Grand Prix 2016 Russian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

As China fades into the sunset and F1 moves on to Sochi, what a different picture we have in 2016 to the 2015 season.The same team is out front, but with Rosberg well in control while Hamilton is struggling to stay with him. Last year Hamilton was 66 points in the lead after Sochi. Although that could never be the case this year, as the Sochi race is considerably earlier.

This year the Russian GP is being run almost six months earlier in the season, the previous two having been run in October. But the weather, or at least the temperature range seems to be about the same, I don't know if it's any wetter, so from that point of view it's a bit of an unknown.
But for the teams the tyre choices should be relatively straightforward. The Pirelli choice of tyres for Russia are medium, soft and supersoft, the drivers must use one set of medium and one set of soft during the race. Sochi has a long slow pitlane so I can't imagine that there will be too many pit stops, or that the teams will rush to use the supersofts for that reason. Although the supersofts will play their part in Qualifying. However we shall see, it's sometimes hard to fathom team thinking.
Mercedes are still the team to beat, but Ferrari are slowly, very slowly, closing the gap. The McLaren team have improved to the point of being mid-field (sort of), but at least they have moved forward, which has to be encouraging for McLaren fans. The new Haas team having started so well, have just delivered the sort of race we expect from a new team, lets hope that it's a temporary blip. The Red Bull seems to have staged a bit of a fight back, or at least they have stopped sliding down the field so rapidly, much like the Williams. Rumour has it that the Red Bull will be testing a canopy at Sochi, (PItPass) I don't know if that will be just on track or for the race. But if it's true it will be very interesting.
So far it's been a good start to the season, which I hope continues with this race. But just as a point of interest the nearby Russian mountain resort of Rosa Khutor held the BoogleWoogle mountain carnival, which involved Bikini Skiing. I kid you not. So if anyone is going to Sochi and they find themselves suffering a boring race week-end, maybe they could pop along and see what else happens in Rosa Khutor.
 
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Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
As this is Kvyat's home GP I wonder how well he can Qualify here, he did pretty well in China, and the RB's are pushing hard at the moment. Watch out Vettel, you've seen nothing yet.
:)
 
They will each make one pitstop (or two, if there is a sc later in the race), because we have the same tyres available as last year (plus the medium tyres which will be just way too slow). Supersoft will be the fastest race tyre and the tyres won't play a big role in the race. Pirelli should have brought the ultrasofts to Russia.
 

olegg

Race Winner
But just as a point of interest the nearby Russian mountain resort of Rosa Khutor held the BoogleWoogle mountain carnival, which involved Bikini Skiing. I kid you not. So if anyone is going to Sochi and they find themselves
suffering a boring race week-end, maybe they could pop along and see what else happens in Rosa Khutor.

Today mountain weekend on the Rosa Khutor.
But weather is very warm for april. And is doubt that snow will be stay there to may.
Sochi Autodrom today
From circuit to moutain - 45 km
 
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Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
A lunch time race for the UK. I'm thinking chicken skewers with satay sauce and a side of prawn crackers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 09.46.26.png
 

vintly

Mostly bacon
Premium Contributor
Don't remember 2015 Sochi being a particularly interesting race, but we've all seen how previously-thought-of 'dull' tracks can make for very good races a year later. Does that mean that track differences are playing less and less a role in the overall spectacle of any gievn race? That the real drama is in the strategy, tyres, weather, and not the track?? Shudders. Hopes not.

Hopes instead for a straight scrap between Rosberg and Hamilton. Or for Hammy to completely lose his rag after yet more bad luck, to start sulking and mouthing off and generally be more entertaining than this new, so-called improved, calm Hamilton, which I find quite the dullest thing.

In sympathy with your satay chicken I'll be lunching on tempura prawns with sweet chilli dip.
 
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Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Tempura prawns with Satay dip sounds quite good. I feel a lunch plan coming on

Neither Raikkonen or Bottas need to be crashing this year. Both need to prove themselves as worthy team members. There are lots in the mid field who look really exciting. Sainz, Palmer and I have to say it Verstappen would do really well on one of the big teams.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I seem to recall quite enjoying last year's race but I can't for the life of me remember why. Let's hope I enjoy this one as the first year was awful. Tracks do seem to be changing, there was a time when Hungary was the dullest of the dull races and it seems to turn up quite good events now. The new tyre rules will play a big part.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
According to what I'm reading now the mediums will be a bad choice. It seems counter intuitive to me. I would have thought that the hardest tyre choice that they have for this race would keep them on track longer and therefore avoid long slow pit stops. (Long slow pit lane). But it would appear that the mediums will slow the cars down.
It really isn't about the car anymore is it ? It's all about Pirrelli tyres.

Here's a revolutionary thought, let each team source their own tyres, from wherever they want, and see what happens. At least it would be fun.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
That would be great but it's never going to happen. I'd love to see Dunlop and Avon make a comeback.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
The surface at Sochi is not very abrasive which is why they can get away with the softer rubber. If I recall correctly, the first year there the drivers didn't need to pit for new rubber apart from the rules meaning they had to.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
That would be great but it's never going to happen. I'd love to see Dunlop and Avon make a comeback.

That'd be great, unless they're locked into a supplier like it used to be in the days of Bridgestone/Michelin where the Michelins were crap and Ferrari won everything partly because they made the better tyre choice some years earlier!
If they're not locked in, then ultimately each team would quickly figure who's supplying the best tyres and they'd all end up using that supplier.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
olegg yes but we won't get to see any of those in the UK!

Russian should have been the opening round for GP2 and GP3 - the season has usually started by now - Its a great track for them to race on.
 
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