Ilott and Isaakyan geared up for unique Sochi F2 challenge


24 September 2019
For Russia, we welcome Matevos to the team and the aim is to get him up to speed as efficiently as we can.

“For Russia, we welcome Matevos to the team and the aim is to get him up to speed as efficiently as we can.”


Bob Vavrik, Team Principal  

The Sauber Junior Team will return to FIA Formula 2 Championship action this weekend, with debutant Matevos Isaakyan joining Callum Ilott in the driving line-up.

The driver development squad is a collaboration between Sauber Motorsport, the organisation that runs the Alfa Romeo Racing entry in Formula 1, and Charouz Racing System.

The penultimate round of the 12-event calendar takes the team to Sochi Autodrom, a semi-permanent street venue which navigates its way around the stadia and arenas that were used during the Winter Olympics in 2014.

Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum heads to Sochi buoyed by a strong performance at the last F2 round in Italy, where he claimed his and the team’s maiden Feature Race pole position, before going on to battle for the podium positions.

The Briton has prior experience of Sochi Autodrom from his race-winning spell in the GP3 category, while for SMP Racing programme driver Matevos it will be his first taste of his home track and this season’s F2 car.

Juan Manuel Correa remains in the thoughts of everyone at the Sauber Junior team by Charouz squad as he continues his recovery from the serious injuries he sustained at Spa-Francorchamps last month.

The action in Sochi, which runs in support of Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix, will begin with practice and qualifying on Friday. Saturday’s Feature Race is scheduled to start at 16.45 local time (GMT +3). Sunday’s Sprint Race is set to get underway at 11:20.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner, said: “We’re looking forward to going back to Sochi – a track where we scored points in 2018. It’s a circuit where not many people have a lot of experience so that gives some parity. I hope we can harness the same pace that we enjoyed in Monza, so Callum and Matevos can have a successful weekend.”

Bob Vavrik, Team Principal, said: “The past few weeks have been challenging and we continue to send our best wishes to JM and his family. For Russia, we welcome Matevos to the team and the aim is to get him up to speed as efficiently as we can. Sochi is a fast circuit that we like. Hopefully we can gain more valuable points for the championship.”

Callum Ilott said: “It’s a strange track with lots of 90-degree corners, though there are some decent sections for racing. Overall Sochi is a quirky venue. Monza was a good weekend overall for the team and we showed some good performance. Hopefully we can build on that even though we didn’t get the results we deserved at the last round.”

Matevos Isaakyan said: “I’m excited to drive in F2, especially in my homeland. This is an unexpected development in my season but I’m very thankful for the opportunity and happy to join the team. It won’t be easy jumping straight in the car for Sochi practice; the biggest thing will be understanding the tyres. That will be the main focus for me. But I don’t think it will be an impossible task to try and get into the top 10 and fight for points.”

For Russia, we welcome Matevos to the team and the aim is to get him up to speed as efficiently as we can.

“For Russia, we welcome Matevos to the team and the aim is to get him up to speed as efficiently as we can.”


Bob Vavrik, Team Principal  
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