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Formula 1 • 2021 Russian GP Preview • Mostly F1

Formula 1 • 2021 Russian GP Preview • Mostly F1, F1 Daily

From Russia with no love lost at the front

The Burning Questions

Will Verstappen take an engine penalty and start from the back?

With rain due on Saturday, when will qualifying actually take place and will it spring any surprises?

Is Ricciardo now going to be back to his best with the added confidence from Monza win?

The Track

The Stats

  • Track Length: 5.848 km
  • Laps: 53
  • Race Distance: 309.745 km
  • Maximum Speed: 341 km/h
  • Lap Time at Full Throttle: 78%
  • First Grand Prix: 2014
  • Race Lap Record: Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | 2019 | 1:35.761
  • Outright Lap Record: Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | 2020 | 1:31.304
  • Most Driver Wins: Lewis Hamilton | 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019
  • Most Constructor Wins: Mercedes | 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

The Trivia

  • Mercedes has won every Russian Grand Prix to date – the seven since it joined the F1 calendar in 2014, and even the pre-Formula 1 grands prix in 1913 and 1914
  • There has been a Russian driver present at every running of the Russian Grand Prix so far
  • Sochi is the only Winter Olympics host city to have also staged a Formula 1 race, though four other current F1 cities – Melbourne, Montreal, Barcelona and Mexico City – have hosted the Summer Olympics
  • In 2014, Nico Rosberg locked up at the first corner, causing him to pit, and then did the remainder of the race on one set of tyres and recovered to finish second

The Weather

The Quotes

Christian Horner | “You’re always learning but he’s a hard racer, it’s part of his characteristic, it’s part of why he has the following that he does. you know when he’s in the car he’s going to give 110%. And I think that also has an impact on the driver he’s racing, because you know he’s going to go for it.”

Toto Wolff | “I think the change of approach is that Lewis pretty much decided not to bail out anymore when he thinks that the corner is his. Now it needs two to tango, it needs two to understand each other on track, when a collision can be avoided.”

Daniel Ricciardo | “Once I was in the lead and it had been a while since I’d had that feeling, fortunately it felt very familiar and it felt like home.”

Valtteri Bottas | “At this situation, how the situation is, yes I would [move aside for Lewis] because we are here as a team and we need to make sure we win both titles, not only the constructors’ but also the drivers’. At the moment, Lewis has a greater chance of that, so that’s the situation at the moment.”

The Friday Form

Practice 2 Top 5

1 | Valtteri Bottas | 1:33.593 | 19 Laps
2 | Lewis Hamilton | 1:33.637 | 22 Laps
3 | Pierre Gasly | 1:33.845 | 22 Laps
4 | Lando Norris | 1:34.154 | 17 Laps
5 | Esteban Ocon | 1:34.402 | 23 Laps

Practice 1 Top 5

1 | Valtteri Bottas | 1:34.427 | 25 Laps
2 | Lewis Hamilton | 1:34.638 | 23 Laps
3 | Max Verstappen | 1:34.654 | 13 Laps
4 | Charles Leclerc | 1:35.117 | 22 Laps
5 | Sebastian Vettel | 1:35.781 | 23 Laps

Mercedes continued their Sochi dominance with Valtteri Bottas heading a Silver Arrows 1-2 in both practice sessions.

It was confirmed that Max Verstappen would start from the back for the race – after taking on a new power unit – but the Dutchman complained that he could not overtake anyone with his current top speed, so Red Bull will need to ensure that he is able to do so by Sunday.

The Photos

The Predictions

Podium

Formula 1 • 2021 Russian GP Preview • Mostly F1, F1 Daily

Pole Position

Fastest Lap

Driver of the Day

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