Pascal Wehrlein: “Hopefully we can unlock a little more of the car’s potential”


The Sochi Autodrom is an all new circuit for Manor Racing Team driver Pascal Wehrlein, who has never had the pleasure of driving at the relatively new track so far in his racing career.

The German is positive however, that he and the team can put in a strong performance during the 2016 Russian Grand Prix.

“Sochi Autodrom is a great-looking track; I can’t wait to try it out on Friday. It’s essentially a street circuit and they’re always fun to drive,” said Wehrlein.

“This one is quite fast and having the Olympic Park in the middle of it is something a bit different. For us, hopefully we have been able to continue improving our set-up so we can unlock a little more of the car’s potential. There’s still plenty of work to do there.

“Well, fundamentally we have a good package and every race we’re making progress, but it’s still very early days. There’s plenty we can do in every area to improve and find more performance. I’m learning a huge amount with each new race and we’re really starting to work well together as a team, so it’s a combination of factors that will help push us forward. It’s exciting to see how we can build from here.”

Having come close to a win here last season in the GP2 category, team-mate Rio Haryanto is looking forward to tackling the Sochi track once again.

“It would have been my fourth win of the season,” said Haryanto.  “I took the lead on the final lap but in the end I had to settle for second after I was judged to have overtaken under the Safety Car.

“It would have put me in contention for the title too. Still, it was a good race for me. I’m looking forward to getting a feel for the track in an F1 car.”

On the plus side for the Manor Racing Team, tyre degradation, which has caused the squad plenty of problems so far this season, should have a less of an impact at the Sochi Autodrom due to the smooth asphalt, which should leave the team plenty of opportunity to push forward and find some more performance in the MRT05.