Shoes a pain for Sauber tester Sergey Sirotkin in Bahrain test

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How to assess Sergey Sirotkin’s Tuesday at Bahrain International Circuit? Depends on how you look at the charts – the young Russian turned in 76 laps in Sauber’s Ferrari-powered C33 during the test, but his fastest time was more than three seconds off the pace set by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

Of course, the bigger goal was getting Sirotkin enough miles to qualify for his FIA superlicense and that was accomplished. He needed to run 300 kilometers, and he ended up breaking 400 km.

However, Sirotkin’s speed may have been hampered a bit by a footwear issue – namely, his shoes were too small.

It’s probably best to let him explain it.

“The problem was that my shoes didn’t arrive and the ones we had here were too small,” he told Crash.net. “When you brake hard, it gave a lot of problems with the feet, so really at one stage, I couldn’t come back to the pits – it was so painful. There are so many braking points here that every time you go on the straights you thing ‘Argh, no, I need to brake next corner!’

“It was really a lot of trouble. I was not able to finish the laps. Every time I started a really good lap due to this, I was never able to finish the lap. Anyway, it’s the first time for me. The first time with new equipment and I didn’t know exactly what should be here. So these things can happen, it’s nothing strange for me…”

But despite the shoe trouble and having to get used to the C33, test engineer Paul Russell thought Sirotkin persevered nicely.

“…As he had not driven the car before and did not know the track either, he had a lot to do in the cockpit,” Russell said in a team release. “Sergey had to learn all of this and he handled it pretty well. The lap times were very good.

“He seemed to be learning the car and the track quite well. In the afternoon, we continued our programme and finished the day with the long runs. All in all, it was a positive day.”

Giedo van der Garde will take over the C33 tomorrow.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup