Sergey Sirotkin, who is tipped to drive for Sauber in 2014 following the team’s deal with Russian investors, believe he will be ready to make his F1 debut despite a comparative lack of experience.
“At the moment maybe I am a little bit too young but that doesn’t mean I cannot be ready,” the 17-year-old told Autosport.
“I have more than half a year to learn, I am doing a good preparation programme, and I can be ready.”
Sirotkin began racing single-seaters in 2010, contesting the Formula Abarth series in Italy. He moved up to the European championship the following year and claimed the title.
After taking third in the Auto GP World Series last year he is now racing in Formula Renault 3.5, part of the World Series by Renault. He is ninth in the championship after 11 races and second-highest among the rookies.
Sirotkin said he was keen not to pass up the opportunity to become a Formula One driver: “OK, maybe spending one more year in World Series, I could be more ready, but after one more year maybe there is no chance for me to be a Formula 1 driver,” he said.
“I don’t think that someone in my place could say ‘No, I want to stay in World Series’.”
Sirotkin, who turns 18 next month, would be the youngest F1 driver ever to start a grand prix if he were to show up on the grid next March. The record is currently held by Jaime Alguersuari, who was 19 years and 125 days old when he started the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).