Satellite image shows Russian GP track taking shape

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Updated satellite photographs of Sochi reveal the site of this year’s Russian Grand Prix in greater detail.

The outline of the 5.853km (3.64-mile) Sochi International Street Circuit is now visible. A typical street circuit, more than half of its 19 turns are approximately right angles.

The track will be run in a clockwise direction and the race distance is likely to be 53 laps. The race will start at 3pm local time.

Russia’s first grand prix track is being built on the site of the Sochi Olympic Park which will host next month’s Winter Olympics.

Thanks to David Reid for the tip.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 43 comments on “Satellite image shows Russian GP track taking shape”

    1. I like the lay-out, especially that long u-turn and not so straight that F1 cars take full throttle. I’m happy we got this and Austria to replace Korea and India.

      1. @ardenflo I too am intrigued by the big U-turn on the south side. I don’t think there’s anything similar on other F1 tracks is there? How will cars behave around such a corner?
        I’m never any good at telling what a track’s going to be like at this stage. Are we talking Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, or somewhere in between?

        1. @olliej It’s clearly in the middle. Certainly better than rubbish Abu Dhabi but nothing will come close to Adelaide these days as FIA won’t allow it. Too dangerous, too fast for the closeness of the walls.

          1. It’s almost 6 km long. Long straights with little of wide 90 deg turns. It will be fast. Start/finish straight will be 1,2 km long. Back straight is 1,1 km long. U turn is nearly 900 meters long. And five ~400-meter long straights.

        2. The closest corner that resembles the U-turn that I can think of is turn 5 at the Houston Indycar circuit – where Franchitti had his accident last year. Probably flat out and it looks like it will be blind all the way round.

          1. Is it really that different than the horseshoe at COTA (turns 16, 17, 18)?

        3. I was thinking about spoon curve at Suzuka, it may be the closest thing in f1

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        23rd January 2014, 15:53

        I was fairly critical of the original drawings but hopefully, turn 2 (or 1 depending on whether they count the kink on the put straight as a turn) could be a decent overtaking spot. Sadly the pit straight will no doubt be a DRS zone so it doesn’t really matter as everything will be done before they reach the turn anyway.

        The rest of the track is a bit too “short straight, 90 degree turn, short straight, 90 degree turn, short straight, 90 degree turn, short staight, 90 degree turn” for me.

      3. Okay , now where is the second DRS going to be ? Any guesses ?

      4. Wont average lap speeds be affected by the cars having to slow down to take these right hand corners 10 times a lap?

    2. Russia is an awesome place

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        24th January 2014, 7:28

        Especially if you’re a homosexual.

        1. To each his own…Also, I didn’t exactly catch a match between F1 and homosexuals…

    3. Interesting. I could’t make any sense of some of the corners… but then I realised that the track is clockwise.

      Up until a few minutes ago I was under the impression that it would be counter-clockwise. Which may work just as well… ;-)

    4. It’s still a stop-start track, and I’m sick of them.

      1. 90 degree corners are very much not stop start. you can take nice wide entries and exits.

    5. I still find it pretty uninspiring, but you never know. I do like the straights actually being curved.

    6. Much better looking than in the hideous sketch picture on the official F1 Website. The section on the west side of the track is quite fast with corners less than 90 degrees. And there will be lots of overtaking into turn 2 after that huge curved straight(must be at least a kilometer in length) with maybe cars running side by side through the huge turn 3(would be awesome if it’s a banked turn, unlikely though) Overall, let’s wait and see but it’s much better than I expected from the sketches

      1. I plotted it on Gmaps, and that first ‘straight’ is about 1.2km long, the long bend of turn 3 is about 800m long, and the curvy ‘S’ shaped back straight is about 1km.

        1. Sorry, forgot the include of your name @montreal95

          Also, I should say ‘plotted on gmap-pedometer’

          1. @philereid Thanks! 800m turn that’s crazy! Must be the longest turn in F1 since the demise of old Spa, or even before( I don’t remember the Nurburgring having such long turns)

    7. It’s a giant bicycle spanner!

    8. Looks like Valencia 2.0 to be honest

      1. I’m with you on that – no elevation change, lined by concrete walls, stop-start corners and curving straights. Looking forward to it though!

        1. It does look like a much better Valencia. A lot less tedious.

      2. Better than Valencia in terms of corners.. actually you have corners which don’t look the same way at least.

    9. Yep, not a classic, not a better modern track, like India and the CotA.

      That U-turn and possibly that increasing radius left-hander near the beginning of the final zig-zags looks to be the only two prominent features. I wonder waht the elevation and camber changes will be like, but I have absolutely no positive expectations on those fronts either.

    10. “…more than half of its 19 turns are approximately right angles.”

      That’s the killer for me. Very, very underwhelmed by this layout.

      1. I agree. 11 virtually right angled turns doesn’t inspire me at all. The only feature of interest is the long U-turn, but in the race it’s likely to be one at a time through there so don’t see it creating exciting racing. Could cost a lot of time if you catch a backmarker at the wrong place though.

      2. Same…

        Looks a lot more like a track IndyCar would visit…

    11. I thought under modern regulations, Turn 1 of any FIA circuit has to be at least 45 degrees? That looks like less than 45 degrees to me. Unless there’s some loophole in the turn 1 rules I’ve forgotten about (likely)

      1. Just looked at a map of the track. That is a really loooong run to the first proper corner (Turn 2), that could prove interesting.

      2. Ermm, no. I think what you have mistaken is that the FIA regs do not regard a curve of less than 45 degrees as a ‘first corner’. Here’s 7.7 from the FIA regulations

        Starting straight (see also point 7.3)
        For standing starts, there should be at least 6 m length of grid per car (8 m for the Formula One World Championship).
        There should preferably be at least 250 m between the start line and the first corner.
        By corner, in these cases only, is understood a change of direction of at least 45°, with a radius of less than 300 m.

        So there can be a curve of less than 45 degrees less than 250m from the start line, but the first curve of more than 45 degrees must be 250m or more from the start line.. The full FIA document is here

        1. Thought I might’ve had it wrong, was just something I thought I’d remembered somebody mentioning (can’t even remember who or when). Seemed like an odd rule, but then the FIA does love their odd rules

    12. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      23rd January 2014, 15:19

      There is a big “circle turn” around a coliseum (South section), will it be like the Turkish GP’s turn 8, and i’m especially asking about G-force? How long will it take for the drivers to go around, while feeling their heads almost being torn to the right?

    13. I’m not going to pass judgement on this circuit until we’ve seen a race there. I’m looking forward to it though!

    14. The first lap could be mega on this track. Long run to the first real corner, and then straight into that U-turn with all of the cars piling in? Then straight into what looks like the fast section followed by the long ‘straight.’ Then there’s the odd looking left hander, which opens up the longer it goes. There are 5 corners I’d like to change though. Something like this:

      1. Also, whilst there are a few uninspiring corners, I hope, and think, that it’ll be one of the better new tracks. There’s enough on this track to make it different enough to be exciting I think.

      2. @philereid – The first half of that is actually fairly close to the original design (the back half is mostly unchanged), but it was decided that having that long left-hander feed into a fast right-hand flick was perhaps a little bit too bonkers, especially when there is very little room for run-off at that right-hander.

    15. Looks interesting in parts . But apart from the u turn and the curving straights , I don’t think anything should challenge the drivers . Gradient wise sounds so boring . But hey , you can tell one corner from an other one.
      Also interesting is how much strain will be caused on the 2014 cars by running 50 odd laps on that u turn and how much fuel consumption will change ( I remember Barcelona having the highest fuel consumption).

    16. I went looking for the venue earlier int he week and also found the updated map.

      I’ll reserve total judgement until I see the cars circulating at full race speed, but the turn at the end of the start/finish straight looks like it could be tighter to increase the braking distances.

    17. from having a good look at the area, i don’t believe it will be as severe and stop start as the image seems to make it out.

      Zooming in nice and close to the stadium area, there is a ton of road space, and if they do it properly, they could make it very much like Adelaide with higher speed and sweeping turns, and not so singapore with accellerate hard, stop, turn repeat.

      Like many of the new tracks though, there is a right way and a wrong way eg the Abu dhabi shorter tracks are far more interesting than the F1 or GP circuits (see the Aus. V8 Supercar series there, a great track layout) I hope they get this done the right way.

    18. looks pretty crap to be honest… just another stop start track, herman is getting old. give the job to someone else more competant.

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