In many ways, this weekend is the one that Sergey Sirotkin has been building up to for his entire maiden year in Formula 1: it’s his first opportunity to race in his home event, the Russian Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old was born and raised in Moscow, 1,000 miles (1,620 km) away from Sochi which lies on the coast of the Black Sea. But regardless of the distance, his legion of fans will doubtless be out in force to support their ‘local’ hero on Sunday.
“My home race is always good,” Sirotkin predicted. “It’s obviously a big pleasure to race in front of my home crowd. I get a lot of support from all over the country.
“But at the same time it will be a very busy weekend for me,” he added. “As with anything in life, there are ups and downs.
- Stroll making personal progress despite challenging year
“There will be a lot of work to do, much more than compared with other weekends, so it’s going to be very intense.
“It won’t be easy to manage my time and energy, whilst still being able to perform at my best.
“It’s still a weekend I’m looking forward to, but I know it’s going to be tough!” he said.
Sirotkin heads home knowing that he’s already broken his duck and scored his first championship point in Formula 1, having finished in tenth place in the Italian Grand Prix.
Now he and the whole Williams team hope that they can pick up momentum and finish in the top ten a few more times in the remaining six races of the season.
“The weekend will be very special for us as a team, as it will be Sergey’s first home Formula 1 race,” said chief technical officer Paddy Lowe. “We expect to see huge support for him from the local fans.
“We head to Russia later in the season than usual, but we expect to see similar weather conditions,” Lowe continued.
“The circuit itself is part permanent road, part street circuit and can be quite technically challenging. It requires good all-round performance to manage both low and high-speed corners.
“There is also a very long run down to turn two, the first limiting corner, and one of the longest standing starts of the season.
“The circuit is wide though with low kerbs which allows the drivers to attack the corners.
“We look forward to continuing the fighting spirit we saw in Singapore, in these final few events.”
Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter
Click Here: cheap INTERNATIONAL jersey