Grand Prix 2021 Russian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Has anyone checked the weather forecast for Sochi? I just have and it looks like it could be wet. This might be good news as the circuit hasn't provided too much in the way of excitement in the 6 previous races. However, after Spa, I think all F1 fans will look at a wet race weekend with a great degree of trepidation. F1 cars can race in the rain, the question is will the powers that be in F1 allow them to. Perhaps the impact of Spa, and the negative reaction to the race that really wasn't, will make them try a little harder to get the race underway.

After the events in Monza we know that Hamilton and Verstappen will be the focus of media attention. Mercedes have a perfect record at Sochi having won all the previous events, even the two races which took place in 1913 and 1914. Max will have to work hard this weekend to challenge the Mercedes, at least the one piloted by Lewis. It will be very interesting to see how Valterri Bottas reacts to losing his seat at Mercedes in 2022, his record at Sochi is very good and whether he will be quite as compliant to any team orders remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez has the reassurance of another year at Red Bull despite not achieving what I'm sure the management team at MK would have hoped of him so may not be there to support Max's efforts to win the race.

Behind these two teams, or perhaps the two No. 1 drivers at the two top teams, Monza showed that F1 can provide close, competitive racing. McLaren will be on a high, Ferrari are getting there. Alpha Tauri and Alpine can push hard from the midfield, Aston Martin and Williams are starting to pick up the pace and with a careful strategy (and a little luck) can pick up some useful points. Alfa Romeo and Haas will also be taking part.

Will it rain? What impact will a wet race have on the two title protagonists? Could Sochi throw up another strange result, such as we saw in Hungary and in Italy? Will Bottas continue to be a good teammate to Hamilton?

There is no sprint race this weekend but there are F3 and F2 races to keep us entertained before the main event. The race is 53 laps and I hope will be entertaining. Enjoy!
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Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
If it's really wet, hopefully the FIA will line the cars up in the order they finished in 2nd practice, run them around the track twice, declare that's qualifying over and congratulate Bottas on brilliant pole.

Johnny Carwash

World Champion
This morning at the Sochi aquadrom.

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Come on then... Norris/Sainz/Russell for the top 3...

No mercs
No Red Bull
Hamilton crashed in qualifying (but seems to have escaped long-term damage).

George Russell has now got two top-3 qualifying slots in a Williams! Who could have seen that coming at the start of the season?
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Race Winner
Hamilton should have been on pole for this race - it would have been an easy win with Verstappen starting from the back.

He's not doing himself any favours this year.
Agree. He is looking past his prime. At this rate he should cede his seat to Norris.


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Lewis hasn't been put under any serious pressure in a title race since 2016. He didn't cope that well against Rosberg and he's making more mistakes now he's being challenged by Verstappen.


World Champion
Lewis is man enough to admit his mistakes unlike some people who still need to grow up

It's Sochi the straights are long I think if he picks them off carefully this is not over until the chequered flag so no need to do anything reckless on lap 1


Champion Elect
just thinking it was a boring qualifying up until Q3 & it was then fantastic. i glued to it seeing if these drivers could keep it on the track because that was really on the knife edge. love British drivers making us proud Again fantastic from all 3 great strategy & great laps. i love it when someone other than Mercedes or Max for no other reason but you can tell that it means more & will cherish it, for the other 3 its just put it on the pile with the other 99 for Lewis

disagree on that P1 Lewis is still at the top of his game & i would still have him as big favourite for tomorrow race. di resta to his credit predicted at the start of qualifying it was treacherous pit lane. Mercedes always been risk averse & that cost them today like it cost them in Turkey & very nearly in Beligium. because all the top 3 drivers Norris Russell Sainz had 3 laps on the tyres. Mercedes had 1 lap no way you can get enough temperature Russell 1st lap was 1.55.

but in every sport pressure makes you do silly things. miss shots you never miss.
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