Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Monza, 2013

Sirotkin to make F1 practice debut in Russia

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Monza, 2013Sergey Sirotkin will drive in an F1 practice session for the first time at the Russian Grand Prix.

Sauber confirmed the 19-year-old from Moscow will drive the car after Sirotkin made the announcement on Twitter today.

Sirotkin will drive in the first practice session but at present the team have no further plans for him to drive at any other race weekends.

He joined the team as a development driver last year after the team signed a development deal with Russia’s National Institute of Aviation Technologies.

Sirotkin currently holds fifth in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship having won once this year at Moscow Raceway. He finished ninth in his first season in the category last year.

Questions have been raised over whether the inaugural race will go ahead next month as Russia has been the focus of economic sanctions due to its actions in Ukraine. F1 teams have said they will take instruction from the FIA on whether the race will go ahead.

Asked about the race last week Mercedes’ Toto Wolff said: “We must rely on the governing body and the promoter to give us guidance and to give us information.”

“It is always dangerous to read the news and build an opinion, because that opinion could be very wrong of what is really going on. And I think this is what we are going to do, rely on the opinion of the FIA and decide or then go forward, with their guidance.”

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Image © Sauber

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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...

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16 comments on “Sirotkin to make F1 practice debut in Russia”

  1. I won’t pretend not to have been quite disappointed with Sergey’s 2014 FR3.5 season so far. With the exit of Magnussen, Vandoorne and da Costa from the series and with a competitive team in the shape of Fortec (the same team that took Frijns to the crown in 2012), I would have thought this clearly talented Russian could have been a championship contender. And yet he currently sits fifth in the standings, 68 points behind Sainz and more worryingly having been outperformed by series debutantes Gasly, Merhi and Fortec teammate Rowland. If he does get an F1 race seat in the near future it will be difficult to argue that money or indeed nepotism (with his father a key figure within Sauber’s Russian sponsors) aren’t the reasons…

    1. Tough to say, but I agree with you. I myself was expecting to see better results from him this year

    2. @william-brierty, Hard, or impossible, to think different. Therefore, I agree with you. And, unfortunately, I’m inclined also to believe that money, with or without nepotism, is (or will be) the major reason behind these kind of decisions.

    3. Yep. Seems the promise had (so far) failed to develop into a well rounded and overal competative race driver, not the one to promote for next year unless for budgetary reasons.

    4. Its important to remember that he’s had 4 DNF’s, Not all of which were his fault. With the exception of those he’s shown good speed & has finished most races in the top 4 including a win & 2 other podiums.

      He’s clearly got speed, Be interesting to see how he does in an F1 car.

    5. Sirotkin has seemed to have had a lot of bad luck this year. He seems to get caught up in accidents or suffer from mechanical issues pretty frequently. He had a very good win at Moscow earlier in the season and there’s no reason why he cannot add to his tally in the last three rounds of the season.

    6. @william-brierty – In addition to your observations, several more reasons to make this debut much less than previously anticipated.

      Sauber the team and race car itself being so disappointing.

      The Russian Grand Prix becoming more notable for political controversy than F1 racing possibilities.

      Max Verstappen stealing the youngest driver thunder, so to speak.

  2. Suddenly this guy is looking quite old compared to a certain 16 year old. Remember the up roar when everyone thought this guy would get a seat at his age and now we got Max Verstappen…..

  3. Well, I was wondering whether F1 would see him, considering he’s not made that much of an impact this year (in comparison to his impact last year).

  4. What Russian GP? Russia is at war with Ukraine. There can’t be a GP in Russia! #boycottRussiaGP

    1. +1 Putin is a thug and should not be rewarded for his criminal behavior. Thanks to him a passenger plane was shot down…

      1. Yes, punish an entire nation plus all the other international race fans because of one man… There are a lot of people to blame for what is going on, but seriously, one F1 race is not going to tip the balance of power in the world. F1 is meant to be an international spectacle, not a platform for political statements.
        #justrace!

        1. If this Russian GP is going to take place it will be first race in ~15 years I’m not going to watch. This is just plain wrong. Russia is killing people in Ukraine, annexing Crimea, shooting down passenger plane – and F1 acts like nothing is happening!

          1. lots of accusations here, how about some proof? Are you supporting Ukrainian government bombing and killing their own people?

        2. @irejag Yeah, like the olympic games in Berlin in 1936 …

          1. Are any of the F1 drivers gay? If so I want them to win and make a big deal about being gay. Like Jesse Owens and Racism. Or when Red bull put a woman on the podium in Bahrain.

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