The Formula 1 championship heads to Sochi for the 2017 Russian Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2017 F1 season. After an impressive race in Bahrain, Scuderia Ferrari will try to continue the positive streak in Russia and further extend the advantage over Mercedes in the Formula 1 Driver and Constructor Standings.
Another Vettel – Hamilton clash?
We have only completed three Grands Prix in this new era for Formula 1, but it seems that this year’s battle for the title will take place between two of the sport’s most successful drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, which have managed to win seven of the last nine F1 drivers’ titles. The two world champions have scored 1-2 finishes in each round and the 2017 Russian Grand Prix could mark another important chapter.
Mercedes have won all three previous races in Sochi, but this year Scuderia Ferrari has proven it is much closer to its rival in terms of a competitive car. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will hope for a positive weekend and a double podium finish for the Maranello team.
Tyres and engine
The smooth surface of the Sochi Autodrom, a street circuit built around Olympic Park in Sochi, has not punished the tyres in the last three races which took place in Russia. The inaugural event was held on 12 October 2014, and was won by British driver Lewis Hamilton, followed by Nico Rosberg, but the German driver managed to complete almost the entire race on one set of tyres, which means that most likely this year we will see another one-stopper, given the increased durability in Pirelli’s 2017 tyres.
Introduced back in 2014, the turbocharged engines have come with a double restriction on fuel consumption and flow rate, while Sochi Autodrom has already established itself as a challenging venue in terms of energy management. The very long straights, combined with high speed corners means that the F1 cars need to also have high speed braking and low traction hairpins.
Practice 1: Friday 11:00-12:30 local / 9:00-10:30 UK
Practice 2: Friday 15:00-16:30 local / 13:00-14:30 UK
Practice 3: Saturday 12:00-13:00 local / 10:00-11:00 UK
Qualifying: Saturday 15:00-16:00 local / 13:00-14:00 UK
Race: Sunday 15:00 local / 13:00 UK