Russian Grand Prix 2019 – Preview

Sochi on the Black Sea Coast plays host to round 16 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, following quickly on the heels of a sweltering race around the streets of Singapore last weekend. Unofficially known as the ‘summer capital of Russia’ the city contains the 5.848 km Sochi Autodrom; effectively a street circuit that has evolved out of the internal roads of the park built for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: The Sochi track winds its way around the Olympic Park and starts with an interesting mix of straights and medium speed corners, before reaching Sector 3 where a series of low speed turns test the cars’ handling and braking before returning the drivers to the long main straight. Overtaking on the straight requires cars to follow closely throughout Sector 3 and then to have good traction exiting the last corner. As a result, overtaking is not as easy as it might first appear.

Tyre compounds are from the middle of the Pirelli range and are the same as those used in Monza. How they will behave will depend on the track temperature on the day but generally, once up to temperature, they should be reasonably robust and may not require much management.

Robert Kubica: I have been to Russia as a Reserve Driver, so I know how it looks but I have never driven there. It is always a good experience to discover a new track, so hopefully it will be enjoyable and nice to drive.

George Russell: I have good memories from Russia because that was when I found out I would be driving for Williams last year, and so I will always remember that. It is a unique circuit, and off the back of what was a relatively promising weekend in Singapore, I am looking forward to seeing if we can bring a similar amount of performance in Russia.

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