From Singapore to Sochi, Russia, the Formula 1 Paddock moves for a back to back race weekend after yesterday’s incredible result: Ferrari scored a 1-2 finish, with Charles Leclerc scoring Pole Position and Sebastian Vettel on top on Sunday.
An unexpected result, which brings a lot of curiosity for the next chapter of the season: Mercedes has always dominated on this circuit, winning all the races held since 2014. Ferrari will stay on these high levels after three straights victory?
We will discover it in Sochi where Pirelli, the Italian tyres manufacture, will bring the C2 as Hard (white), C3 as Medium (yellow) and C4 as Soft (red). This year’s selection is one step harder compared to last year’s.
The circuit of Sochi has been introduced in the Formula 1 calendar in 2014 the first one to win here was Nico Rosberg who, thanks to the new and smooth asphalt, almost completed the race on just one set of tyres.
One pit stop is also the norm, historically. Last year, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won from second on the grid using a one-stop ultrasoft-soft strategy, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen did the opposite (soft-ultrasoft) to finish fifth from the back of the grid.
“With Russia now re-established in its autumn date, having moved back to this slot last year, it’s going to be interesting to see what has changed compared to 2018.” Said Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing. “We're bringing tyres from the middle of the range this year – a step harder than last year – which should be well-adapted to a wide variety of conditions. Longitudinal rather than lateral forces are the main influence on the tyres here, with a high degree of track evolution throughout the weekend. Anticipating the set-up and tyre strategy with regard to the changing requirements of the track will be one of the keys to success in Sochi. A new absolute lap record was set last year by Valtteri Bottas in qualifying last year – let’s see if that is lowered further this year”
Here are the tyres choices per driver: Lewis Hamilton has made a tyre choice that nobody else has for the Russian Grand Prix: one hard tyre, four medium tyres (more than anyone else) and eight soft tyres.