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.