Sochi finale for Sauber Junior Team F3 squad


24 September 2019
I think we’ve found the right direction for Sochi. It’s a stop-and-go track and we’ve worked hard on those kinds of circuits.

“I think we’ve found the right direction for Sochi. It’s a stop-and-go track and we’ve worked hard on those kinds of circuits.”


Lirim Zendeli  

The Sauber Junior Team will bring its intensive, five-month FIA Formula 3 Championship campaign to a close at the Sochi Autodrom this weekend (27-29 September).

After trips to Spain, France, Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Belgium and Italy, the final round of the eight-round series will be held in Russia.

It is the FIA-backed junior category’s first visit to the semi-permanent street venue, which hosted its maiden F1 Grand Prix in 2014, shortly after hosting the Winter Olympics.

The circuit winds its way around the unique stadia and arenas that hosted the Winter Olympics, as well as the 2018 football World Cup, giving the venue a distinct look and character.

The 5.848km wall-lined circuit features a mixture of corners, and a lengthy main straight. The standout feature is the long-radius, 180-degree Turn 3 left-hander.

None of the Sauber Junior Team’s F3 drivers – Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer and Raoul Hyman – have previously raced at Sochi.

The driver development squad travels to Russia occupying P9 in the Teams’ Championship, buoyed by a race-leading display, and a double points return, at the previous round in Italy.

The track action will begin with Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions. Race 1 is scheduled to start at 10.15 on Saturday (GMT +3) and Race 2 will go green at 09.55 on Sunday.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System team owner, said: “Sochi will be a new track for our drivers and our F3 team. We’re looking forward to the unique challenge it will pose. I think if we can make a fast start in practice and qualifying – and have a bit of luck – we can end our first F3 season positively.”

Jamie Dye, Team Manager, said: “It’s the last round of what’s been a productive campaign with a lot of learning for everyone. Lirim, Fabio and Raoul have all shown their potential at various stages of the year and it’s been a shame we haven’t altogether got the results that we feel we’ve deserved. We’ll be pushing to rectify that this weekend.”

Lirim Zendeli said: “In Monza I felt comfortable with what we’d worked on, but I just got unlucky in the races. I think we’ve found the right direction for Sochi. It’s a stop-and-go track and we’ve worked hard on those kinds of circuits. I’ve never been to Sochi but it’s going to be the same for a lot of drivers.”

Fabio Scherer said: “It’s almost a city track, so it should be fun, it looks like a quick one. I’ve raced at street circuits in the past and they’re some of the best tracks that we get to go to. After the good result at Monza for sure we can be a bit more optimistic. I want to repeat that kind of performance and aim for the points. I’m looking forward to it.”

Raoul Hyman said: “I’ve never been to Russia and I’m really excited to go. It’s not been an easy championship for us, but we want to finish on a high and get into the top 10. The track looks interesting on the simulator and we’ve had the pace at several events and moved forward. We want to take that positivity into Sochi.”

I think we’ve found the right direction for Sochi. It’s a stop-and-go track and we’ve worked hard on those kinds of circuits.

“I think we’ve found the right direction for Sochi. It’s a stop-and-go track and we’ve worked hard on those kinds of circuits.”


Lirim Zendeli  
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