Vettel & Raikkonen Reunited as Russian GP Releases Driver’s Press Conference Schedule

Published 09/21/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race. Pool via REUTERS/Kirill Kudryavtsev


It’s race week and that can only mean one thing, more drama! A heavy triple-header followed by a break, and now the circus heads to Russia for 53 laps of action. However, before the race weekend begins, we have the upcoming drivers’ conferences on Thursday, one with some exciting pairings.

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As the tensions on the track increase throughout the field, there are often a lot of interesting discussions and revelations that take place during the conferences. The organizers have put together a couple of surprising matches that will undoubtedly make things enthralling.

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Former teammates and future teammates

One of the more surprising pairings revealed is former teammates Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. Once in a partnership at Force India, the two drivers didn’t have the most friendly time together.

An alliance marked by crashes and bad blood, it will be interesting to see the two drivers share the mic at Sochi. The two are at very different stages of their careers compared to their time in Force India. Both Grand Prix winners with a secure future with good teams, one can only expect fruitful conversation between the two.

MONZA, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari walk in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on August 30, 2018 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Raikkonen and Vettel will make it to the teammates’ reunion as well. After missing out on two races, Kimi Raikkonen returns to the F1 grid and will spend the conference with Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel. Both the champions are likely to have very contrasting conversations as Aston Martin has confirmed Vettel for 2022 – a season Kimi won’t be a part of.

As former teammates unite, Valtteri Bottas shares the stage with the driver who could accompany him next year; Antonio Giovinazzi is still unconfirmed for the 2022 season. Nonetheless, it will be compelling to see what the two drivers have to say.

Other pairings for the Russian GP conference

We have half of the F1 quartet together as Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc look to bring the McLaren-Ferrari rivalry to the stage. The rookie meets the legend as Yuki Tsunoda and Lewis Hamilton will face the media together.

Mick Schumacher has a lot to look forward to as he gets paired with Daniel Ricciardo. More Monza talk and Schumacher documentary analysis, with some laughs in as well; this is the pairing to look forward to!

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly celebrates winning the Italian Grand Prix on the podium with second placed McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and third placed Racing Point’s Lance Stroll | REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/Pool

Fernando Alonso will be discussing the weekend ahead with Lance Stroll, while Red Bull Academy graduates Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly do the same. Haas and Williams make a feature together as Nikita Mazepin will sit alongside Nicholas Latifi.

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After his race at Monza, Max Verstappen will face the cameras with a driver who could potentially challenge him for the title in the future, George Russell. Could this possibly be the genesis of the next-gen Red Bull – Mercedes rivalry?

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates qualifying in pole position with Williams’ George Russell as he qualifies second Pool via REUTERS/John Thys

As the weekend draws near, you can catch the press conference at 12:30 PM on Thursday; it will surely be the perfect preface for a thrilling Russian GP.

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Watch this story: Shortest F1 Drivers Ever Featuring Yuki Tsunoda & Lando Norris

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Shreya Sanjeev

470 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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