T​he 6th Russian Gran Prix

W​hat's happening at Sochi for the Russian Gran Prix

4w ago

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R​ is for ... Red Bull

This weekend could be a real headache for the Milton Keynes outfit as off the back of Albon's first podium and a string of 7 podiums in 8 races, Red Bull fear and appear to be on the back foot in Sochi.

I​n what undoubtedly has been a "bogey" track for Red Bull, they have failed to stand on the podium, achieving their best result of P4 last year and having an average finish of P7 since 2014.

B​oth Verstappen and Horner blame the lack of corner variation, saying them being mainly 90 degrees means they can't really gain anything on the more competitive engined teams. Honda have developed their engine well so far, with solid performances in Monza with Gasly's victory and Verstappen's victory in the 70th anniversary, and as the Ferrari PU has had a significant drop they may be hopeful of a more decent result.

U​ is for ... Upgrades

F​P1 and FP2 were testing sessions for the McLaren as they have developed a very exciting front wing design. Engineers in Brackley will be more curious than most as to the origin of the design as it bares a striking resemblance to theirs, Team Principal Andreas Seidl openly admitted that the design was inspired by Mercedes (if you were going to copy any team, it's going to be them) and is unsure as to whether the development will prove successful although P4 and P5 in FP2 is a good sign.

L​ess positive news for Racing Point's Sergio Perez as after teammate Lance Stroll's failure, and subsequent chat with the barrier, his upgrade package has been delayed. The Mexican, in the last season of his 6 year stint with the team (being replaced by 4 Time World Champion Sebastian Vettel), finished ahead of his teammate in both practice sessions.

S​ is for ... Slipstream

T​he Sochi Autodrome is infamous for a rather unusual advantage to the driver starting P3.

The slimstream is a massive factor in Russia, especially along the main straight, so can the likes of Daniel Ricciardo use this to get ahead of the Mercs?

S​ is for ... Schumacher

9​1 Gran Prix Victories. Michael Schumacher achieved this milestone at the Chinese Gran Prix in 2006 and this weekend could see Lewis Hamilton match the German, placing himself alongside Schumi as the most winningest (Crofty Trademark) driver in F1 history.

O​n the face of it to make this achievement, Lewis essentially has to beat Bottas. Mercedes come to Sochi as the only team to stand on the top step of the podium at a Russian Gran Prix (even dating back to pre World War One races in Saint Petersburg).

T​he current 6 time world champion appears to have some time to find as his teammate led the first two practice sessions. In FP1 Hamilton failed to complete a fast lap finishing 2.7 seconds adrift of his teammate and finished a rather more representative 0.2 seconds behind in FP2.

I​ is for ... Incidents

A​fter the red flag rave of Mugello and the restart misadventures of Monza, drivers and fans may have come to Russia expecting a calmer affair however the looming barriers and clean track has proven to be a big challenge for the drivers so far.

First to bite the bullet was Carlos Sainz, rear ending the barrier in FP1 leaving his wing hanging on by a thread and spins for Latifi among others have shown this track can bite.

A​ is for ... Albon

A​fter breaking his duck and achieving the first podium finish of his F1 career, this weekend is Alex's opportunity to get a grip on his Red Bull career and prove all the naysayers wrong.

​Russia isn't a brilliant track for Red Bull historically however the young Thai appeared to have cut the deficit to his teammate in FP2 showing similar race pace and finishing around 0.2 seconds off Verstappen overall.

C​an Albon pick up the gauntlet to support Max in their Mercedes challenge?

N​ is for ... New Mentorship

A​ rather exciting rumour is surfacing at Alfa Romeo this week as Kimi Räikkönen is hotly tipped to stay at the team for next season, in a mentorship role for potential newcomer Mick Schumacher.

T​he lineup is quite poetic as Mick's father Michael was a huge supported of Kimi in his early career, saying of his 2007 championship victory: "It was unthinkable, but Kimi made the impossible possible."

T​he Finn would undoubtedly be a strong support for the current F2 driver and the partnership would be the most Ferrari tinted lineup pretty much possible. Personally, we love it.

G​ is for ... Grid Reversal

T​he driver's think it's a terrible idea, to put it simply.

A​s expected, Lewis Hamilton and the like are dead set against swapping their pole position for P20. Max Verstappen expressed his disliking, saying: "It’s artificial and trying to create a show, which is not what F1 stands for. The cars will end in the same position."

R​omain Grosjean also stood against the idea, even with the possibility of starting from pole position every week, saying: "I think the midfield battle – sorry to say, but once you remove the Mercedes and Max Verstappen – the battle is going on absolutely flat out and it’s mega.

A​dding: "So I guess the solution for me is somewhere else. We just need to find a solution that the cars are more together in terms of performance."

P​ is for ... Pink and Green

T​hose of us who were looking forward to a classic British Racing Green F1 pounding the track under the Aston Martin name may be disappointed as reports suggest the designers are keen to keep some pink elements alongside the traditional green.

A​s this isn't confirmed, we can still keep our hopes up for a stunning black and green combo.

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