The weather forecast for the coming days of the Russian Grand Prix weekend suggests that a soaking wet event could be in store, with the circuit's paddocks already experiencing spot flooding. Heavy rain in the area in the days prior to the arrival of Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 meant the support paddock was flooded , because circuit drainage wasn't able to cope with the amount of water. Worryingly, the trend looks set to continue in the coming days as heavy rain is forecast to land on the Sochi Autodrom over the weekend. The venue, located at the former Winter Olympics village beside the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains, hasn't experienced rain over a Grand Prix weekend since its introduction to the F1 calendar in 2014, meaning this year's event could be unique.
The latest forecast for Friday, with thanks to our friends at WeerOnline.nl, is saying that the day will start in rainy conditions. This means the first practice session, on Friday morning, will take place on a wet track. However, it may dry out as the day progresses, meaning the second practice session can take place on a dry, but very green, race track. Maximum temperatures for the day are quite cool, with expected air temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius with moderate westerly winds.
The worst of the weather is forecast for Friday night/Saturday morning. Rain is expected overnight and carrying over through most of the day for qualifying. This means that the third practice session, on Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon's qualifying session, could both be compromised, or even delayed. Temperatures are expected to remain consistent from Friday into Saturday, loitering around 18 degrees Celsius. This means little chance of the track drying out, even if the rain stops.
It's an uncertain forecast for Sunday's race. There's a chance of rain showers but, equally, it could be dry with even the potential for some sun as the air temperatures creep up to around 20 degrees Celsius. Rain showers during the race, or a wet track drying out, are both possibilities. There's also the chance that, if Saturday proves a wash-out, qualifying could be held on Sunday morning, as has happened on previous occasions at Grand Prix weekends where Saturday action hasn't been possible.