Always thinking about the episodes of Suzuka, Formula 1 arrives for the first time in Russian territory, for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi circuit, a street circuit of 5,853 meters built around the Sochi Olympic Park.
Like with all new experiences, it presents quite a few unknown elements and problems, which, from a sporting point of view, it could turn into a show, to be examined closely during Friday’s practice sessions. Certainly, teams will have made great indoor simulations. Among the biggest unknowns, there are many right-angle bends, in addition to the longer variation of the whole World Championship and a 180 degree bend that will test the Medium (White) and Soft (yellow) Pirelli, brakes, engines and various liquids present in them. Also drivers will be strongly stressed, because subject to a lateral acceleration of 3-4G for several seconds. 3 pit-stops are expected for this race 52 laps long.
The track needs a good aerodynamic downforce and Red Bull will sell its life dearly. From what we have seen especially in recent appointments, Mercedes has that extra oomph and can play it to its liking. It’s an internal struggle between Hamilton and Nico, which will end only at the last round, also because of the double points that Abu Dhabi will give. Only they can get hurt.
We’re talking about a new Grand Prix, that can inspire new interests for the Circus. I like to remember that in 1985 we were the first Formula 1 in “Red” Square, thanks to a partnership with Simod. Subsequently, in 2002 we brought GazProm in the Circus, in 2004 the SMP Bank and the first Russian driver at the wheel of an F1 car, Sergey Zlobin, now in command of the LMP2 standings in FIA WEC. I have always said that this country, once grew in the motorsport’s world, would have produced interesting athletes, as in all other disciplines. Today, we have a very young Kvyat of Toro Rosso that from next year will be a race driver in RBR.
Not to forget, #GoJules
Gian Carlo Minardi