Sochi is a unique track, run around the base for the 2014 Winter Olympics. In places it has a bit of a street-track vibe, with walls and buildings close by, while other parts are more open.
From a driving perspective, many of the corners feel similar, and although it isn’t the most exciting circuit to drive, it can feel really good once you get into a rhythm.
"I’ve gone well at Sochi during the past two years in Formula 2, both in qualifying and the race, so I have a fairly good understanding of the circuit, and hopefully I can carry that through to this race.
The fact that Russia is the first standalone race of the season, and we’re almost into October, shows just how crazy the last few months have been! There’s one more triple header to end the year, but over the coming rounds there’s more breathing space in between, which is good for everyone.
It gives us time to recharge the batteries, do some work back at the factory, and delve a bit deeper into the analysis from previous events. We’re getting a better understanding of where we can improve the car, and where I can improve myself. I’m hoping to put some of that into action this weekend.
I’m also looking forward to seeing decent numbers of spectators in the grandstands for the first time this year. There were a small number of fans at Monza, a few more at Mugello, but Sochi is going to be the first event with a lot of fans trackside.
Of course, organisers will be putting all the right measures in place to keep everyone safe, and we’re not back to the activities that were the norm prior to the pandemic. But it’s a step closer to the experience of a typical Grand Prix weekend.
If you’re lucky enough to be trackside, I hope you have a fantastic time."