SMP Racing driver Matevos Isaakyan took part in the 11th FIA Formula 2 round, which took place on September 27-29 at the Sochi Autodrom along with the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix.Isaakyan, who replaces Juan Manuel Correa in two rounds of the championship, first sat behind the wheel of a Sauber Junior Team car in the Friday practice session and was 16th fastest among twenty cars. In qualifying, Matevos improved his lap time but dropped down to seventeenth position. In the first race, the Russian finished eighteenth, and in the second - thirteenth.
“The round at the Sochi Autodrom was mainly a practice session for me. It was the first time for me driving this track, in a Formula 2 car and on Pirelli tyres,” Matevos Isaakyan said. “It was important for me to drive the entire distance, save the car, gain as much experience as possible and show my speed, if possible. I think that I have achieved most of my goals.
In the practice session, we had a hard set of tyres. In general, the car behaved more or less normally. In qualifying, we switched to a super-soft set of tyres, which is noticeably softer, and it turned out to be very difficult for me to understand the changed behavior of the car. In the first race, we decided to take a chance with the car setups, but it did not work, and I made a couple of mistakes as well.
I am satisfied with the result of the second race, drove it without any mistakes and at the end I felt comfortable, driving at a good pace. I think this experience will help in Abu Dhabi. In general, the weekend was difficult, but I quickly got used to the car, except that it is still difficult to work with tyres. Tyres in FIA Formula 2 are a very important factor, especially here at the Sochi Autodrom.
We got along with the team very easily. I know many of its members even from my participation in World Series Formula V8 3.5, we have an excellent relationship. We worked well with the engineer and the chief mechanic."
Matevos Isaakyan will also drive for the Sauber Junior Team at the final round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, which will take place on November 29 - December 1 in Abu Dhabi.