The Scuderia Toro Rosso team will arrive at Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix with the hope that Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat can secure some more points for the team.
Vergne finished ninth in Japan after starting at the back of the field after an engine change, and the Frenchman believes that he and the team should be up to speed by the end of the first session at Sochi, but expects the track to be a challenge for the engineers with regards to set-up.
“I’ve never been to Russia at all, so this is a trip I’m looking forward to, as I enjoy discovering new countries,” said Vergne. “The track looks interesting, with a hint of street circuit about it and that means it might suit our car.
“It will be a new experience for everyone, which means it is quite a challenge for the engineers, who will have a Friday morning set-up based on the work we have done in a simulator. So there’s an element of guesswork, especially when it comes to what degradation we can expect from the Medium and Soft Pirellis.
“I enjoy learning a new track and usually after the first session, we are up to speed and ready to move forward for the rest of the weekend.”
Team-mate Kvyat will be racing in front of his home fans this weekend, and knows that extra attention will be put on him, but the 20-year-old feels confident that he will cope with the extra pressure, and feels the track could be a good one for the team.
“Time for my home race and the first ever Formula One Grand Prix in my home country,” said Kvyat. “I am sure there will be a lot of attention on me, but I am ready for it and will enjoy it in a way, so really I will just do my usual job: the best I can.
“In fact, following the amazing news that I will be driving for Infiniti Red Bull Racing next year, doing the best I can for Scuderia Toro Rosso will be my priority this weekend and for the last three races after that.
“I don’t get to go back to Russia very often, so I’m very excited to finally race in my home country in front of the Russian fans. I’m sure it’s going to be a very big and exciting event. As for the Sochi track itself, from what I’ve seen on the simulator, I’d say it’s a medium and slow speed corner venue, rather stop-and-go and with twisty sections.
“I would say it’s a bit of a half street circuit, which makes it quite challenging. There are some power sections but not many, so it should suit our car quite well. A message for the fans? Come and support me and Scuderia Toro Rosso.”