Vettel becomes first driver to sample Sochi
26 August 2014 – Sebastian Vettel has become the first Formula 1 driver to do a full lap of the Sochi Autodrom circuit ahead of the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in October.
Vettel, who is an ambassador for Infiniti, drove an Infiniti Q50 Hybrid car around the 5.853 kilometre circuit fresh from taking fifth place in the Belgian Grand Prix.
"I think it is a very interesting track. I was here roughly a year ago when it was in the middle of construction and now it is finished. It is great to see the stadiums around and I think the circuit is very technical and it also seems very quick," said Vettel, who was joined at the Hermann Tilke designed circuit by former Formula 1 driver, David Coulthard.
"I am looking forward now to driving a Formula 1 car around here at the same place as they held the 2014 Winter Olympics. I think it is going to be a great experience. I am also looking forward to seeing how many people come to watch and see what the reception will be.
"Everything is set and everything is brand new. It is fantastic and ready to go. We just need to bring the cars and the spectators."
Asked if there are any benefits from having done a few laps of the track ahead of the grand prix, the Red Bull Racing driver replied: "I don't think it does any harm. It is useful to get an idea of the real track. Obviously the simulators should be very, very close. That is why we are working very hard on that.
"I haven't driven this track in the simulator yet. But I think it is good to get some real experience here about how the track feels, how the kerbs are, how quick the corners feel and so on. That is definitely something I can then take into the simulator and let the guys know how close they got to it. It is obviously the first time we are coming here. We only have some numbers we haven't got any data yet."