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Double fault // Who's to blame for a dull Russian race?

Published by Christine

Who's to blame for a dull Russian race?
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The inaugural running of the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom was considered a dull race, after overtaking was limited, the polesitter won and tyre strategy was muted. Circuit designer Hermann Tilke has come in for some criticism for the layout of the track but he thinks it wasn't all his fault.

"The first few laps were great for overtaking but afterwards the field was sorted. Nico was able to do a great job to come from the back to second place and there was some other overtaking in the midfield. But if the fastest driver is in front of the slowest driver, then not so much happens."

Tilke instead points the finger at the tyres Pirelli opted to bring to the track, blaming the medium and soft selection as being too conservative. Initially, Pirelli said they had brought those two to be able to deal with the wide variety and relative unknowns that the Sochi track delivered.

Afterwards, drivers were surprised at the lack of degradation they experienced, due to the brand new smooth surface on the circuit. Pirelli boss Paul Hembery said: "We get criticised whatever we do. I think people just have short memories and that is one of the problems. It puts us in an impossible situation as you can imagine. I'm not sure we would have dramatically changed the scenario if we had come here with the supersofts."