The Russian driver has just completed what he describes as “the worst season of my life”, after slipping to ninth in the Formula Renault 3.5 standings at the season finale last weekend. Despite scoring two podium finishes, he only scored points on five occasions and rounded out the year with three consecutive retirements.
Sirotkin shared his disappointment with Crash.net, saying after the final race on Sunday: “This was the worst season of my life; I was very unlucky. Every time I would say, ‘tomorrow next time’, we always say this but it never comes. Unfortunately I am really unhappy with it. We had some very bright races but so many bad things happen. We are really not happy.”
“I am very much disappointed. We thought it could be good. It’s all been bad luck.”
The 18-year-old’s career has been put under the spotlight after it was announced earlier in the year that he would be joining the Sauber F1 Team, thanks to being part of a rescue package from Russian investors, with the plan that he would race for them in 2014. Despite facing criticism, he doesn’t feel any pressure from his new position at the Hinwil based squad: “I don’t feel any pressure, it was the opposite. I have enjoyed learning about the higher stages of motor racing. I am proving a lot that I am stronger in myself as a driver.”
At the moment, he feels that he isn’t ready for F1 but is confident that he will be by the time the 2014 season arrives: “Our preparation programme has just started so I am not quite ready but by the time the first race comes, I will be ready, I know that. There is nothing I am afraid of; I am looking forward to it.”
He added: “It’s a bit different driving an F1 car. I need to get used to the power steering. It took a bit of time but we were happy with our lap times at Sochi. The minimum speeds in the corner are very similar to my current car. The step that needs to be made is not surprising, it is to be expected like any other championship.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic