Sebastian Vettel has expressed his displeasure with the partial resurfacing of the start-finish straight at the Sochi Autodrom. The tarmac on which the first three grid slots lie has been resurfaced for the weekend, whereas the rest of the striaght has been left untouched.
Vettel says that if some of the surface was changed, the tarmac should be the same for all drivers who will start the race on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether the updated surface will provide an advantage to Vettel and the two Mercedes drivers who start in front of him.
"I think the grip should be a bit higher,” said Vettel. “[But] I think it’s wrong to resurface just a bit, whether that’s positions one/two/three, or four/five/six, eight/nine/ten, it doesn’t matter. If you resurface something of the grid you should resurface everything. But it is what it is.”
A patch was added in the pitlane on which drivers could practice their race starts throughout the practice sessions. Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas is also none the wiser on how the different surface will compare to the cars starting behind.
“Usually new tarmac tends to have a bit more grip but also it depends on the type of tarmac," the Finn said. "We’ve been only driving around that part of the track in non-grip-limited conditions, so flat-out. We’ll find out tomorrow how it’s going to affect.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing