Moscow: Sergey Sirotkin on top at home

The Russian driver set best on Friday with a lap of 1:20.723 leading the way ahead of Zoel Amberg and Roberto Merhi.

Sauber F1 Team reserve driver, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) was quickest in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective test. At the Moscow Raceway, where he made his debut in the headliner category of the World Series by Renault in 2012, the Russian driver set best on Friday with a lap of 1:20.723 leading the way ahead of Zoel Amberg (AVF) and Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse). Caterham Racing Academy driver, Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) set best time in the morning session.

Under cloudy skies, Norman Nato (DAMS) was the first to clock a time on the Moscow Raceway. Dislodged by the Fortec Motorsports drivers, the Frenchman retook the advantage before Will Stevens and Sergey Sirotkin went quicker. A few minutes later, Carlos Sainz (DAMS) emerged atop the time sheet.

Sergey Sirotkin
Sergey Sirotkin

Photo by: Lucien Harmegnies

The championship leader was all the same beaten by Will Stevens, who was the first and only driver to break the 1:22 barrier this morning. With a time of 1:21.961, the Caterham Racing Academy driver conserved best time all the way to the showing of the chequered flag ahead of Richie Stanaway (Lotus), the DAMS duo of Norman Nato and Carlos Sainz, as well as Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport).

The second session began with Norman Nato again the early leader. The Frenchman was outpaced by Sergey Sirotkin. The Russian driver’s team-mate, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) was then the first to beat the morning reference time set by Will Stevens.

The pace accelerated in the final ten minutes with the switch to new tyres. Richie Stanaway moved to the top. Sergey Sirotkin answered with a time of 1:20.723 with five minutes remaining. The Russian was more than a half a second quicker than the field before a premature end to the session; following the stoppage on track of Roman Mavlanov (Zeta Corse). Sergey Sirotkin led the way ahead of Zoel Amberg, Roberto Merhi, Norman Nato and Richie Stanaway.

Sergey Sirotkin: ”I am not sure everyone was able to put in a clean lap with new tyres, but to be honest; I also would have done better! It is positive because we have returned to the top of the order after a long four-week pause where we worked hard. Tomorrow, there might be a surprise or two, but we are confident! After four races without making it to the finish, things can only get better!”

Zoel Amberg: ”The day didn’t start very well because the used tyres didn’t work. I had a lot of over-steer, which slowed me down. We worked a lot on the set-ups and when we went to new tyres, the gain was enormous. We now know where to improve and it looks good!”

Will Stevens: ”The morning session went according to plan. This afternoon, with the red flag, I think that the top five drivers were not able to get the most out of the new tyres. We couldn’t because this track demands time to get the best out of the tyres. I don’t think the results are representative and I remain confident for tomorrow.”


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Will Stevens , Roberto Merhi , Richie Stanaway , Zoel Amberg , Sergey Sirotkin , Norman Nato , Pierre Gasly , Oliver Rowland , Roman Mavlanov
Teams Sauber , Strakka Racing , DAMS
Article type Testing report
Tags moscow, roberto merhi , sergey sirotkin, wsr, zoël amberg