Nikita Mazepin took his fifth podium of the season in Round 10 of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Sochi. The home hero takes control of this week’s guest column to pen his thoughts on a successful weekend.

The Russian delves into the lessons he learned at Sochi, explains why tyre degradation made things tricky in Round 10, and looks ahead to the final two weekends of the season, in Sakhir.

ONE GOOD POINT – GETTING ON THE PODIUM

Getting to go on the podium in Sochi in front of my home crowd would definitely be a good point. That was a special moment for me, especially because I was the only Russian driver to achieve it this weekend.

ONE BAD POINT – STRATEGY CHOICE

I would say that a bad point was choosing the alternative strategy in Race 1. That ended up being the slower strategy in the Feature Race because of unknown tyre degradation, which just didn’t work for us.

WHAT I LEARNED – IT’S A LONG WEEKEND

I learned that a race weekend is a long time. Even if you have a difficult Qualifying session, then not everything is lost. There is plenty of time to recover your round and to still score plenty of points, as I think I proved this weekend.

FANS MAY HAVE MISSED – IT WASN’T EASY OUT THERE!

The fact that it was much more difficult for the drivers than they saw. This was because we could have pushed almost flat out every single lap, as the surface was very smooth and the degradation in Sochi actually was not much at all.

NEXT TIME OUT – SAKHIR

There is a lot of time to prepare for Rounds 11 and 12 at Bahrain and I will treat it almost as if it is the first round after the winter break. I will be trying to be in the best shape I can possibly be to enjoy a successful end to the season.