again.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It is always tricky to miss FP1, but I know the Sochi Autodrom quite well so I was ready to jump straight into FP2 today. The car felt good from the start of the session and I was happy with the balance. As always, tyre management is critical on this circuit, and we learned a lot about that today. Overall, it was a positive day, and I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Charles Leclerc: “I drove on this circuit for the first time today, and I am still working on finding its rhythm. The track conditions improved throughout the day, and we tested different tyre compounds. We will work hard to find out how we can improve for tomorrow, which will be the day that counts. I look forward to qualifying.”