Ferrari eager to see if updates work again in Russia

Mark Scott
Ferrari and Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes' engine development in 2019 hasn't been as good as in previous years.

Ferrari are keen to get started at the Russian Grand Prix as they seek further validation that their recent updates to the SF90 car are the right ones.

The Scuderia will arrive in Sochi looking to end another spell of Mercedes dominance, with the Silver Arrows winning every edition of the Sochi race since 2014.

Ferrari brought new aerodynamic parts with them to help secure an unlikely win in Singapore and now they want to see if they can help yield the same outcome in Russia.

“After taking three wins in a row, we are keen to get to Russia to see and check how our latest updates will work on what is yet again a different type of track,” Binotto said in Ferrari’s Sochi preview.

“Sochi features long straights and a very smooth surface where, once again it is not that easy to get the most out of the tyres.

“The circuit also requires a completely different set-up and aero configuration to that for Singapore. Having a well balanced car will be a key factor.

“The forecast for Sochi is for changeable weather, so it will be important to be prepared for every eventuality.”

Vettel, meanwhile, is hungry to finally taste success in Russia with Ferrari after coming close in previous years.

“We’ve raced in Russia a few times now. It’s another circuit where we’ve come close to winning but never quite managed it,” he added.

“I’ve started from the front row and in fact two years ago, Ferrari locked out the front row, but we really want the satisfaction of taking that last step and winning.

“It is something quite special racing past the Olympic Stadium and the Medal Plaza used for the Winter Games, so it’s definitely unique in terms of its setting.

“A lot of the corners are similar to one another, but they’re all very technical and finding the entry point can be quite tricky, as is getting the braking point right and finding the best way of rotating the car in order to be fast, while also looking after the tyres.

“From a technical point of view it’s one of the trickiest tracks we have on the calendar but it’s rewarding when you’re able to put together the perfect flying lap, especially in qualifying.”

Charles Leclerc added: “Arriving in Russia with three positive weekends behind us feels great. We have made good progress on our car, especially in terms of our performance on high downforce tracks, and seem to be more competitive on tracks with various layouts now.

“The Sochi circuit can be challenging, featuring a combination of high speed straights and lots of corners, especially in the last sector. I look forward to getting back in the car on Friday to see how it goes at this circuit and time will tell whether we can be as strong here as we have been lately.”

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