Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Race information - Russia 2014 - Formula One arrives in Sochi for inaugural race

Published by Christine

The F1 paddock has arrived at the brand new Sochi Autodrom with mixed feelings about the upcoming weekend. Thoughts remain on Jules Bianchi, still in a critical condition in hospital, but there is a race to be run this weekend and it's going to be a challenge. The debut race in Sochi has been anticipated for a long time, from the initial will-they-won't-they contract negotiations, through the Winter Olympics in February this year, to the last minute track tweaks this week. Now there's nothing left but to race the first Russian Grand Prix.

Event schedule

Lewis Hamilton won a subdued victory in Japan to extend his championship lead over nearest rival and teammate Nico Rosberg. The battle between those two continues to be intense and fascinating, as the momentum ebbs and flows each weekend. Daniel Ricciardo remains mathematically in the fight for the title but is very unlikely to make any impression on the two very dominant Mercedes drivers.

In the constructor's championship, Williams are defending a hard-earned third place in the standings, as their previous pace appears to have dropped off a little, and competitors Ferrari are picking things up where they can. A brand new track will mean a level playing field for everyone, but it doesn't look like the status quo will be turned on its head too much this weekend.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
10 OctFridayFree Practice 107:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
Free Practice 211:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
11 OctSaturdayFree Practice 309:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
12 OctSundayGrand Prix12:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2 and GP3.

Expected conditions

Unlike the wet running experienced this time last week, the Russian weekend looks like it will remain dry throughout. The sun is expected to shine over the circuit for the first two days of sessions, with qualifying forecast to have the nicest conditions. Sunday may cloud over a little but should be perfectly manageable.

Sunny and pleasant

Sochi, Friday


  • Low 13℃
  • Humidity 65%

Sunny and pleasant


Sochi, Saturday


  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 62%


Mostly sunny

Sochi, Sunday


  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 65%

Mostly sunny

Track information

Sochi Autodrom circuit map
DRS zones
DRS detection 1138m before turn 1
DRS activation 1Apex of turn 1
DRS detection 272m before turn 10
DRS activation 2203m after turn 10

This is a new track, with unknown quantities for everyone involved, and thus it presents a fresh and exciting challenge for the drivers and teams alike. It's a street circuit, but in a sporting, specially designed venue, so perhaps not as enclosed as others like Monaco and Singapore. In fact, the nearest comparisons put Sochi as a cross between the Valencia street circuit and the Korean international track. Both of which are no longer on the calendar, so that bodes well.

There's talk of higher downforce than normal, with the final two sectors fast and flowing. It's a track designed by stalwart Hermann Tilke, winding its way around the Olympic Park, so if you watched any of that action earlier in the year, you may recognise some of the buildings as they flash by.

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitSochi Autodrom
TimezoneGMT +03:00
Race debut2014
Length5.848 km
Distance309.732 km
Line offset0.212 km

The last Russian Grand Prix was well before the F1 World Championship began in 1950, so this race presents the first running of an official, documented, classified F1 race in the country. With no previous information to go on, we have to turn our attentions to the drivers who have represented their country instead.

At the moment, the quiet but determined Daniil Kvyat will be driving in his home race this weekend, no doubt on something of a high from the news that he'll be making the step up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull next year. Kvyat's way was paved by Vitaly Petrov who was the first Russian driver to participate in F1, making his debut in 2010 and exiting the sport after a drive with Caterham in 2012.

Tyre compounds

Russian Grand Prix tyre selection
Medium and soft compounds

Being a brand new track, Pirelli don't have the masses of data they have managed to gather from the other circuits over the past few seasons. However, they've done plenty of simulation testing to decide which will be the best compounds to offer - settling on the medium and softs for the sixteenth round of the season.

From a tyre perspective it should be an interesting challenge; we’ve got a wide variety of corners that should test every aspect of performance. As has been the case at every grand prix this year, we’re aiming for between two and three pit stops per race and the nomination we have made reflects this.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
ThursdayFernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari
Jenson ButtonMcLaren Mercedes
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Felipe MassaWilliams Martini Racing
Adrian SutilSauber F1 Team
Sebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing
FridayJohn BoothMarussia F1 Team
Éric BoullierMcLaren Mercedes
Christian HornerInfiniti Red Bull Racing
Monisha KaltenbornSauber F1 Team
Marco MattiacciScuderia Ferrari
Franz TostScuderia Toro Rosso
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
Gerd EnnserMember of the DSMB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport, and a Formula One and DTM steward.
Radovan NovakSecretary General of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, and World Motor Sport Council member.
Danny SullivanFormer Formula One driver, Indy 500 winner and CART champion.

All content in the series Russia 2014