Alonso wary of potential visibility issues at wet Sochi

Fernando Alonso says a downpour at Sochi this weekend could create visibility issues as bad as those encountered... The post Alonso wary of potential visibility issues at wet Sochi appeared first on F1i.com.

Alonso wary of potential visibility issues at wet Sochi

Fernando Alonso says a downpour at Sochi this weekend could create visibility issues as bad as those encountered at Spa last month.

Local forecasts are calling for rain on Saturday along the shores of the Black Sea, with more inclement weather foreseen for Sunday.

Tomorrow's expected heavy downpours at Sochi have even led the FIA Formula 3 Championship to bring forward its first Saturday in Russia to late Friday afternoon.

Alonso fears the venue's flat topography could limit water dispersion on the track and thus create very difficult visibility issues, or conditions similar to those that led to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa being halted after just a few laps behind the pace car.

"I think it's a very flat track, there are no elevation changes here, so the water stands quite a lot on track," said Alonso as he recalled a very wet practice session at Sochi back in 2015.

"For Sunday, fingers crossed it's not that wet, or not raining too much, because the visibility will be really bad and we don't want to see anything like Spa."

  • Read also - Alonso: Only 'chaotic race' will put us on the podium

Alonso's Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon owed his shock Hungarian Grand Prix win earlier this year to the chaos triggered by Budapest's wet track.

The Frenchman says he'll seize once again any opportunity resulting from the elements that may come his way in Russia.

"Hungary was not really wet," Ocon said. "Things happened at the start when it was wet, but when we got back on track, it was dry.

"Spa was wet in qualifying, it was wet in the race, but we couldn't race, and we weren't as quick as we wanted to be. So we're gonna have a bit of work to do here again, but it definitely opens up opportunities.

"It works both ways. You can be on the right side of the opportunity or you can be on the wrong side of it. Looking at where we are, it's definitely a positive thing if it rains."

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Haas wouldn’t be here today without Mazepin – Steiner

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner admits that without the significant financial backing of Dmitry Mazepin's Uralkali company, the... The post Haas wouldn’t be here today without Mazepin – Steiner appeared first on F1i.com.

Haas wouldn’t be here today without Mazepin – Steiner

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner admits that without the significant financial backing of Dmitry Mazepin's Uralkali company, the US outfit would likely no longer be present in F1.

Ahead of the 2021 season, the Russian billionaire and majority shareholder of fertilizer giant Uralkali agreed to sponsor Haas in exchange of the team including his 22-year-old son Nikita in its line-up.

The sponsorship package estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars ensured Haas' continued existence in F1, with the partnership extending into 2022 which has guaranteed Nikita Mazepin a second season among motorsport's elite.

"I had to find several opportunities to allow the team to move forward because the future of many families depended on it," Steiner told Danish publication Ekstra Bladet.

"Sometimes you are forced to make decisions, even if you don’t like them at all. As a result, it was a choice tied solely to economic reasons. There was no anger or dissatisfaction.

"The alternative was that we wouldn’t be here today, and that’s something people need to understand."

Guenther Steiner and Dmitry Mazepin

Haas is undergoing a transition year ahead of next season's F1 regulations changes that should significantly boost the team's level of performance.

So far, it's been a rocky apprenticeship for Mazepin and teammate Mick Schumacher, with the two rookies suffering several on-track flash points this season.

  • Read also: Haas confirms Schumacher and Mazepin for 2022 season

But Steiner believes that the difficult year will have served Haas' interests when 2022 rolls around.

"We struggled a lot last year and did not know at all if we would exist now," he added. "The solution was to take two young drivers.

"When we decided to stay in Formula 1, the thinking at the time was that we should get ready again.

"We will hopefully be next year – including with the drivers – at the same level as our old drivers were at some seasons ago."

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The post Haas wouldn’t be here today without Mazepin – Steiner appeared first on F1i.com.

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