FIA Formula 2: Hello and welcome to the press conference following today’s FIA Formula 2 Championship sprint race in Sochi. Joining us are race winner George Russell for ART Grand Prix, in second, Sergio Sette Camara for Carlin, and Alexander Albon for DAMS in third. George, congratulations, win number six – and by some margin. How tricky were those conditions today?

George Russell: Yeah, incredibly difficult to be honest. It always seems that the races I’ve been in the lead of this year, there’s always seems to be something going on – in Barcelona, it was spitting, and in Paul Ricard it was the same again. It’s not been easy! It’s incredibly difficult when the rain starts coming down, it’s very tricky, because if the rain stopped and the sun came out, it would have been better to keep it on the track and stay on the slicks. It’s such a difficult decision, and also when the VSC came out I didn’t know if I could pit or not, I was extremely fortunate that nobody behind me did because they could have gained a huge amount of laptime. Nevertheless, extremely pleased to get the win today, really proud of my team after a difficult day yesterday, and we worked late last night to try and understand our issues and how to improve it. We really did that, and the pace in the dry was incredible.

FIA Formula 2: You had a few hairy moments early on - ahead of you on the opening lap when Lorandi and Latifi came together ahead of you, and a few offs on the slicks as it started to rain – could you talk us through those incidents?

George: It’s difficult, especially in those conditions because I was telling myself the quicker I go, the more temperature I’ll get, and the more grip I’ll have. To have that balance, it’s so difficult and as soon as you back off a bit, the temperature just drops and you’ll have no grip. I kept on pushing and pushing, and I was just being careful in the areas where I knew it would hurt me if I went wide, like turn 13, where the wall’s very close – or the long left-hander of turn 3. Everywhere else I was pushing hard, but it was inevitable at one point or another that we’d run wide, because those conditions are just impossible to predict for all drivers.

FIA Formula 2: Sergio, moving on to you – you mentioned when you got straight out of the car about your qualifying, but are you happy with the progression through the weekend to finish in the points and on the podium today?

Sergio Sette Camara: Yeah, because it looked like it was going to be a very bad weekend. Qualifying P8, it was my worst qualifying of the year I guess, and it didn’t look like we’d find anything for the race. But there were no big mistakes, put the car in the right places and made the moves that I had to make, had some good tyre management, and also we were careful fine-tuning and extracted everything from the car with a setup that we know that could give me the best car possible on the track. There was no big step from qualifying, but just trying to polish all knowledge we had and using it a bit more, and I think we recovered well – taking P5 yesterday and getting P2 and standing on the podium today, it ended up being a good weekend.

FIA Formula 2: George mentioned how tricky the conditions were, and you came under pressure from Alexander in the closing laps – were you confident that you had enough in hand, or were you having to push right to the line?

Sergio: I really had to push right to the line! For some reason when it seems that it’s raining a little bit with the slicks, I’m extremely quick and I think I was catching George – although it seemed he went off a couple of times, but all of a sudden I saw I was catching him and was really confident in those conditions. But with the wet tyre, it seems that there’s something missing, so I’ve got to work and see why that’s happening, but it ended up being just enough. Maybe if it was one lap more Alex would have taken 2nd from me. Still a bit to work on, but today was good enough for P2 and I’m quite happy with that.

FIA Formula 2: Alex, coming to you – another race on the podium, I think that’s the first time you’ve managed that in a weekend this season. Are you happy with your return from Russia?

Alexander Albon: Yeah, it’s been a difficult weekend for me, when normally what happens when I have a good Saturday and a bad Sunday, this was kind of a vice versa race. I had two consistently good races, although I struggled a little bit more in this one – I think that’s quite normal when you’re fighting all race with the other cars. But no, it was a really good weekend – DAMS made a really big step in the races. Still a bit to find in qualifying, but I think we know why it went the way it did. I’m really happy.

FIA Formula 2: On the final lap, how much were you having to risk to get by Sergio, and were you thinking about where you’d try to line up a move?

Alexander: Yeah, I could tell I was catching Sergio and my team was giving me the gaps to him, but I couldn’t see that – I could only see I was catching. I asked the team to be quiet so I could focus on catching him, just for me to focus on him. But because of that, I didn’t really know it was the last lap! I still couldn’t have done anything to overtake him on that lap, but thought “okay, here we go!” but then I saw the chequered flag – “so P3 it is”! It was a good race, and yeah, I was enjoying the last couple of laps.

FIA Formula 2: George, coming back to you – your championship lead is now 37 points over Alexander, and there’s 48 on offer in Abu Dhabi. Do you feel you’ve got one hand on the title now?

George: Mathematically, there’s a possibility for Alex to take the championship – I don’t think we’ve ever seen a 48-point weekend by anyone. Alex had a great weekend here and got 35. I feel we’re in a good position but anything can happen, we’ve still got to go to Abu Dhabi with the same mindset but we’re in a great position. The team would really deserve this, as we’ve had a lot of misfortune through the season and I think going back as far as Baku, that was a frustrating one as we had the race comfortably, then with six laps to go there was a safety car and we lost 27 points from a poor restart. If it wasn’t for that, we’d have wrapped it up already! But yeah, I think we really deserve it. We’ll go to Abu Dhabi in the same mindset and try to win in style.