2016 Track Preview: Russian Grand Prix

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All rights reserved to F1mix.com

Nico Rosberg wins the Chinese Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second place and Daniil Kvyat in third place. Williams and Toro Rosso managed to score points from the race.

We will also see local GP2 driver Sergery Sirotkin making an appearance in FP1 for the Renault team and building upon the experience he gained with Sauber when he last appeared in F1 in 2014.

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

Past winners of the Russian Grand Prix:-

  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton
  • 2015- 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 in the first few Grand Prixs, I believe that Rosberg might have the edge over Hamilton this weekend in Sochi. With Rosberg winning his first races of the season, he will want to keep up this form for as long as possible.

Hamilton will also want to repeat his performance from last year and gain on the championship gap that Rosberg has and also keep Vettel behind him as well 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 12.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30am
  • Channel Four- Saturday (Qualifying highlights) 5.30pm, Sunday (Race highlights) 6.00pm
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