Charouz Racing System: Sochi F2 preview


26 September 2018
Sochi is a cool track to drive and it's different to a lot of the others because it's on normal roads and the wall is close.

“Sochi is a cool track to drive and it's different to a lot of the others because it's on normal roads and the wall is close.”


Antonio Fuoco  

Charouz Racing System will come face-to-face with the Sochi Autodrom for the first time this weekend when drivers Antonio Fuoco and Louis Delétraz take to the Russian circuit for the penultimate round of the FIA Formula Two Championship.

Although the Czech team has spent decades competing in various motorsport championships across the world, it has never raced at the relatively new 5.84km street circuit which is located at Sochi’s Olympic Park – the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The track is a new addition to the F2 calendar in 2018 and that means the race-winning Charouz team has needed to do plenty of homework in the weeks leading up to the 11th round of the series to fully prepare for the challenge that awaits.

With each lap consisting of 18 separate corners, Sochi is a technical track that has been designed to test drivers, teams and cars to the maximum. That means F2 points will need to be earned across both the Feature and Sprint races this weekend.

Some of the teams on the current F2 grid have previous experience of competing at Sochi, most notably when the GP2 series (the forerunner to F2) raced at the track in 2014 and 2015. And some drivers, including Antonio, have also sampled the track in previous years.

The Ferrari Driver Academy pilot raced to P6 and P4 finishes at Sochi Autodrom when he was competing in GP3 during 2015.

Team owner, Antonin Charouz, said: “Sochi will be a new experience as a team but we like every single challenge in motorsport. It is quite a unique circuit and if you look at the shape of the track for a few seconds and analyse the corners, you quickly realise it’s a special place to race. We’ll treat the track with respect because it’s new – but we definitely want to push and beat the guys that have been there before.”

Team Principal, Bob Vavrik, said: “We have one driver that has some experience of the track and one that doesn’t. Antonio’s knowledge will be useful and will give us some insight to go with the research we’ve already done. But it’s not always an advantage to have previous experience. The current F2 car is different to the old GP2 car so the data that comes with that can sometimes be confusing. It can sometimes be better to make everything from scratch like we have done for this weekend.”

Antonio Fuoco said: “Sochi is a cool track to drive and it’s different to a lot of the others because it’s on normal roads and the wall is close. I’m one of the few drivers that has already been there. That will be nice but, for sure, everyone else will learn the track quickly. During the last few races our pace was not what we wanted so I hope we can come back this weekend and be fast straight away.”

Louis Delétraz said: “I’ve never been to Russia so my simulator sessions have been very important to get to know the Sochi track. It’s pretty different from the tracks we have in Europe. It’s not permanent so some parts of the circuit are really close to the wall. You definitely know you are driving at a modern city track.”

Charouz Racing System head into this weekend’s latest F2 counter on a high after securing three titles in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship last weekend.

The team, which formed part of the US Racing – CHRS entry at the start of 2018, guided Lirim Zendeli to the drivers’ championship with a round to spare, while team-mate David Schumacher also guaranteed the rookie crown at Hockenheim last weekend.

To complete a truly memorable first season in the F4 category, the squad also secured enough points to seal the teams’ title at the same event.

Sochi is a cool track to drive and it's different to a lot of the others because it's on normal roads and the wall is close.

“Sochi is a cool track to drive and it's different to a lot of the others because it's on normal roads and the wall is close.”


Antonio Fuoco  
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