Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen will celebrate his 21st birthday at the Russian Grand Prix, but feels the Sochi Autodrom may not favour their car due to the long straights.
Verstappen will head to Sochi after capturing a second place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel. He even having a sniff at winning the race when he came close to passing eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton.
The Russian Grand Prix will be a special race for the Dutch driver as he’ll celebrate his 21st Birthday on Sunday for the race. Verstappen celebrated his birthday last year at the Malaysian Grand Prix, where he would go on to win the race the following day after turning 20.
Verstappen previously celebrated his birthday before in Russia back in 2015, when he turned 18 years old in his rookie season. The soon to be twenty-one year old says that he will hope to make a weekend to remember.
“This year’s Russian Grand Prix will be a special one for me. It is my 21st birthday on Sunday, so hopefully I can make it one to remember,” said Verstappen.
“I think I celebrated my 18th there also, so it won’t be new to have my birthday in Sochi.
“I feel Russia is an up and coming Grand Prix as it still feels quite new to me. As well as being in the Olympic Park the track has a unique layout. The views form parts of the track and the hotels are really nice. On one side you have the mountains and on the other, the sea.”
The nature of the Sochi Autodrom provides multiple complex corners but also two long straights with heavy braking zones. The infamous Turn 3 will be challenging for the drivers’ neck as they’ll keep turning left for seconds which leads into a heavy braking zone of Turn 4.
Verstappen believes that the circuit won’t be the best track for the RB14 due to the main straights, claiming that its vital to find the right set up that will help them in the corners.
“It’s not the best track for our car so it’s vital to get the set-up right for specific corners, we know we will lose time on the long straights so cornering is key.”