Sergey Sirotkin feels ready for F1 race seat after practice debut

Sergey Sirotkin says he is ready to graduate to Formula 1 in 2015 after making his practice debut for Sauber at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix

Sergey Sirotkin feels ready for F1 race seat after practice debut

Russian driver Sirotkin took over the C33 usually raced by Esteban Gutierrez for F1's first free practice session at the Sochi Autodrom.

The Formula Renault 3.5 race winner completed 22 laps and set the 17th fastest time, ending up 0.407 seconds adrift of Sauber regular Adrian Sutil.

Sirotkin, whose only previous experience of the C33 came during April's Bahrain in-season test, said the run had given him the confidence to step up to F1 as his management seeks to secure a race seat for him next season.

"I felt it after Bahrain a little, but it wasn't a proper run - here is a chance to compare and it was a surprise to me that it was a bit easier than I thought," Sirotkin said.

"I feel myself more than ready for this step; I just need the chance.

"Motorsport in Russia is progressing quite well. This weekend made a big step forward and it helps to attract the people and make them interested.

"We're working to get the seat next year. There's nothing I can say now officially, but we are working.

"As soon as we make any decision we can think about some extra testing options maybe to be ready earlier."

The 19-year-old reckoned he would have been quicker during his morning run but for traffic spoiling his quickest lap.

"It took a bit of time to get in [to it], but after that anyway we took it easy - didn't try to beat any records - and build the lap time slowly," Sirotkin added.

"Unfortunately on my quick run I was really unlucky with the traffic.

"The quickest lap was the last one in the run so the temperature of the tyres was quite a bit too hot.

"I could have gone quite a bit quicker but that was not the point. We just tried to get some information about the track and the car.

"I should be happy with the job I did. I didn't really push on the limit. It's quite easy to do a mistake."

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