The first Russian Grand Prix in Formula 1 history took place at the Sochi Autodrom circuit on the 12th of October 2014. Now we are talking about the 5th edition that it was moved from the spring to the autumn part of the season, like it was in 2014 and 2015.
Sochi Autodrom is the only race circuit located inside the Olympic Park, where Winter Olympics were held. The track includes a few options of the configuration for the International and regional race series, and it can be used during the year.
Track & statistics
Sochi Autodrom. 53 laps. 309.745 km. 18 turns, 12 right turns and 6 left. The maximum speed was 343 km/h, and the average speed was 210 km/h. The fuel consumption is very high and the wear tyre level is medium. The probability of the appearance of the safety car is quite high. Only in the first Sochi race Maylander didn't deployed the medical car.
Until now Russian GP track was Mercedes territory. All races have been won by the "Silver arrows" drivers. Lewis Hamilton won two times the Sochi GP – in 2014 and 2015, then Nico Rosberg won in 2016. Bottas won last year and it was also the first winning in his F1 career.
Other current drivers still couldn’t conquer the Russian GP, but some of them managed to get the podium. Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel twice were on the podium. Also, Sergio Perez finished 3rd in 2015 and went to the podium ceremony too.
As for Red Bull Racing, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have never been on the podium in Sochi. Every year Red Bull drivers faced with some technical problems that didn’t let them finish higher than P4.
Numbers of the 2018 Russian GP
The 150th Grand Prix for Sergio Perez;
The 20th Grand Prix for Brendon Hartley;
The 80th pole for Lewis Hamilton;
The 70th victory for Lewis Hamilton;
The 30th podium for Daniel Ricciardo;
The 10th double (victory and fastest lap) for Kimi Raikkonen;
The 5th victory for Max Verstappen;
The 60th pole for Red Bull Racing;
The 900th point for Valtteri Bottas if he finishes the 3rd;
The 50th point for Lance Stroll if he finishes the 8th.
The weather forecast
We are expecting a warm and nice weather during the race weekend, with the minimum probability of precipitation. On Friday the air warms up to 22 degrees. On Saturday and Sunday, the weather will get warmer – about 24-27 degrees; the rain probability is about 20% on Saturday and 10% on Sunday.
One year ago in Sochi
It’s quite difficult to define last year Russian GP especially outstanding, but even it wasn’t frankly boring. The first overtake of the race was already on the start, when Bottas overtook Vettel who started from the pole position. Few minutes later Palmer and Grosjean crashed into each other, and then safety car appeared on the track. The race for Jolyon and Romain was finished. But the first driver who left the track was Fernando Alonso. Due to the ERS problems he retired on the formation lap. After the restart Daniel Ricciardo had to finish the race, too – the brakes on his car started to burn due to the car overheating.
From this moment on nothing special happened besides Bottas-Vettel battle. The German driver stayed behind all time but still he couldn’t overtake the rival.