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To circuits
rus

Russian GP

Sochi Autodrom, Sochi
  • FP1 23 Sep 2022 -
  • FP2 23 Sep 2022 -
  • FP3 24 Sep 2022 -
  • Quali 24 Sep 2022 -
  • Race 25 Sep 2022 -

Stats

First held 2014
Laps 53
Circuit length 5.848 kilometer
Fastest race lap 1:35.761 (2019)
Winner in 2020 Valtteri Bottas
Second in 2020 Max Verstappen
Third in 2020 Lewis Hamilton

Winners

Winner 2020 Valtteri Bottas
Winner 2019 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2017 Valtteri Bottas
Winner 2016 Nico Rosberg

Located in the seaside resort of Sochi, F1 has made a home in Russia since landing there back in 2014. Initially brought in on a seven-year contract, the Russian Grand Prix will remain on the calendar until at least 2025 after a new deal was agreed.

F1 Russian Grand Prix 2021

After years of attempting to get a race in Russia, plans finally came to fruition in 2014 with the event held in the resort city of Sochi, which also hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Going through the former Olympic village, the Sochi Autodrom clocks in at 5.848km, with the close to 900m straight away that starts the lap contributing to several first corner incidents at Turn 1.

Turn 3 is a constant 750m left-hander that sees drivers loop around the Poyushchiye fountain, which leads into the tricky 180-degree Turn 4 and first detection point. The track blends medium and low-speed corners with two fast sections, where cars can show their worth as speeds can hit close to 340km/h.

History

While modern F1 has found a home at the Sochi Autodrom for the Russian Grand Prix, the event actually dates back to the 1910s.

Held at a circuit in Saint Petersburg in 1913 and 1914, the event was won by George Suvorin and Willy Scholl respectively for Mercedes. The outbreak of the First World War, and the Russian Civil War, resulted in the race being abandoned.

Plans for a Russian GP in F1

Plans for a Grand Prix in Russia began to take shape in the 1980s with a proposed circuit in Moscow, which would have been held under the title of Grand Prix of the Soviet Union.

While the race was included on the provisional 1983 calendar, the event wasn't held and removed from future revisions. In the end, Bernie Ecclestone was able to organise a race behind the Iron Curtain, with Hungary joining the calendar in 1986.

Plans to hold the race near Pulkovo Airport and, later, the Molzhaninovsky District of Moscow emerged in the early 2000s, but never gathered steam.

Work did begin on an F1 circuit in the Volokolamsky District of Moscow, known as the Moscow Raceway. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the circuit has never hosted an F1 event, but Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 Series became the first internationally accredited motorsport events to hold a round in Russia in 2012.

The Russian Grand Prix was officially announced on 14 October 2010, with plans to hold the first race in 2014. Held in the resort city of Sochi, which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 5.9km street circuit sees drivers travel around the venues of Sochi's Olympic Park.

Inaugural F1 Russian Grand Prix

The first race was held on 12 October 2014 and won by Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes, with teammate Nico Rosberg and Williams' Valtteri Bottas completing the podium. The 1-2 finish for Mercedes saw them claim their first Constructors' tile in F1.

Carlos Sainz crashed heavily during FP3 for Toro Rosso the following year, losing control of his car at Turn 13 and hitting the wall, though he was able to take part in the race.

Pole sitter Rosberg retired early on due to a faulty throttle, with Hamilton winning again ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Force India's Sergio Perez. The Mexican had initially lost third place on the final lap, only for Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen to collide on the final lap. The race also saw Mercedes clinch their second consecutive Constructors' Championship.

Rosberg led a Mercedes 1-2 finish the following year, while Bottas secured his first career F1 win in 2017 after replacing the recently retired German. The Finn beat Vettel to the line by just 0.7 seconds, while Raikkonen rounded out the podium in the second Ferrari.

Bottas took pole in 2018, however he didn't repeat as winner after Mercedes ordered him to let Hamilton through on Lap 26. The Briton took the chequered flag, with Bottas finishing second.

Charles Leclerc started on pole in 2019, however Hamilton won ahead of Bottas and the Monegasque driver. Bottas then added a second Russian GP victory in 2020.

As for future editions of the Russian GP, the race is set to move from the Sochi Autodrom to Igora Drive near Saint Petersburg, starting from 2023.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Lewis Hamilton is the driver to beat in Russia, having won five of the eight races since the event was added to the calendar in 2014. Valtteri Bottas is second on the list with two wins, followed by Nico Rosberg and his lone win in 2016.

As for constructors, the list of winners isn't very long. Mercedes are the only team to win in Russia, and that includes the two races held in Saint Petersburg in the 1910s.

The Russian Grand Prix 2021

The 2021 edition looked set to have a new winner with Lando Norris leading with just five laps remaining, however a late rain shower caused chaos. Unsure whether the weather would improve or worsen, the McLaren driver stayed out on track in hopes of claiming his first career F1 victory.

It wasn't to be however. Norris was unable to navigate the tricky conditions, ultimately finishing seventh, while Hamilton pitted for Intermediate tyres at the right time to take an unexpected victory, becoming the first F1 driver to reach 100 wins in the sport.

When is the 2021 Russian Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Russian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 24-26 September and is provisionally set to be the 15th race of the Formula 1 season. The first two free practice sessions will take place on 24 September with qualifying on Saturday 25 September at 14:00 CET.

What time does the Russian Grand Prix start?

The Russian Grand Prix starts on Sunday 26 September 2021 at 13:00 CET. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365’s live blog and watched on F1 TV.

F1 Russian GP 2021 Schedule

Session Date Time (UK)
Free Practice 1 Friday 24 September 09:30 - 10:30
Free Practice 2 Friday 24 September 13:00 - 14:00
Free Practice 3 Saturday 25 September 10:00 - 11:00
Qualifying Saturday 25 September 13:00 - 14:00
Race Sunday 26 September 12:00
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