Sebastian Vettel may have finished 5th in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps yesterday but the Infiniti Red Bull racer became the first F1 driver to transverse the new Sochi Autodrom in Krasnodar Krai, Russia the same day. After being guided on a tour of the facility, Vettel completed several laps around the Grand Prix circuit in an Infiniti Q50 hybrid, before being joined by former F1 competitor David Coulthard,
Infiniti Director of Performance traveled straight to Sochi from Spa Francorchamps after finishing fifth in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
After a tour of the venue’s facilities, he completed a number of high speed laps of the full Grand Prix circuit in an Infiniti Q50 Hybrid. Vettel was joined by former Formula One driver David Coulthard.
“It is great to be back in Sochi and the venue has been transformed since I was last here back in April 2013, when it was still just a construction site. It’s an interesting layout with a good mix of high speed corners and technical sections. It’s going to be a huge challenge in a Formula One car for sure and I’m really looking forward to coming back for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix on October 12th,” he stated.
The Sochi Autodrom was designed by famed Formula One architect, Hermann Tilke, features 18 corners across 5.8 kilometres. The Russian GP will be the 16th round in the Formula 1 2014 World Championship.
In the meantime, it was announced that Red Bull will replace Vettel’s race engineer Guillaume Roquelin (aka Rocky) with Gianpiero Lambiase, currently Sergio Perez's engineer at Force India for the 2015 season. Vettel has noticeably struggled this year in the attempt to defend his 4th (consecutive) drivers’ title, particularly against teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who claimed his third career victory on Sunday.