Grand Prix 2018 Russian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

23rd February 2014.

The Russian team marches into the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, having equalled the Soviet Union's record of 13 gold medals at a single Winter Olympic Games, top of the medal table. The organisers even found the time to self-deprecate the technical failure at the Opening Ceremony when one of the Olympic rings did not open.

Four years later, Russia would officially be banned from the Winter Olympics. Its tally of golds is down to eleven.

7th July 2018

Igor Akinfeev is captain of Russia's national football team, who have got much further than anyone expected in the World Cup. He is facing up to a penalty from Ivan Rakitic of Croatia and Barcelona at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. If Rakitic scores, Croatia will face England in a semi-final in Moscow. Otherwise, Russia still have a chance.

This time, even as Akinfeev dives the wrong way, Russia have made friends in defeat.

So Sochi has hosted two events guaranteed to make your city (and surely thus your country) a sporting centre of the world - the Olympics and the World Cup. And the third item on that list...

Vladimir Putin is, in many ways, a show-off. It is important to him to show that he is a strong man, and by extension that the nation that he most certainly rules is a strong nation. And what do those internationally recognised strong nations do? They host events. Which are the most visible events? Sporting ones.

The Soviet Union hosted the Olympics, of course, in 1980. The Olympics were, until the fall of Eastern Communism, amateur. However, the World Cup was just too professional for the USSR to host, and Formula One was thus right out. A sport for the wealthy, requiring sponsors and capital? Where one of the drivers would eventually become the 7th Earl of Bute?

Putin's Russia has no such inhibitions. It is entirely comfortable with certain people making huge sums of money, particularly those who would support the government. It is entirely comfortable with Mercedes, Ferrari and Rolex turning up, for it is comfortable with the people who'd buy those products. Whether Putin has Red Bull for breakfast is unknown, however.

It does seem that he doesn't actually want to watch any sport he's holding. Is this why he tends to turn up with 20 laps remaining, or is that so the cameras get a chance to linger as he presses the flesh and enters the main stand? He was there for the opener and the final of the World Cup only, and one would have thought he'd have brought an umbrella for the presidents of France and Croatia during the trophy presentation. He probably thought the fact that only was dry made him seem the most important. In fact, it simply looked like Macron and Grabar-Kitarovic actually wanted to be there.

So, Sochi. Is it worth visiting? Well, the Wikipedia page does not state the height of the spire of St. Michael's Cathedral but it has certainly been worth a visit for the Mercedes drivers over the four years it has held a Grand Prix. They are yet to lose, although Sebastian Vettel was on pole position last year. It would be ironic if this was the race at which Ferrari regained composure.

Has this Grand Prix contributed to the image of Russia as a legitimate player? I suspect your answer will be decided by whose news you're watching.
olegg Ive no worries on Lewis only mechanical worries because there is always a twist in every title run in that we weren't expecting. We are talking about appartantly 3rd oldest driver on the grid with 4 world titles 3 of them closely fought. Hes been here so many times. I still say their is more pressure on vettel because it will be another year without a title in which they chucked away as much as Lewis won
If we want to start thinking about close title battles where they;ve gone to final rounds

2007, 2008 , 2010 , 2014,2016

titles won 2 and lost 3 although 2010 he was only a mathematical outsider

2010, 2012

titles won 2
Despite the situation in the championship, I worry about Hamilton,
because the psychological burden on him now probably even more than Vettel,
who now has nothing to lose and he in any case are needing to combat

The golfer Lee Trevino was asked just before the start of the final round in one of the majors whether he felt the pressure of being in contetion.

He replied:

"Pressure, what pressure? I'm going to go out today and finish with a lot more money than I have now. If you want to know what pressure is try playing a ten dollar game with only five dollars in your back pocket".
olegg I am sorry but I look at Vettel I don't see him commanding respect of the guys on the pitwall and able to galvanise them to . There is too much distrusts between engineer and driver .

You just look at Vettel's face after Sunday realising that was another opportunity lost . Hamilton as people are comparing him to a boxer on the front is just reigning in blows at Ferrari and Vettel and its almost like they don'y know what to do or dare to try something different
Note from Ricciardo to Christian Horner:

"How're you going mate? Sorry fella, I'm feelin' a bit crook, don't think I'll be able to drive in Sochi. Get your boy Kvyat to flll in, that might be good for the team if you get my drift. I'll see you in Japan, if you all survive next weekend that is. I'll have a shoey with you there, Danny Ric."
On way to Sochi Grand Prix I'm coming to Crymean Bridge
Olegg, I'm guessing that's a railway bridge they're building next to it...
I work building houses but bridges are my secret love.
A great bridge is a thing of joy - metaphorically and physically.

(Sorry if you don't necessarily understand the word play... Understand that English is a second language).
Olegg, I'm guessing that's a railway bridge they're building next to it...
Yes. The railway bridge will be open for traffic on both tracks in spring 2019

I work building houses but bridges are my secret love.
A great bridge is a thing of joy - metaphorically and physically.
This bridge is very important in every sense.
About its construction thought more than a hundred years ago
I followed the construction of this bridge from the very beginning,
when they began to hammer the first piles of the technological bridge in August 2015
and to build the first supports of the working bridge in March 2016

(Sorry if you don't necessarily understand the word play... Understand that English is a second language).
Yes. English is not my first language.
But I try :)
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You're doing alright, but lose the nuances when we all get political. I'm not going to get involved with politics with you; too much anger on all sides.

When we talk about racing and what our cultures / nation's achieve it is possible for us all to have a positive time on here... :)
After a 10 minute spell in Fp1 When they were showing alot of drivers moving next season . Had a thought if race gets boring which is likely considering Pirelli have taken us back to the boring babysitting tyres strategy from what perez thinks. Where drivers are told to not push by engineers

just have a shot every time a driver shown that wont at the current team next season. Be plastered in no time :D

Sainz :cheers:
Riccardio :cheers:
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