Sirotkin, Gasly enjoy 2017-spec outings

Sirotkin, Gasly enjoy 2017-spec outings

20 April 2017 – F1 reserve drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Pierre Gasly described "amazing" experiences as they sampled 2017-spec cars for the first time at the Bahrain in-season test.

Sirotkin made practice outings with Renault in Russia and Brazil last year, and got a full day at the in-season test in Britain, alongside his GP2 season, in which he placed third.

Sirotkin got his first taste of the R.S.17 at the Sakhir circuit on Wednesday, completing 90 laps on his way to ninth overall, ahead of further anticipated practice outings.

"It was quite a good, and quite a busy day, and it was great to be out in action, as I've been waiting for this day a very long time," commented the 21-year-old Russian.

"I enjoyed every second of being in the car, even if the programme was not the most exciting for the driver.

"The car is amazingly quick and I noticed the difference in grip immediately from the previous generation [of cars]; that said, you soon get used to the extra speed."

French driver Gasly, also 21, was given a run in Red Bull's RB13, having completed six official test days for the senior and junior (Toro Rosso) teams across the past two years.

Gasly spent the morning session bidding to make up for lost time, after Daniel Ricciardo's power unit-related stoppage on Tuesday, before another technical issue struck.

But the reigning GP2 champion rejoined the track in the afternoon to bring his tally up to 65 laps, and place 10th on the timesheets, just under three-tenths down on Sirotkin.

"It was great to be in a Formula 1 car again; it's always really exciting, especially in the new Formula 1 cars, which are so much quicker than last year's," he reflected.

"It was a pretty busy programme in the morning, mostly because of the time lost [on Tuesday]. There were a lot of aero tests and some long runs, so we achieved quite a lot.

"Unfortunately we had a mechanical issue at the end of the morning that stopped us a bit earlier than we wanted and we missed some running time in the afternoon.

"However, apart from that, it was a mega experience."

Gasly will make his debut in the Japan-based Super Formula series this weekend; Grand Prix venue Suzuka plays host to the first and last events of a seven-round season.

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