The fourth race of the 2017 Formula One season takes place on Sunday, April 30, as the Russian Grand Prix will most likely mark another clash between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Practice one and two will take place as usual on Friday, April 28, while the qualifying session on Saturday afternoon will determine who gets pole ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, held at Sochi Autodrom, a street circuit built around Olympic Park in Sochi. The inaugural event was held on 12 October 2014 and the 2017 Formula One season will be fourth time the track in Sochi will host a F1 race, as Scuderia Ferrari will try to score their first victory in Russia.
Mercedes dominated the Grand Prix in 2014, at the brand new circuit built on the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg starting and finishing on the first two places. Fernando Alonso managed to score eight points for Scuderia Ferrari by finishing sixth, but more than one minut behind the two Mercedes drivers, while Kimi Raikkonen could only manage ninth place after a very difficult race for the Maranello team.
Things improved for Ferrari the next year in Russia, as Sebastian Vettel took second place, just six seconds behind Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was also close to a podium finish, but was eventually demoted from fifth to eighth place due to causing the final lap collision with Valtteri Bottas and scored only four points rather than ten.
Another podium for Scuderia Ferrari came last season at Sochi Autodrom, as Kimi Raikkonen finished third, behind the two Mercedes drivers, this time Nico Rosberg taking the top spot. It was a race to forget for the other Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel, who first received a five place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change and eventually had to retire in the first lap, after being hit in the rear two times by Daniil Kvyat.
The Italian team now hopes that the third place in 2016 and the second place finish in 2015 will be followed by a win in the 2017 Russian Grand Prix, which would consolidate the lead in the Formula 1 Constructor Standings.