Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Alonso expects processional race

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Fernando 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.”

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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27 comments on “Alonso expects processional race”

  1. So tomorrow we might have quite a bit of action in the first couple of turns, then maybe a SC period and several people being handed penalties, until Lewis crosses the line half a minute clear of Rosberg and Bottas behind.

    At least the track is great to look at, right.

    1. It looked like the gp2 race had plenty of overtaking. The track is wide so there should be some overtaking.

    2. 1/2 minute clear of Rosberg ? Dreams die last I suppose ?
      No, w/out kidding, I believe that both Silver Arrows are going to be careful from Bottas, he’s good !
      Now, I have a problem, I know that one of the 2 Mercedes drivers is going to be W.C., but I just can’t decide for which I am for. They both are good, but they are not making me stand…

  2. I was just about to say that….

    I remember Valencia always producing a Procession Race and apparently the track seems to be a replica of Valencia…..

    1. Not always processional, certanly not in 2012

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        11th October 2014, 20:12

        That’s still 1 out of 5

  3. Good luck with your processional race, and I hope Massa gives you a wave as he goes past.

    1. The comeback of Massa – with his expectedly excellent top speed – should save this race from being the worst of the season. Could.

    2. Why do you say “your processional race”? Who mentioned the word “processional”? I did not hear that word from Alonso. He says it’s difficult to overtake in that circuit, and I think that he is really referring to his Ferrari top speed.

    3. Massa has never been known to be much of a comeback driver. Perhaps, with the Williams top speed surplus, this time will be different though.

      1. i’m quite sure that if his williams were on Alonso’s hands, he will be giving mercedes a run for his money…

    4. Just like Alonso gave Massa a wave across 4 seasons whenever he lapped him? To be honest, I’ll be surprised if Massa doesn’t crash tomorrow and calls another faultless person an idiot. And Massa won’t ever pass Alonso unless there are extreme circumstances involved. Massa, in his quite superior Williams, with a superior Top Speed, has passed Alonso, once? And finished ahead, 3 times? Bottas maybe. But F1 would become more popular than Football before Massa is considered superior in overtaking and racecraft than Alonso, even in that Williams.

  4. I wouldn’t be so sure. The GP2 race was pretty good today and they didn’t have 2 DRS zones.

    1. this. dont think sochi will be bad since the gp2 race beforehand was exciting, at least for me

    2. Exciting GP2 race would have been even better if Vandoorne hadn’t had miscommunication with team and screwed up pitting under safety car. Read somewhere that security is using so many radio bands that’s why there was more than one com errror between pit and driver. If that happens tomorrow will make for some entertaining radio traffic to say the least. I’m optimistic that we might actually see one of the most active races of the season. McLaren and Toro Rosso have good pace here, I think RIC will be faster than his quali position, Bottas is very fast, and Massa coming from the back. If Rosberg and Bottas can put together good starts, and TR can figure out JEV’s problem he’ll be coming from the back as well. This could be a street fight. Looking forward to it.

      1. coded messages under disguise of the Russian Armed Security Forces ?

        might be worth a shot , I mean try !

        1. Yes, I read that all radio communications will be scrambled whilst Vladimir is on the grid.
          They are scared of a remote action bomb ! Despicable !

  5. There are so many negative comments about this GP by Keith and others that I wish this is a very exciting GP just to see everyone eat their words.

    1. me too. there are plenty of other boring tracks on the f1 calendar that have produced good races. even the micky mouse go-kart track of hungary made a good race this year. everyone is so negative and hateful these days – I guess that is the feelings competition sport conjures inside us. hate, scepticism, conspiracy….
      since we are already at the track, lets hope for a good race, and at the same time – why don’t f1 fans start a petition to not let Tilke design anymore tracks? so many people dislike his tracks, it we counted them, it would pass 100,000 easily, why cant we start an online petition and hand it to the FIA, and send the petition results to news agencies? people power can make change. in F1, the only way it is judged is in tv ratings and money…. which will always be good because the earth is populating exponentially.

    2. Agreed – I think most people are hating on it just because they don’t like the country it’s in.

      1. @kpcart
        if you start one at change.org

        I will sign with you :)

    3. The grand prix may be exciting, it doesn’t change the fact that the track is boring and not up to f1 standards.

  6. The 60 kph limit is silly IMO. When the circuit was designed the pit-lane speeds were 100 kph. I think this might have something to do with Jules’ crash last week.

    1. @paeschli Knee jerk reactions are all the FIA is good for. As Ted Kravitz put it on his notebook: “Poor FIA president, relegated to 3rd parking spot behind Bernie and the Governor of the Krasnodar region”.

  7. As others have said the GP2 race saw a decent amount of overtaking & other good action going on so the signs so far are fairly positive.

    It should also be noted that in the GP2 race there was overtaking in places where overtaking wasn’t really expected which is also encouraging.
    There was also a few moves done due to cars infront making mistakes in the same places where F1 drivers have been making errors through the weekend so again that is encouraging.

    1. Cars make mistakes?

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