Sochi (AP) – Mercedes Formula 1 rulers fear the Netflix curse in Russia.
During the Grand Prix weekend in Sochi, just like last year at the home race in Hockenheim, the racing team will be joined by a team from the streaming provider collecting footage for the “Drive to Survive” series. Team boss Toto Wolff still shivers over memories of the preseason shooting. “In the end it was the worst race of the season for us,” said the Austrian before the guest appearance on the Black Sea coast.
World champion Lewis Hamilton finished eleventh in the rain chaos and got only two points thanks to later disqualifications. Teammate Valtteri Bottas was eliminated. “That made for a very entertaining Netflix episode, but we hope this time we can deliver not only great content, but also a great race,” said Wolff.
It could be a weekend for the history books. Hamilton is aiming for his 91st Grand Prix victory, which would set Michael Schumacher’s record. It did not go completely smoothly for the Brit on training. The leader of the world championship had to settle for second place behind the Finn Bottas on Friday. “The car drives well, but we still have a lot of work to do for the night,” said the six-time champion.
Given the lead on the competition, Saturday’s qualifying (2 p.m. / RTL and Sky) should be another duel between the two Mercedes drivers. “I was surprised to see this distance,” said Hamilton. However, one Mercedes driver has always won in six races in Russia.
Sebastian Vettel no longer expects any chances of winning positions in the hopelessly inferior Ferrari. “We don’t look at Mercedes anymore, they are too far away,” he said after the first training rides at the Olympic site in 2014. Even the small aerodynamic update is “not a big step,” said the Hessian.