Sochi race 1
Tenth and 11th places for Tadasuke Makino and Artem Markelov do not reflect strong performances by both drivers at Sochi. Tada scored a point despite an incident at the start that saw him forced into the barrier on the left of the main straight. He then had to cope with misaligned steering throughout the race.
Artem, meanwhile, drove brilliantly to lead by lap 7 having started 19th on the prime Pirelli tyre after qualifying without the benefit of DRS! He outpaced those cars on the same starting tyre but was compromised by a radio problem that saw him pit too soon and suffer heavy deagradation on the option Pirelli.
Tadasuke Makino: “After qualifying seventh I was hoping for a strong race and it was really frustrating to be caught up in a contact just after the start when someone hit Luca Ghiotto while I was on his outside. I was surprised I could continue but the car was damaged and the poor balance caused the tyres to wear too quickly. At one point I thought I might be able to hang onto eighth place and get the Sunday pole but there was no more I could do in the end.”
Artem Markelov: “From 19th on the grid we had to try something different and went for the prime/option tyre strategy. I really enjoyed pulling off all those overtakes to get in front but it was not easy to know what the situation was when the radio failed. The communication problems meant that my pit stop was problematic and I also then had too long a stint on the options. The performance level was so much better than my 11th place.”
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): “Artem’s weekend has seen a catalogue of problems but in the middle of them, what a fantastic display! The plan was to keep him out another five laps on the prime tyre but that got lost amid the radio problems. We could have had P4 or P5 if it had gone to plan. I really feel for Tada because his excellent qualifying performance was wiped out in the first few yards. He coped well with his damaged car and even if he deserved so much more, at least he ended up with a point for his efforts.”
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