Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez know that everyone will start from zero at the new Sochi track.
Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s always fun to explore a new place and this will be my first visit to Russia. So far I’ve only seen a few photos of the paddock and the track layout so I will arrive there with a very open mind about what to expect. However, I do have high expectations because I know that the organisers have made a big effort to make the race a success.
“It’s hard to look at a track on paper and really get an understanding of how it will feel to drive. I prefer to go there and experience things before I make judgments and talk about track characteristics. So in that sense it’s too early for me to compare it with another circuit. What is clear is that there are some really quick sections and a lot of right-angled corners.
“It’s fun to learn a new track and I look forward to the first few laps of free practice. I would say that after about 10 laps you’ve done your learning and start to feel comfortable. After that, you can focus more on improving the car’s performance.”
Sergio Perez: “I’m really looking forward to the race in Sochi. It’s a country that will be totally new for me and so it’s exciting to go there for the first time. I will feel like a tourist looking around the city.
“The location of the track inside the Olympic park is very unusual. If I get the opportunity I will definitely explore a bit. From the photographs I’ve seen it looks to be a very impressive facility. There are some long straights, some tight corners, and I think it will feel like a street circuit because the walls are close to the track in a lot of areas.
“To prepare for a new track I normally walk the track and cycle it a few times. Normally you need about 10 laps before you can really start doing performance runs. Nobody knows the track so it will be the same situation for all of us. We all start from zero.”