2020 Russian Grand Prix: Preview
Preview of the Russian Grand Prix
After a dramatic Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello Formula One heads back into familiar territory in the shape of the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. The Russian Grand Prix has been on the F1 Calendar since 2014 and has seen some memorable mementos over its time including Mercedes clinching the Constructors title in 2014 and the two Finns of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen colliding on the last Lap in 2015.
The last round of the World Championship at Mugello saw Lewis Hamilton eventually take the win after a dramatic afternoon that saw two red flags and some disastrous Safety Car restarts. Valtteri Bottas came home in second place as Alex Albon finally claimed his maiden F1 Podium.
Image credit: F1.com Sochi Autodrom layout
The Sochi Autodrom is 5.8km long and was built around the 2014 Winter Olympic park. It's long straight down into the heavy braking zone of Turn two accompanied by DRS should provide a great chance for overtaking along with the circuits second DRS zone along the back straight into Turn 13. The long left hander of Turn 3 is also a very unique corner and with todays cars having plenty of downforce it could provide an opportunity for a pass into Turn four.
Mercedes have absolutely dominated the Russian Grand Prix having taken all six Russian Grand Prix wins since 2014. Lewis Hamilton has asserted himself as the King of Sochi having won four out the six Russian Grand Prix including emphatic victories in 2014 and 2015. The reigning World Champions teammate Valtteri Bottas also has fond memories of Sochi as Bottas won his first Grand Prix there in 2017 soaking up race long pressure from Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.
This weekend should provide Mercedes with a great opportunity to claim yet another race victory in 2020. The W11 has looked superior to the competition on all seven different circuits Formula One has visited so far this season. Red Bull could be their closest challenger in the hands of Max Verstappen and a surely revitalised Alex Albon.