Sergey Sirotkin has first run in F1 car in Sochi

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Sergey Sirotkin, who Sauber intend to add to their race team next year, has had his first run in an F1 car in Sochi.

Sirotkin participated in the Formula Sochi event at the site of the track which will hold Russia’s first Formula One race next year.

Sirotkin used a 700-metre stretch of the 5.5km track which has already been completed.

“These were my first metres in a Formula One car, which obviously is something very special, even though it was only a short part of the Sochi track,” said Sirotkin.

“Nevertheless I was able to gain a first impression, and this was awesome. It was fun to drive in front of such a big crowd, particularly because most of them were compatriots. Russia can be proud of this great track.”

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: “We are proud to be part of this historic event – a Russian driver drives a Formula One car for the first time at the track in Sochi.”

“The show run marks an important milestone in the lead up to the inaugural Russian Formula One Grand Prix, which our team is looking forward to.”

Marussia also participated in the event with Rodolfo Gonzalez driving.

Pictures: Sergey Sirotkin has first run in F1 car in Sochi

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

34 comments on “Sergey Sirotkin has first run in F1 car in Sochi”

  1. It’s actually a shame that he didn’t do a Kobayashi just to spell out the fact that he’s not ready. He’s still got Sauber’s extensive testing regime to illustrate that…

    1. Yeah, I know “bit harsh”…

      1. Not at all. What got him here, money or skill?

        From a purists perspective I wish these little kids would just disappear.

        1. Purist, what do you make of alonso and vettel? Both were kids when they entered f1. Alonso was 19 and drove a minardi amazingly. Vettel is 25 and soon to be 4 times world champ. Dont forget raikonnens mighty entry to f1 as a kid, qualifying top 10 in his first.race. Also look at marqez in motogp.

          1. Does the term “on merit” mean anything to you?

        2. you didn’t write “on merit” in your post. either way as a purist, you would know pay drivers have been in f1 since day 1, its almost the backbone of the sport keeping teams alive often. Sirotkin will prove if he deserves it or not – look at piquet jr for instance, he didn’t prove it. the whole “on merit” argument is flawed anyway, as most of the drivers who do well even in go-karting are because of financial reasons. 95% of f1 drivers over the history of f1 had a better start in go-karting then other “on merit” kids who had the same talent. I have a friend who raced with Mark Webber in F3. he had heaps of talent, but did not have the budget to compete with Webber. ofcouse Webber got into f1 “on merit”, where as my friend couldn’t get passed f3 level because the money ran out.

  2. Smart ! So need experience for super license buy your own f1 car and track, I mean if the car stay and he can drive it every day all remaining year then there is no doubt he will be ready to race it next year, if others could do it at 18 he also can, good luck Sergey !

    1. promotional events like this are limited to 200 km. you need to get 300 km within two (?) days to get a superlicense.

  3. Can’t help but feel he shouldn’t be in F1 anytime soon. The reason he will be there next year is purely financial. Without the cash backing him up, he might or might not enter F1 in the future. But before that, other, more qualified racing drivers would have gotten a change first. The current state of F1 is worrying. Drivers like Hulkenberg, Frijns, Magnusson shouldn’t have to worry about a seat (as long as they perform).

  4. He’s currently in eighth place in F 3.5 with 61 points. It remains to be seen whether Magnussen (199 points), Vandoorne (163 points) or da Costa (120 points) can land an F1 seat for next year. I’m not even dead set against pay drivers in F1, but at least many of them (Maldonado and Gutiérrez and Perez come to mind) showed some signs of ability in junior classes before moving up. Sirotkin simply doesn’t belong in F1 based on his existing record.

    1. Agreed, if Sauber wants a Russian driver for financial reasons then look no further, there’s Vitaly Petrov who 1) Already has 3 years of experience. 2) While not the best driver out there, he did turn the tables on the highly-rated Kovalainen and single-handedly helped Caterham overhaul Marussia in the standings.

      1. Petrov also outperformed Kubica on a handful of occasions during their time as team mates as well

        1. Needless to say Alonso remembers him for Abu Dhabi 2010. He is very hard to overtake !!!!!!

          1. @xjr15jaaag @tmax
            Yeah about that… I wouldn’t use 2010 for examples, apart from Hungary and Abu Dhabi, almost his entire season was a disaster; fortunately he got better in 2011 and 2012.

      2. Petrov is a perfectly good F1 driver, and totally didn’t deserve to get kicked out!

        1. Thats a good one.

      3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        28th September 2013, 11:35

        @woshidavid95 – Sirotkin’s father is bankrolling his F1 ride. Oleg Sirotkin (his father) is head of NIAT, which has signed on with Sauber for a sponsorship/partnership.

        Sauber has also confirmed details of a new partnership with Russia’s National Institute of Aviation Technologies to “open up new perspectives and revenue streams by commercialising jointly developed technologies”. Sirotkin is the son of Oleg Sirotkin who is the director general of NIAT.

    2. @jonsan – Don’t make the mistake of looking at the results on paper. Sirotkin has put in some excellent performances this year, only to be robbed of the result he deserves, either by bad luck, mechanical gremlins or other drivers. A few races ago, he was in a good scrap with Antonio Felix da Costa, only for Norman Nato to take him out of the race with a silly move. On paper, Sirotkin got a DNF. But in reality, it was a strong performance undermined by another driver’s mistake.

  5. I think it is wrong to write him off just because he has money and he is getting a seat because of his sponsor.

    Even Senna came from a very rich family and wielded big financial power. In the 1983 nov tests senna was 2 seconds slower than nelson piquet . Piquet had nicknamed him “the taxi driver of Sao Paulo” for that. The rest is history.

    1. Piquet was never afraid to speak what ever was in his mind, Legend :-)

    2. That’s really funny,. made me laugh.

    3. @tmax Senna didn’t use his money, though. ;)

  6. The argument that Sauber is only doing this for the money does not completely make sense. If Sirotkin only brings money, but no talent, how does that really help Sauber in the long term? If a team has one real talented driver and a pay driver with limited talent, how does this help a team? What are they gaining versus what are they giving up in points money? Do one pay driver bring in enough money to then support a team with only one good driver? It would be interesting to see some realistic financial comparisons on teams with pay drivers.

    It’s likely Sirotkin will have a Sauber seat next season. I wish him and the team well and hope he has a successful season.

    1. I believe he DOES bring talent. The guy is quick. When he went to AutoGP, he qualified on the fron row on his first weekend. He came to WSR and did the same in the first race at Monza. As @prisoner-monkeys mentions above, he’s had his share of bad luck and if it wasn’t for mechanical problems and hot-headedness of some other drivers (older than him at that), he’d have a better position in the standings.

      So I think Sauber is in a win-win situation here. They get the money, talented driver, and a lot of publicity :)

      1. here is his WSR season so far, for reference

        1. Monza.
        Q1 – 2nd
        Race1 – DNF – did not get away nicely, dropped to third and in first corner was taken out by Move.

        Q2 – 5th
        Race2 – DNF – 10 Second penalty threw him out of contention for good points, and then later the car failed.

        2. Aragon
        Q1 – 2nd
        Race1 – 4th
        Q2 – 3rd
        Race2 – 2nd

        3. Monaco
        Q1 – 19th
        Race1 – 22nd – disasterous weekend, for both of the ISR cars

        4. Spa
        Q1 – 17th
        Race1 – 18th
        Q2 – 20th
        Race2 – 8th – The team went in the wrong direction with the set-up and only managed to come up with good settings for the second race, as well as a fix to gearbox issues.

        5. Moscow
        Q1 – 12th
        Race1 – DNS, clutch failure
        Q2 – 6th
        Race2 – 11th – lost two positions himself, plus another three due to a slow pit stop

        6. Red Bull Ring
        Q1 – 11th
        Race1 – DNF. – Made four places before being taken out by Nato
        Q2 – 10th
        Race2 – 4th

        7. Hungaroring
        Q1 – 6th
        Race1 – 3rd
        Q2 – 12th
        Race2 – 12th – Dropped to 17th in early part of the race, then managed to get some positions back. Still a weak race.

        8. Paul Ricard.
        Q1 – NS
        Race1 – NS
        Q2 and Race2 will find out tomorrow)

        About ISR and setups – when they arrived in Moscow, getting the settings right proved so difficult they thought it was a failure in the car.

        1. Yea, hes crap.

      2. I agree about Sirotkin. I have a good feeling about him, not sure why, just do.

        Interesting rumor that Sauber will bring Rubens Barrichello in to partner with Sirotkin rather than keeping Guitierrez and having two drivers with limited experience. Don’t know if that is credible, but the experienced driver with a rookie driver theory makes sense.

        Thanks for the list below – @njoydesign

  7. You guys sound like football managers. Does it really matter? If you can get to the top tier why does it matter how you got there? Cream always rises to the top and if you’re no good, you’re out but at least you got a crack at it. The system is never going to be fair for everyone. If you had a choice, which would you choose? F1 without a Sauber team or F1 with an inexperienced Russian?

    F1 has only fielded a relatively small percentage of “talented” drivers every season. Most ex F1 drivers disappear without trace. It’s the natural order of things.

  8. The beginning of the end of F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport.

    1. Well it is Mr doom and gloom. Nothing comes close to it – nothing.

    2. Why do people act like this is something new?
      Sirotkin may indeed be buying his drive but at least he seems to have some talent (He’s won races in the lower categories & generally had good results).

      Pay drivers have been around forever & there have been far, far worse & far less deserving drivers buying a drive in F1 in the past.
      Giovanni Lavaggi comes to mind, He brought his was into Pacific & Minardi in 1996/97 & never looked like he was good enough for F1. He was also one of the factors which led to the 107% rule been introduced for 1996 having qualified over 10 seconds off the pole time a few times in ’95.

    3. How is it the beginni.g of the end? Its been like this since f1 started. If he proves no good, he will go the way of bruno senna.

  9. The fact that he has to get his super license in a roundabout way, to me is an obvious sign he is not ready. (According to Autosport he is reportedly going to drive a 2011 Ferrari in a test in October because Sauber does not have a readily available 2011 car/engine package)

    Now I know someone on here will think they are smart and say “well Kimi didn’t have one”. The fact is, that was 12 years ago now. In my opinion it is not a comparable situation. Just like researchers do not cite old articles to back new research. Everything about Formula 1 has changed.

    The practice rules are changing for next year. I say get him his super license, pencil him in as your third driver, find a set-up that you can easily transfer over to your race driver for the second hour and give him some experience so he’s ready for 2015. If it is too difficult to set the car back up within that time frame as Ross Brawn believes, then what the heck, if you absolutely know rain or shine he is going to be in a race seat in for you in 2015, set the car up for Hulkenberg/Massa/Gutierrez, fix the seat and pedals for Sirotkin and then away you go.

Comments are closed.