Russian Grand Prix gets November date for 2014

2014 F1 season

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Sochi Olympic Park F1 track renderingThe inaugural Russian Grand Prix will get a November slot on the 2014 F1 calendar, according to the mayor of Sochi.

Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told R-Sport (part of state-owned media agency Ria Novosti) “after the Olympics, in November, the Formula One will be held.” Sochi will hold the 2014 Wintor Olympics in February.

The F1 teams can expect cool conditions for Russia’s first Grand Prix – the average temperature in Sochi in November is 10.9C.

Location of Sochi

The Sochi circuit will use the roads of the Olympic Park which is under construction.

The location of the park and circuit can be seen below, although the roads built so far don’t correspond exactly to those shown in the image above:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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60 comments on “Russian Grand Prix gets November date for 2014”

  1. I think the cold conditions will make it very interesting for the teams

    1. It should really suit Hamilton / Vettel’s aggressive style very well

      1. I really don’t see how that it going to happen. Assuming that, when the race takes place, the temperature is around ten degrees, everyone is going to be faced with a major challenge: there has never been a race run in such cold conditions before. An “aggressive style” will be no guarantee of success.

        1. I think cold is an added dimension to the race. Russia is often associated with cold, harsh weather – from the point of view of advertising it is only logical to market the race as the coldest on f1 calendar. However I don’t think the date is set in stone – teams are likely to disagree about the viability of running the tyres/engines in cold temperatures. I mean, 15 degrees is certainly alright, but what if they turn up and its close to zero?

          1. davidnotcoulthard
            25th January 2013, 13:30

            Prepare for Book II of Dallas 1984!

          2. In November it is atleast 50% of chance that there is 10cms of snow on the ground.

          3. My mistake, I didn’t excpect that Sochi is so low to the south in Russia.

          4. @einariliyev

            teams are likely to disagree about the viability of running the tyres/engines in cold temperatures.

            Tyres, likely as there will be issues getting a heat cycle through them (as we saw in Austin) which will make for very tricky handling and just a general lack of grip which may lead to increased wear. Engines not so though: turbo engines “prefer” colder conditions and so from that perspective they won’t be complaining!

            I doubt though that a race will happen in November: F1 usually follows the sun late-season and it is quite likely that temperatures could drop below 10 or even 5°C in Russia, which would cause havcoe with the tyres. I think September is probably more viable (given that time will be needed to prepare the track).

        2. The 2009 German Grand Prix was pretty cold as well, particularly on Saturday. (I was in the stands so I remember very well!) Testing sometimes takes place in even lower temperatures. But it’s still unusual to deliberately choose such conditions for a race.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys To be aggresive you need to have faith in grip, which I doubt wil be in abundance when the rubber won’t stick to the road :D Don’t understand how people draw such wild conclusions.

          1. @andrewtanner – I guess it’s just some people trying to convince themselves that their favourite drivers have a natural advantage.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th January 2013, 12:58

      I honestly don’t understand why they have put it in November. Of all the months.

      As Brundle says, the Formula 1 circus tries to follow the sun.

      Curious as to why they chose winter.

      1. For the added dimension of challenge, perhaps?

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          25th January 2013, 13:05

          What happens if it snows? Lol that’ll be a challenge and a half!

          1. Sochi is near Turkey. It’s pretty much as far south of Russia as you can go. As long as it isn’t mid-December to the end of January, there is very little chance of Snow.

          2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            25th January 2013, 14:12

            Ahh. I see. I’m not too familiar with the Russian climate.

    3. According to Wikipedia the average temperature in Sochi during the day is around 16°C in November with record high being 29.1°C and record low -5.4°C (that’s probably at night)

      1. The average temperature Keith Collantine mentioned is slightly misleading as it takes the night into account as well (most likely the race is going to be hold during the day)

        1. Thanks for the additional info @tmekt, that makes it sound a lot more viable!

    4. Just like Singapore, (and perhaps unlike Korea, India, etc) this track brings a new challenge, regardless of track design – the cool temperatures you mention. Could be one of them races where a certain team might shine because of how their cars work the tyres. It does help that the track doesn’t look too bad, either!

    5. What colour will Pirelli use for the snow tyres ?

      1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
        25th January 2013, 21:39

        It is winter now in Northern hemisphere and the temperature is about of 10 degrees Celsius in Sochi. In November it may be much higher.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    25th January 2013, 12:55

    Unless some other tracks get dropped, I’m going to be feeling very very sorry for the team personel.

    I think Bernie is trying to fit in a couple too many races. I think 19 is a better number.

  3. I just asked my mom about the temperatures in Sochi in November as she often used to spend holidays there during the Soviet times. She said that around 12C could be expected but it depends and it could be colder as well.

    The chances of snow are obviously low but the decision is still a bit strange. Perhaps they need more time to complete the circuit and cannot make it until the summer of 2014.

    1. Perhaps they need more time to complete the circuit and cannot make it until the summer of 2014.

      I would expect that is exactly why it would be held in November. If the Olympics are staged in early 2014 as planned, it will mean then breaking down things that were not needed, and build up grandstands and the paddock for the F1 race. Much of this could be done during the late spring and Summer to be ready for the (end of) autumn.

  4. A little surprised people would rather have it earlier – so the temperatures are much the same as any other Grand Prix?

  5. Russia ? November ? I first thought “that could mean snow !”
    But Sotchi is quite close from Turkey, on the other side of the Black Sea. That should be ok.

    1. But I have seen snow in Athens in October!

  6. Considering that the latest a European round takes place is usually in September, perhaps Sochi will close the 2014 World Championship?

    1. Looks more like slotting in somewhere between the India-Abu Dhabi and Austin-Brazil double headers to me.

    2. Yes, I think that Sochi will be placed in between Abu Dhabi and Austin it would make more sense than having the teams go back to Russia after Brazil. Altough I must say I was expecting Sochi to be placed either between Bahrain and Spain or Monza and Singapore, but considering Sochi’s location, I do not think we will have winter weather problems.

  7. It’d be extremely cool (no pun intended) if it was snowing, or had snowed and the track was the only thing unmasked by it. Visually it would make a great spectacle although some of the front teams might have a bigger say then about actually racing.

  8. At the moment teams only encounter such cold conditions in pre-season testing, and even now most have decamped to Spain where it’s a tad warmer.

    Perhaps the demands of a cooler race in Sochi could prompt teams to consider winter testing in the UK or elsewhere in northern Europe again? It’ll be the only chance they get to gather useful data on how the cars behave in cold conditions.

    1. You’d hope they’d do this, if only on the grounds of safety…

    2. @red-andy

      It’ll be the only chance they get to gather useful data on how the cars behave in cold conditions.

      For one Grand Prix? I don’t think the teams could justify the expense of dedicating an entire test to cold-weather testing, especially when they can probably get an understanding of how the tyres behave in cooler conditions during Friday and Saturday practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

  9. I guess its because they can’t make an earlier date due to the construction of the track, but I think the cool temperatures is going to make it a really nice challenge.
    Actually, if somehow Sochi hit a very early winter and we had snow off the track and then of cause the track having been cleared of snow completely and with a track surface temperature close to 0 degrees what kind of tyres would the teams actually run? First guess would be the softest tyres for 99 percent of the race to be able to keep heat in the tyres, but will that actually be enough?
    Could the intermediate tyre actually be beneficial in those temperatures? I mean, while you get less tyre patch, you will get block movement on the tyre surface and that generates heat. Which is a key feature in wet conditions as the tyres cool quite quickly when its wet. So if its like minus a few degrees outside, would the smaller tyre patch but warmer tyres actually be useful? Or would the soft tyres be able to stay hot enough to work even in sub 0 degrees?

  10. Ok so according to Wikipedia (I know I know) Sochi has on average in November 17°C as max. temp. and 10°C as min. So it’s not sooo cold. Apparently it does rain a lot. So that may be a thing.

  11. Now we know why Kimi’s going ice racing next month – he knows what he’s doing (leave him alone, etc) Pic and Petrov will be there too, and the Ferrari boys have already had a go.

  12. So I guess Pirelli will be expected to come out with a range of F1 snow tires to accommodate this ridiculous decision. What color scheme will they use for the intermediate slush, deep snow and full ice tires?

    Not to mention the extremely long haul distances from Russia to Texas to Brazil.

    1. @henslayer

      Not to mention the extremely long haul distances from Russia to Texas to Brazil.

      I’m not so sure that would be a problem. The teams manage just fine in going from Japan to India to Abu Dhabi to Austin in the space of six weeks, and going from Sochi to Sao Paulo isn’t that different – purely in terms of distance – to going from Abu Dhabi to Austin.

      The real problem would be if Sochi doesn’t have an airport big enough to accomodate Formula 1. Then the teams might be faced with a problem, because they’d probably have to land in Moscow and communte to Sochi, which would probably be about the same as driving most of the way across Europe. The only other alternative would be to land in Georgia and try and cross north into Russia. But that might be a problem because the Caucasus can be a dangerous region, and whilst the western parts aren’t too bad, things can flare up easily, as we saw in 2008, when Russia and Georgia went to war over the breakway state of Soth Ossetia.

  13. I would take the mayor of Sochi’s comments with a large grain of salt.

    Not merely because of weather issues, but also logistics. Surely Sochi will be held during the European leg of the season, which under the 2013 calendar will be over by early September (although they could, I suppose, hold it say a week after the Indian GP).

    1. Sochi could easily fit into the final flyaway leg of the championship. Assuming everything remains constant, it will likely be Suzuka -> India -> Abu Dhabi -> Austin -> Interlagos. Sochi could easily fit in there. Because although it is in a part of Russia that is considered to be in Europe, it’s actually quite isolated geographically.

  14. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
    25th January 2013, 20:30

    Gran Prix of Sochi – this is really amazing news for ukrainians. Obviously, we don’t earn much money (if you compare us with russians or European people) so the best possibility for us to get closer to Formula 1 racing is the Gran Prix of Hungary. But in 2014 it would be even cheaper (to get closer) because ukrainians don’t need visa for going to Russia (at least, nowadays). Secondly, there is small distance between my hometown (Dnipropetrovsk) and Sochi comparing to that SPACE from Dn. to Budapest (it is less almost by 500 km). Last, ukrainians generally know russian language as good as ukranian.
    But it is questionable whether russians will be able to provide good organization. Knowing their nature and mentality I’m not so sure. But I hope this is the great start and achievement.

    Anyway, all I’m saying this is really great news not only for Russian, but also for all Ukrainian people:-)

    *sigh* it would be magnificent if the track was already built in Crimea (Eupatoria), which is suitable for F1-testing.

  15. I’ve just realized…. Winter Olympics in +10 °C ????? Smart move, very very smart…….

    1. The Winter Olympics will be held in February 2014.

    2. The Winter Olympics will be divided up into two venues. Events like speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and curling will take place at the Sochi Olympic Park; although the teamperature might be 10 °C, all of these sports are played in venues where the temperature can be artifiicially controlled.

      As for the events that require snow – the skiing, bobsleigh, biathlon, etc. – they will take place at Krasnaya Polyana, a town up in the mountains about forty kilometres from the city.

  16. Seems like every new race gets put at the end of the season, they are just squeezing more and more races between Japan and brazil whilst the first half of the championship remains the same every year…I would love to see a new grand prix being put in the first 7 races!

    1. JP (@jonathanproc)
      25th January 2013, 23:53

      I’ve noticed this trend also.

      The middle six races of the championship (Rounds 7-12) are separated by almost double the number of days that separate the last six races (13 weeks compared to 7).

      This difference increases further if the factory shut down break is taken into account and we count the gap between rounds 7-13 and rounds 13-19 (15 weeks compared to 8).

      However, I do think this is a good situation to be in. As the season reaches it end we have less time to wait between races to find out what will unfold. It also limits the time teams have to develop – Having 3 sets of back-to-back races can really make it difficult to bring new components, which usually ensures the grid stays close (If it’s close in the first place!).

      So staging the race in November is good in my opinion, especially if the cooler temperatures than what the teams are use to play a part.

  17. Looks like another flat “car park” circuit to me. Give me a proper track like Austin anyday. I’d rather the New Jersey event go ahead – that looks like Monaco on steroids.

  18. Besides the temperature, which I guess won’t be too different from the winter testing in Spain, what will the weather be like? Late-fall storms and driving rain?
    Actually, it sounds just like Spa in midsummer, come to think of it… They’ll be fine.

  19. Introducing the tyres for the Russian GP….Super Super Softs…or Hyper Softs? :P

  20. Apparently Austin is going to move to a closer date to NJ and Montreal but they should put it around May or even April. It’s going to look like Greater Noida- Dubai-Sochi-Interlagos and they have got Mexico pushing and on Cape Town it has got 2014. What is Bernie going to do now he has going to have far way too many circuits.

    1. @william – likely Ecclestone will continue cutting F1’s ties with Europe but I imagine Korea isn’t staying for very long and (fingers crossed) perhaps they’ll see some sense and ditch Bahrain.

      That means that two slots will be vacant (NJ will bring the number of races back up to 20 in 2014 if the calendar stays as is) if we assume there will be no-more than 20 races and that the aforementioned Grand Prix are removed from the calendar. Obviously one such slot will go to Russia, leaving one empty (although perhaps only temporarily as Thailand is due to host a race in 2015), so the contenders for the remaining space will have to fight over it! I think a Mexican GP is a distinct possibility though as we already have two Mexican drivers and the possibility had been raised several times throughout last year.

      I hadn’t heard of the prospect for a Grand Prix in South Africa though so thank you for the link!

      1. @vettel1 – Bernie is demanding that Korea is going to stay on the calendar for now which ends in 2016. Bernie has said we will return to Bahrain “forever”. I would expect that the new Concorde Agreement has 20 races with a few spares, has the F1 supremo has said F1 doesn’t need the new Concorde Agreement. No worries the South African GP I was searching for that GP and I saw this link.

        1. @william – I’m being hopeful! ;)

  21. 20 races should be the limit

    1. I truly think 21 is the max

  22. Sochi Grand Prix will be in October

  23. I’ll believe it when I see it. This could create so many headaches it seems ridiculous to suggest that a date would be set right now. I’m all for a challenge butNovember seems ambitious to me.

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