2017 Russian Grand PrixView

By on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After a few days of in-season testing at Bahrain last week, Formula One moves to Sochi for the fourth round of the 2017 season, the Russian Grand Prix.

The event will be held at Sochi Autodrom, a technical circuit characterised by hard braking into low-speed corners. It is also one of the longest tracks in Formula One, as only Spa-Francorchamps (7.004 kilometers), Baku City Circuit (6.006 kilometers) and Silverstone (5.891 kilometers) are longer. In total, there are 12 right-hand and six left-hand corners, with a 650-meter straight between the first and second turns.

Of Sochi’s 5.848-kilometer layout, 1.7 kilometers are run on public roads. The surfaces of both the public road and the purpose-built portions are incredibly smooth, and the track remained consistent between its debut in 2014 and when Formula One visited last year. Tire degradation is minimal compared to most tracks, allowing for teams to employ a one-stop strategy while still giving drivers the freedom to push hard.

“There’s a very long straight line to start, followed by big braking into a right-hand side corner, taken in third or fourth gear", Haas' Romain Grosjean states while explaining a lap around Sochi Autodrom.

"Then you have the famous turn three, which is flat out in qualifying. Then you go into turn four – you can carry quite good speed into it. The next few corners are very similar. They flow nicely and you enjoy some good speed in the car. Then you go on the backstraight, again with very tricky braking. Then the last section of the track is much slower, in particular the last two corners. The pit entry is also a bit tricky. The finish line is straight at the last corner, so depending if you’re on a qualifying lap or a racing lap, each one is different.”

The Sochi Autodrom is one of four Formula One venues with ties to the Olympics. Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and the city’s massive buildup was specifically for those games. Prior to Sochi, the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya was home to the start/finish line for the road team time trial cycling event when Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics. The backstraight at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal runs adjacent to the Olympic rowing basin used during the 1976 Summer Olympics. And the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in which the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located, hosted numerous events during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

The original Russian Grand Prix was held 103 years ago in St. Petersburg and it was won by a local, Georgy Suvorin, in a Mercedes. The race was run again the following year, won by German driver Willy Scholl, again in a Mercedes.

Tyres: soft, supersoft, ultrasoft

DRS: main straight & back straight

Driver Steward: Mika Salo

Weather: lows will range from 11-13 degrees Celsius to highs of 21-23 degrees Celsius

Facts and stats

Circuit length: 5.8 km

Turns: 18

Direction: clockwise

Race laps: 53

First Grand Prix: 2014

Lap record: 1:39.094 (Nico Rosberg, 2016)

2016 Qualifying: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2016 Race: 1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

Timetable (GMT +3):

Friday 28 April

Practice One: 11:00 – 12:30

Practice Two: 15:00 – 16:30

Saturday 29 April

Practice Three: 12:00 – 13:00

Qualifying: 15:00 (60 minutes)

Sunday 30 April

Race: 15:00 (53 laps or two hours)

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