2015 Track Preview; Russian Grand Prix, Sochi

All rights reserved to F1mix.com

All rights reserved to F1mix.com

Lewis Hamilton wins the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. Williams, Red Bull and Force India also scored some much needed points at the event.

Heading into the Grand Prix weekend, it was announced earlier in the week that Bernie Ecclestone could sell F1 this year and the sport could have new owners.

The Sochi Autodrom circuit (which was formerly known as Sochi International Street Circuit and Sochi Olympic Park Circuit) is a part of a venue used for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic Park and the racing circuit is located in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia ner the southern border.

The surface was not laid until after the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Hermann Tilke designed the track and the first Russian GP was given the green light by the FIA after the first official inspection in August 2014.

The circuit is partly integrated in the public road network and consists of two circuits. The long circuit is to be used only for Formula 1, the short circuit is supposed to function throughout the year to host multiple motorsport events. The large lap, including 1.7 kilometers of public roads, is 5.85 kilometers long and feature 19 corners, 12 right-handers and 7 left-handers.

The track width varies from 13 to 15 meters and the direction is clockwise. The track’s combination of straights and really fast corners makes it to one of the fastest Formula One tracks. The top speed is about 320 km/h.

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone signed a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2010 for Sochi to host the Russian Grand Prix from 2014 to 2020. The Russian government spent about 200 million dollars to build the circuit that hosted the country’s first ever Formula 1 grand prix.

It fulfilled a long-held ambition of Putin’s for Russia to be part of the multi-million dollar Grand Prix circuit, former attempts to stage a race at Moscow and St Petersburg having failed.

And here are the facts and figures as we head into the race weekend in Sochi…

Facts and Figures:-

  • Sochi has hosted the Grand Prix since 2014.
  • Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at the track with one win.
  • Mercedes is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with one win.
  • Race distance: 310km
  • Number of turns: 18
  • Laps: 53
  • Top speed: 336kph
  • Lap record: Valtteri Bottas- Williams (2014)- 1.40.896

Last five winners of the Japanese Grand Prix:-

  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton

My top five finishers of the Russian Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Russian Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve so far this season, I believe that Rosberg has to beat Hamilton this weekend again in order to show that he cannot be discounted for challenging Hamilton for the title; especially when many believe that he has lost the title to Hamilton already.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend to maintain the small championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 7.45am and 11.45am [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45am and 12.15am [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 10.30am
  • BBC- Friday (Practice 1) 7.55am, Saturday (Practice 2, Practice 3 and Qualifying) 8.15am, 9.55am and 12.10pm , Sunday (Race and Race Highlights) 11.00am and 7.00pm

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