2014 Russian Grand Prix: Weekend Preview

After the toughest Formula 1 weekend in recent memory, everyone’s thoughts heading into this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix are quite rightly with Jules Bianchi. Today’s Press Conference confirmed that it will be a difficult weekend for everyone involved in Formula 1.
Sochi is the venue for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix, with the backdrop of the Winter Olympic Park providing some stunning scenery for the fans whilst the track is empty. Speaking of fans, Daniil Kvyat should be a popular man this time out…

Daniil Kvyat 2014 China Race” by emperornie – Flickr: Tororosso, Kvyat.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • Attempts to bring Formula 1 to Russia have been surfacing throughout the last 30 years, with little success until recently.
  • The Sochi Autodrom features 18 turns and is clockwise in direction.
  • The circuit is based in the Winter Olympic Park, which hosted the games earlier this year.
  • Featuring long straights and several 90-degree corners, the track has been likened to the Valencia Street Circuit, which was dropped from the calender after 2012. 
  • Daniil Kvyat will become the first Russian to race at home in Formula 1, with Vitaly Petrov being the only previous Russian to have competed in the sport, driving for Lotus-Renault and Caterham in 2011 and 2012 respectively.  

The Circuit

Obviously, this weekend is a step into the unknown for the drivers and the race organizers, with the Sochi Autodrom having never before hosted a race of any kind. While the drivers, teams and fans have very little information in regards to the track, Codemasters’ F1 2014 gameplay has given us some insight into what the Russian Grand Prix could look like.  

Prediction Corner

Considering the lack of knowledge in regards to the circuit characteristics, it is even more difficult than usual to predict the outcome of Sunday’s race. My first impressions of the circuit suggest that it will demand an efficient powerunit, with several long straights following medium speed corners. As such, Mercedes should be strong as always, and on recent form, it is difficult to look beyond Lewis Hamilton for this weekend’s victory. He has the confidence, momentum and advantage in the title race and it will require all of Nico Rosberg’s skill to halt Hamilton’s now relentless march to the title. 
However, as previously mentioned, Jules Bianchi will be on everyone’s mind this weekend. My thoughts continue to be with him, his friends and his family in what is a tough time for all involved.

#ForzaJules

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