Sergey Sirotkin: “It is very exciting to get to drive a Formula 1 car”

After taking over the Renault Sport F1 RS16 of Kevin Magnussen for the opening free practice session of the Russian Grand Prix on Friday at the Sochi Autodrom, Sergey Sirotkin admitted calmness as he approached his second official session as a Formula 1 test driver.

The Russian driver’s first experience of a free practice session was also in Russia back in 2014 while he was part of the Sauber F1 Team set-up, but Sirotkin is hoping this is the first of many opportunities with the Enstone-based Renault team this season as he works towards a potential race seat in the championship in 2017.

Sirotkin set the thirteenth fastest time during his outing, completing twenty-four laps, and ended up 0.773s and five places ahead of regular race driver Jolyon Palmer.

“My target for today was to give the team exactly what they wanted from the session,” said Sirotkin. “I tried to remain very calm even though it is, of course, very exciting to get to drive a Formula 1 car.

“Obviously, it’s always beneficial when your lap time looks good but I felt comfortable delivering at today’s level even if it wasn’t as comfortable as it could have been with my seat.

“I am happy that I have started this long programme with Renault Sport Formula One Team in a positive manner.”