Fernando Alonso believes it will be difficult for drivers to make up places in tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix because of the difficulty of overtaking and limited strategic opportunities.
“Tomorrow will be important to do a good start, good run into turn two,” said the Ferrari driver. “After that will be difficult to overtake, I guess, in the circuit, and the strategy’s going towards one stop for everybody, also with the pit limiter today at 60kph.”
“So in that case I think the start is crucial tomorrow.”
The Sochi Autodrom is trickier than it might appear from the outside, said Alonso: “There are five corners that probably are exactly the same and each of them requires a little bit of a different approach, especially with the wind direction which keeps changing during the weekend.”
“But it is very challenging and has been a good test for all of us. Even if it looks easy, it has been a circuit very difficult.”
Alonso admitted Ferrari are “not as competitive as some other circuits recently” after qualifying in eighth position.
“We are struggling a bit with the pace on a timed lap,” he said. “The car felt good, I didn’t suffer understeer or oversteer, we didn’t change the set-up too much during the weekend. So it feels good but when you cross the line there are people one second faster than you for whatever reason.”
The condition of injured driver Jules Bianchi remains on his mind, Alonso said, although he has to “put it in one side when you go in the car”.
“When you jump in the car, you close the visor, you are the same. When you jump out you’re still thinking every minute if there is any good news coming. But when you are in the car you transform.”
2014 Russian Grand Prix
- Sponsor Watch: 2014 Russian & Japanese Grands Prix
- Three-in-a-row for Hamilton in Driver of the Weekend
- First Russian GP gets one of the lowest-ever ratings
- 2014 Russian Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
- 2014 Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript
Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo