Sirotkin has first run in Formula One car

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Sauber youngster Sergey Sirotkin has enjoyed his first run in a Formula One car today ahead of his expected ascension into the sport in 2014 with the Swiss team.

The eighteen-year-old comes as part of the team’s rescue package from a group of Russian investors following months of financial uncertainty. Although his position as a ‘pay driver’ has prompted criticism from a variety of figures within Formula One, Sirotkin does appear to be on the cusp of becoming the youngest ever driver in the history of the sport, breaking Jaime Alguersuari’s existing record.

Today, Sirotkin drove a Sauber C31 around 700 metres of the planned course for the Sochi circuit that will host the Russian Grand Prix next season. After the run-out, Sirotkin expressed his happiness after finally getting behind the wheel of a Formula One car for the first time.

“These were my first metres in a Formula One car, which of course is something special, even if it was only a short section of track in Sochi,” Sirotkin said. “But I still gained a first impression, and that was impressive.”

Sirotkin was full of praise for the new circuit, which was confirmed on the calendar for next season by the World Motor Sport Council today.

“It has also been fun to race in front of so many people, especially since most are compatriots of mine. Russia can be proud of this great track.”

It is yet to be revealed who will partner Sirotkin at Sauber, with current driver Esteban Gutierrez thought to be in the running along with Ferrari outcast Felipe Massa.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”