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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Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
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I am deeply disappointed that the thread continued to provoke personal insults and further breaches of the site rules. As a result this race thread will be archived. You are more thab welcome to continue discussing F1 Russian GP matters in the F1 thread and Russian politics in the Gravel Trap. I urge you all again, to remember the site rules and post in friendship.
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