Formula One: 2015 Russian Grand Prix – Preview.
Lewis Hamilton: “Suzuka was a really special weekend for me and another fantastic result for the team. Everyone is doing such an incredible job once again this season and every bit of this success is well deserved. The car was unbelievable to drive in Japan, so hopefully it’ll be more of the same at the remaining races – starting in Sochi. Last year was the first experience I’d had of Russia in my racing career and we had a great race there. The circuit is really well put together – quite long, with some interesting corners and opportunities to overtake. Hopefully now fans have seen what a great facility they have there and how beautiful Sochi is, we’ll see plenty more people in the stands this year too.
It was great to win the first race for Formula One in Russia and a fantastic moment for the team to take the title there last time out. Fingers crossed we can add to those great memories again this weekend – I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to make that happen.”
Nico Rosberg: “Once I got back from Japan, I was able to focus on the positive elements from my weekend in Suzuka: pole position, the on-track pass on Bottas and then having the speed to undercut Vettel’s Ferrari at the second pit-stop. I’m not backing down in my fight for the championship and gaining those positions back fair and square showed that. We have five races to go and, although the championship gap to Lewis is quite big, in my mind it’s definitely not over yet. The way the whole team has performed this year – from the factories to the garage – has been just incredible and I have the car I need to get back to the top step. I really enjoyed our first trip to Russia last year and it was an awesome weekend for the team – one that I will always remember after seeing all the hard work they’ve put in during my time here. So, I’m aiming to put all those tools they’ve given me to good use and bring home a top result.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Japan was an important weekend for the team. We had to hit back strongly after Singapore and that objective was achieved on all fronts – in the cockpit and in the garage. While we take satisfaction from these successes, however, we do not lose sight of our failures. There are still many obstacles left to overcome this season and we must continue to tackle them with full force. We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first Constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a 1-2 finish.
A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “Suzuka was a very pleasing weekend after the disappointment of Singapore. The team and drivers did a great job to bring home a top result and we now head to Sochi aiming to repeat that feat. This was a tricky weekend last season, with a new circuit to learn and fresh tarmac which produced slightly unusual behaviour from the tyres. This year we have moved one step softer on the compounds to bring the soft and supersoft into play – perhaps influenced by Nico running almost the entire race last year on a single set of tyres. One year on, the track surface will have weathered differently so we must ensure we have all eventualities covered. The 2014 Russian Grand Prix – the first for a century, of course, and the inaugural running of the event during the Formula One era – was very well organised and saw a good crowd for what is a growing market in the sport. We look forward to seeing our Russian fans out in force again and hope to put on a good show.”