A crucial weekend for the Formula One teams and drivers is coming. The crews are traveling to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season. Sochi autodrom joined the Formula 1 calendar in 2014 and for the first time, the drivers will be able to use the ultrasoft tyre compounds.
In Bahrain, Sebastian Vettel with his Ferrari took the chequered flag and celebrated the second victory of the season. Lewis Hamilton finished behind the German driver and in Russia, he will have the chance to win for the second time this year if that happens Hamilton will equal Vettel’s points in the championship.
Track Length: 5.848 km
Race Distance: 309.745 km
Lap Record: 1:39:094 (Nico Rosberg – 2016)
Tyre Compounds: Ultrasoft (Purple), Supersoft (Red), Soft (Yellow)
The circuit is located in Sochi and was designed by the famous F1 architect Hermann Tilke, circuit’s capacity is 55,000 and it is consists of 12 right and six left corners.
“Sochi is a really nice track to drive and it’s a race I enjoy a lot. In the past it’s a track we have done well at – I finished fourth and fifth in 2014 and 2015 – so I’m hoping we can have another good race there this year. The event has been getting bigger every year so I’m really looking forward to going back again.” Felipe Massa said, who turned 36 the past week.
Track’s formation will give an advantage to Mercedes, as it is not a very demanding circuit for the tyres and the 650 metre straight will allow the silver arrows to reach a speed around to 332 km/h.
“It’s very good to see people talking positively about Formula One. Clearly, the close fight between Ferrari and Mercedes is something that is interesting for the fans. It’s interesting for us too. This is why we go racing – because we’re racers and we thrive on the competition and the battle. It’s a totally different kind of track this weekend in Sochi and, in this season with these new regulations, you can’t take anything for granted. The trophies of previous years don’t guarantee that we’ll be winning in Russia when you have a very fierce competitor like we do in Ferrari. We’ll take it one step at a time, start the weekend well and hopefully have a good result on Sunday.” Toto Wolff added about the upcoming race.
Ferrari proved that they can match Mercedes’ pace and stay close to the silver arrows. It will be interesting to see if Scuderia can win two races in the row which will give them a big advantage in the championship. Whilst Mercedes has to respond to Ferrari’s pace and win the fourth race of the season in order to stay close to the Italians.
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Victor Archakis F1 Editor – @FP_Passion
(Images Courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media)