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Race information - Russia 2016 - F1 heads back to Sochi for a spot of motor racing

Published by Christine

The Russian Grand Prix has moved from its spot at the end of the calendar to take a more prominent position at the front of the 2016 season - this time it is the fourth round and so we're headed their next. A couple of drivers are looking forward to making their home visits count, but most watching from the outside are wary about what the Russian race can deliver after a rocky start to Sochi's F1 history.

Event schedule

At last, F1's politics has been somewhat quietened with the governing bodies focusing on 2017 instead of messing around with the current regulations. That means everyone can concentrate on the task in hand - getting some more points on the board. Nico Rosberg has got this season off to a flying start and comfortably leads the championship, but Lewis Hamilton's run of bad luck has to end some time.

Daniil Kvyat made a name for himself in China for not giving an inch, and will no doubt want to do the same this weekend as he heads into his home race. The Renault squad are giving Sergey Sirotkin a free practice outing, making the most of a Russian driver to appease the watching crowds, but they'll soon hand the car back to the more experienced drivers.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
29 AprFridayFree Practice 108:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +03:00
Free Practice 212:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +03:00
30 AprSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +03:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +03:00
01 MaySundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +03:00

Support racing for this event includes F4 NEZ Championship and Mitjet Series 2L Arctic Cup.

Expected conditions

The sun appears to be taking something of a holiday this weekend, with cloudy skies forecast throughout the entire three days of racing action. Temperatures are relatively steady, with humidity also remaining stable but hovering around the 70% mark, meaning we could see some rain.

Partly cloudy

Sochi, Friday


  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 69%

Partly cloudy

Partly cloudy

Sochi, Saturday


  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 69%

Partly cloudy

Partly cloudy

Sochi, Sunday


  • Low 10℃
  • Humidity 70%

Partly cloudy

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitSochi Autodrom
TimezoneGMT +03:00
Race debut2014
Length5.848 km
Distance309.745 km
Line offset0.199 km

The Sochi track is still relatively new to the calendar, with 2016 hosting the third running of the Russian Grand Prix there. Lewis Hamilton has won both the previous races, and scooped one of the pole positions with Nico Rosberg snatching the other pole last year. It's clear Mercedes have a special affinity with the Russian race.

Three rookies are taking part in this weekend's race, but two of them have driven the Sochi circuit before. Rio Haryanto has participated in GP2 action there, as has Joylon Palmer who won the GP2 race in 2014, and drove free practice for his current F1 team in 2015.

Tyre degradation is considered to be very low in Russia, with most drivers favouring a one-stop strategy. Of the two races, all but one of the points positions have been secured by a one-stop run.

Results for the 2015 Russian Grand Prix
Free Practice 1Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team1:44.355
Free Practice 2Felipe MassaWilliams Martini Racing2:00.458
Free Practice 3Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:38.561
QualifyingNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:37.113
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:37:11.024
Fastest lapSebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:40.071

Tyre compounds

Given the low degradation of rubber around the Sochi track, it's no surprise to find all but two of the drivers have gone for the same number of medium compounds - just one set. Manor have both their drivers with two sets each, but they are the lone outsiders in terms of the white striped tyres.

Meanwhile, at the softer end of the spectrum, Red Bull have gone aggressive with ten sets each of the supersofts, as have the Haas team. Manor and Ferrari have the fewest supersoft sets with six for each of their drivers.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Medium tyreSoft tyreSupersoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton148
Nico Rosberg148
Sebastian Vettel166
Kimi Räikkönen166
Valtteri Bottas139
Felipe Massa139
Daniel Ricciardo1210
Daniil Kvyat1210
Nico Hülkenberg148
Sergio Pérez148
Kevin Magnussen157
Jolyon Palmer157
Max Verstappen148
Carlos Sainz148
Marcus Ericsson157
Felipe Nasr157
Fernando Alonso157
Jenson Button157
Pascal Wehrlein256
Rio Haryanto256
Romain Grosjean1210
Esteban Gutiérrez1210

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
ThursdayJenson ButtonMcLaren Honda
Esteban GutiérrezHaas F1 Team
Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing
Felipe NasrSauber F1 Team
Sergio PérezSahara Force India F1 Team
Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
FridayPaul HemberyPirelli Tyre S.p.A
James KeyScuderia Toro Rosso
Ayao KomatsuHaas F1 Team
John McQuilliamManor Racing MRT
Otmar SzafnauerSahara Force India F1 Team
Beat ZehnderSauber F1 Team
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
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission, board member and President of Auto Sport Suisse SARL
Emanuele PirroF1 driver 1989-1991 for Benetton and Scuderia Italia, McLaren test driver and five-time Le Mans winner with Audi.
Nish ShettyFIA Steward and member of the FIA International Court of Appeal.

All content in the series Russia 2016