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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olegg

Race Winner
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.

Yes, but exlusion GP2 and GP3 out this GP was not decicion of the russian side.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
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.

Rosberg got to the end on mediums from a lap 1 pit-stop. I wonder if it's not overly conservative not to bring the ultra-softs. Red Bull/Haas are in very little doubt what's best are they?
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For the tyre rules to work, they've brought the wrong available tyres to this race, I feel.
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
They are bringing forward an engine change in order to take maximum advantage (with Russia being a power track if you like) of the projected hp increase from a combustion method that relies upon compression ignition in certain conditions. Something that engine makers spend huge amounts of time avoiding like the plague in normal engines! Mercedes have pretty much ace'd it already and did so last year. Renault will introduce it in their planned update and Honda and Mobil 1 are desperately researching the technology.

If Ferrari and Renault get it right, expect them to leap towards the peak outputs that Mercedes are producing. Honda? Who knows, they've only just begun the journey.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
didnt realise that we will be racing on the 1st may for the 1st time since that tragic weekend when we lost Roland Ratzenberger, Ayrton Senna (& very nearly Rubens Barrichello on the Friday Free Practise) because in 2005 the imola gp was in 24 april im guessing for obvious reasons & in 2011 turkey was the week after on the 8th may
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I don' think they ever took anniversaries into account when publishing F1 calendars?... If they did they wouldn't have chosen the 8th of May either, which is the anniversary of Gilles Villeneuve's fatal crash.

Unfortunately if they were to avoid staging GP's that fell on anniversaries of fatalities in the history of motor racing there wouldn't be too many available dates left within the year...
 

Olivier

Race Winner
Vettel has been penalized with a 5 place grid penalty for the gearbox replacement. Not the best start if he wants to challenge the Mercedes boys ... :bangfists:
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Hmmm Ferrari seems to not get things perfect and Johnny Herbert who suggested Alonso ought to retire previously , now thinks Ferrari are under some serious pressure to deliver especially Vettel

If Red Bull can find some good race speed and get closer than they not Ferrari will be Mercedes challengers
 
Even if Ferrari might be slower, I dont understand why they just drove one timed lap in Q3.
In 3rd practice and in Q1 it was obvious that the times get quicker lap by lap...
Because of the set of extra tyres this wouldnt change anything for the race, and Vettel would have been closer to Rosberg and probably Räikkönen would have been in front of Bottas!
Ferrari needs longer to bring the tyres up to the perfect temparature, so they lose time on the 1st timed lap. I think Vettel could have been under half a second away from Rosberg. Interesting what will happen tomorrow.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Another GP race weekend, another race handed on a plate to Rosberg due to his rivals misfortune & like greenlantern101 says what's happening with Lewis Hamilton Mercedes its like 2014 dejavu between Monaco & Hungary as what can go wrong is going wrong

think of vettel question just asked in press conference about reliability, what would people prefer a unreliable car that can challenges for wins or a bulletproof car that isnt fastest enough to beat Mercedes & highest 3rd
 
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Wombcat

Podium Finisher
think of vettel question just asked in press conference about reliability, what would people prefer a unreliable car that can challenges for wins or a bulletproof car that isnt fastest enough to beat Mercedes & highest 3rd
Right now the Ferrari seems to be neither.
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Firstly Hamilton's bad luck ... it is unbelievable but some of it has been his own making not just Mercedes

Two poor starts from pole and last race opting to start at the back rather than the pitlane

If he did not have bad luck he would have no luck at all works both ways
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A team like Mercedes who pride on giving opportunities to both drivers until one cannot mathematically win the title has been their policy so the fact that they have mechanical problems with Hamilton is not a good thing for the team who strive to reliability perfection ... they are not Ferrari where the 2nd driver seems to get inferior equipment in previous guises
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There is suggestion of conspiracy and deliberate sabotage ... which is ridiculous considering Mercedes have one of their best drivers on the grid and helps their marketing as well as he is handsomely paid to keep him out of the reaches of Ferrari

If Hamilton wants to seek a move ... there is only really Ferrari with Raikkonen who would consider having him seeing that he's fallen out with Ron Dennis at Mclaren I don't think he wants to be bottled up again
 

steveg

Podium Finisher
Firstly Hamilton's bad luck ... it is unbelievable but some of it has been his own making not just Mercedes

Two poor starts from pole and last race opting to start at the back rather than the pitlane

If he did not have bad luck he would have no luck at all works both ways
Getting jumped at the lights is nothing new and is certainly not the ultimate reason Hamilton lost the first two races. IMO Hamilton is driving as good as ever and as fast as ever and both starts were recoverable had he not had the unfortunate subsequent first corner incidents which sent him hurtling down the pack with a broken car. And not starting from the pit lane may have been the wrong choice in hindsight but that would have been a team decision probably based on the fact that quick early gains at a track like China was worth the gamble as further gains would come thick and fast - but once again after ironically a great start lady luck walked away again.
 
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olegg

Race Winner
Another time could to see... what is the strange decision from Pirelli with medium tyre choice.
Weather in the Sochi now is for ultra-soft.
Today qualification best time better almost on 2 seconds against 2015 qualification.
And it is super-soft time.
But could be better on the ultra-soft
 
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