Max Verstappen is looking forward to returning to Russia, while Daniel Ricciardo is expecting much more grip in Sochi this year.
Max Verstappen: “It’s an interesting track. It has a lot of long straights but despite that fact, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso have actually done pretty well on that track in the past.
“It’s a special track and it’s still very new. It’s also in the middle of the Olympic Park and that gives a special atmosphere to it. The corners are mostly 90 degrees, which you normally never experience. It’s quite a flat track and not a lot of elevation changes and some difficult braking zones. It’s always challenging to come from high speed into a low-speed corner and achieve the best out of it in braking. I’m definitely looking forward to go back there and have a good race.
“Last year I visited the city centre in Sochi which was pretty interesting and I found a really nice restaurant that I will definitely go back to this year. I’ll keep the name secret for now though.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “Now that we’ve been to the track a few times I think the tarmac will be better. It’s a bit like Austin in the first few years, when it took a while to bed in. But I expect this year for the track to be grippy and with these cars it should be quite fast. I would say it’s going to be more enjoyable than it has been so I’m looking forward to that. It’s also a pretty busy track. There is not much room to rest. Yeah there is a long straight but other than that there is quite a bit going on. It keeps you thinking.
“Some parts of the track remind me a bit of India. Kind of flat and you can take the kerbs quite easily. There are also a lot of third- and fourth-gear corners. The layout has definitely grown on me since we started racing there.
“We’re also going there a bit later this year so there is a chance of it being a bit warmer than in previous years. It’s a pretty cool place. It’s near the ocean and our hotel is right next to it. I’ve never gone into the water though because it’s too cold for me.”