Sirotkin enjoys first F1 run-out on home soil in Sochi

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Sergey Sirotkin has enjoyed his first run-out on a grand prix weekend in front of his home crowd as Formula 1 held its first practice sessions in Russia on Friday.

Sirotkin, 19, joined Sauber as a reserve driver in 2013 with the view to a full-time seat this season. Although this did not materialize, he has remained on the team’s books ever since, and is in the running for a drive in 2015 after some good performances in Formula Renault 3.5 this year.

As part of his deal with the team, Sirotkin enjoyed a successful practice session in Sochi on Friday, finishing the session just four-tenths of a second shy of Adrian Sutil in the sister Sauber. In the final standings, the Russian driver was classified 17th.

Now, Sirotkin feels ready to make the step up to Formula 1, and is working on securing a full-time seat for 2015.

“I felt it after Bahrain as well, but that wasn’t really a proper run,” Sirotkin said, with reference to his test for Sauber back in April.

“Here is a much better chance to compare and I would say it was a bit of a surprise to me that it was easier and I was closer than I thought. I feel myself more than ready, I just need the chance.”

Sirotkin’s chances of claiming one of the two seats at Sauber have been aided by the problems with Simona de Silvestro’s contract, but he could not confirm whether the Swiss team was his only option.

“We are working on that and getting a seat for next year,” Sirotkin said. “We are working so that as soon as we get a decision we can think about some extra options. At the moment I can’t say anything officially.”

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis