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Sochi GP - Press Conference summary

Live from the Sochi Press Room Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson (Alfa Romeo Sauber), Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

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Sochi GP - Press Conference summary
Fuente imagen: fia.com

The usual Thursday press conference started in Sochi with the spotlight pointed on Marcus Ericsson: earlier this week his team, Alfa Romeo Sauber, announced their complete driver line up for next year. As Antonio Giovinazzi will step in as Kimi Raikkonen team mate, Ericsson soon revealed after the announcement that he will stay in the team as a third driver.

"It's obviously disappointing to be not racing. It’s all you want to do; you want to race. It’s not good news for me, obviously." Said Ericsson. "Still, I’m happy to be able to continue my relationship with the team but then yeah, let’s see. I want to race still, so I’m looking at different options on how to keep doing that and looking at everything really, what I can do, in what series and what it could be – but it’s still a bit early. It’s quite fresh, this news, so I need to look at my options. Overall, of course, I would like to stay."

Marcuss will then stay in the team next year as well, with the hope to come back as an official driver for Sauber or another team. As soon as Kimi signed for Sauber, he knew what his destiny was.

"I think when Kimi signed, I think that was bad news for me. I was still hoping but then obviously over the past weekend I got the information that Antonio had signed for the other car. And then yeah, my management were looking around a little bit but we decided to continue with Sauber and the relationship there, which we think is important. And then yeah, we go from there basically."

Sergey Sirotkin has raced in Sochi as a GP2 driver, but this is his first home grand prix as a Formula 1 driver.

"It’s going to be special, for sure. Obviously being here almost every year, since F1 came here, I raced here in GP2 but it’s all quite different form being here as a race Formula One Driver. I would say it’s a bit more difficult to manage all of that but I mean, I try to get the best from it, I try to get energy from it and keep going. So, it is a pleasure to be here and race in front of the home crowd."

The main topic during the press conference were the blue flags, which caused some controversy during the Singapore GP, and all the drivers during the conference gave their opinions about it.

"I’m definitely happy to keep the blue flags. I’ve been on both sides, really. I’ve been blue-flagged many times as well. I think honestly, as Marcus says, it really depends on different tracks. Sometimes this new 1.2s rule is good and sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get close enough to trigger the blue flags, like what happened to me in Singapore but it is also going to be a compromise, it’s never going to be perfect. In the end, for all the lead cars lapping, it is the same. Sometimes you get more luck with it, sometimes more unlucky and that’s how it goes. For now it’s fine." Said Valtteri Bottas, who had 4 top three starts, two podiums and 1 victory on this track.

"I think it’s always difficult with the blue flags and there are always arguments between the top cars compared to the guys they are lapping and it’s always two opinions there. I think we’ve tried 1.5 seconds, we’ve been down to one second and now I think it’s 1.2s. It’s difficult to find the perfect solution. I think it changes from track to track. In my opinion I think 1.2s is a good compromise. It’s never going to be perfect, but I think it’s just part of the sport, part of the race and I think as it is now I think is the best solution in my opinion, that’s the most fair for both the top and the guys who are getting lapped as well. I can also understand the frustration in the case of Valtteri in Singapore, obviously, because it’s a track where it’s very difficult to get close enough but at the same the guys who they are lapping are also having a race and fighting for points so it is a very difficult subject but I think where it is now is a good compromise." Added Charles Leclerc.

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