Sergey Sirotkin has described his maiden home Grand Prix as the most painful race he's had all the season. The Moscow-born driver finished as the last classified driver, two laps down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Sirotkin started the race from thirteenth on the grid but was squeezed at Turn 1, losing multiple positions in the process. He failed to find pace as Williams' struggles continued around the Sochi Autodrom. The 23-year-old believes that he could have walked away with some points had the circumstances been different.
"A very painful race," the former GP2 driver said. "The most painful race of the year. I think we could have picked up some very good points from this race, in terms of where we’ve been and where the pace was.
"But from the start, every single bit went wrong for us. We’ve always been in the worst possible position on the track with the worst possible traffic situation. I think a few things we managed very well, but despite that the whole race has turned around against us and it was a very painful moment for me."
"Overall, it was a really frustrating afternoon," he said. "We’re obviously not racing where we’d like to race. We had the pace to beat both McLaren’s, but we were caught out by the severe graining on our ultrasoft tyre. This happened to McLaren as well, but they reacted better to it than we did.
"Consequently, we were fighting one on one with McLarens all afternoon and were unable to overtake whilst in their wake. Otherwise, we would have been able to improve our finishing positions, most of all for Sergey, who wouldn’t have finished so far down in his home race. We got two cars home, and we will keep learning and keep moving forwards."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing