First Russian GP gets one of the lowest-ever ratings

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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F1 Fanatic readers have given their verdict on 127 races since F1 Fanatic began Rate the Race in 2008. Several of this year’s races have featured among the most popular during that time.

However the first ever Russian Grand Prix was not one of them. In fact, only three races had lower scores than the first grand prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

Tellingly, two of those took place at a venue Sochi was most often compared to – the Valencia Street Circuit, former home of the European Grand Prix.

Apart from a hectic first couple of laps at the start, during which Nico Rosberg lost any chance of winning the race after a mistake in the first corner, little happened during the race.

While the track configuration drew much criticism, the highly durable tyre meant the race lacked much in the way of a strategic dimension. Along with the never-ending tyres, many teams struggled with fuel consumption due to the stop-go nature of the tack. These factors resulted in a rather processional race with drivers coasting to make the chequered flag.

Here are a selection of your comments on the race.

Sochi fails to impress

Amid the almost entirely negative response there were a few positive comments. Those looking for an upside mainly had to settle on the fact that the race was reasonably well-attended, although the number of tickets on sale was well below that offered at other rounds of the championship.

Except for the first three laps (in which most of the drivers were disobeying the track limits around this really poorly designed circuit) pretty much nothing happened except for a spin, some pit stops and some undramatic overtakes. Turn two made me incredibly angry, what a stupid, stupid corner.

On the plus side, the scenery was nice.

As with all these Tilke tracks, they do not have any aesthetic appeal on a television screen – it is very difficult to tell one part of the track apart from the other. Everything is just a sea of white walls, massive run off area and flat curbs painted on which drivers can drive over like they’re not there.
Matthew Coyne

The track is horrible. Did you see the shots from the helicopter? It is Caesar’s Palace, Valencia, Yas Marina and Korea all rolled into one neat package: huge empty space with a few posh buildings, endless run-off areas that you can abuse (just check out the first laps of GP2/3 races for some blatant ignoring of track limits), and overall boring looking track on television.

Don’t see why people are giving it such a low score? There was overtaking, there was a good amount of close racing and on the whole I quite enjoyed the race on this nice new circuit.

It may be true we didn’t see as much action as in other races this year but it’s not as if there was no overtaking, as if there was no good racing or anything. There was plenty at periods during the race.

Not brilliant but not so bad and plenty going on to keep me entertained through my lunchtime.

Didn’t mind the track – seemed more interesting than Valencia, in any case. But the race was rather dull.

The circuit layout is unbelievably dull, with no variety at all. The excuse that has been used by Tilke is that there was little room to play with, which is totally false if you look at how much space there is available.

Turn two is one of the worst corners in the world, since any overtake either results in one driver running wide or a collision.

The fuel consumption issues meant that many drivers didn’t push throughout the race, resulting in the procession that was the 2014 Russian Grand Prix. Not at one stage did the race feel exciting. The entire event just lacked colour.

The only positive thing I can say is that the turn-out for the grand prix was great, more than 50,000 people present. It’s a shame they didn’t get to see the excitement F1 usually offers.

It really feels like fuel economy and difference in engines played the most prominent role in this race. GP2 and GP3 really showed that racing can be good here.

This has to have been the worst race for a long time, a race where apart from the start almost nothing happened. It is unbelievable. here we go again processional racing from lights out to flag for the first time since I started watching F1 I actually wondered what the point in sitting watching for three-plus hours was.

Conservative tyres

It is understandable that Pirelli chose a conservative tyre compounds for the first race on a new track. The rules force drivers to make at least one pit stop, but Rosberg’s race indicated drivers could have done the entire race on a single set.

I think next year they will bring the soft and super soft and we may well see a different race. The tyres and their wear provides us with a lot of the racing we see in many races – the track layout itself lends itself to several overtaking opportunities.

The fact that Rosberg could do almost the whole race on one set of tires and still be setting fastest laps near the end, meant that the race was more like the Bridgestone days rather than the designed to degrade philosophy F1 has adapted in recent seasons with Pirelli.

Propaganda for Putin

The high-profile involvement of controversial Russian president Vladimir Putin in the race drew further criticism. Many felt the grand prix had been hijacked for political ends – something Bernie Ecclestone expressly denied would take place.

It was a shame there was not much action, but the whole race was over-shadowed by Putin using the race as his toy. He just made the whole thing awkward to watch by showing up in places that do not merit it.

Putin shaking hands with the guys on the podium disgustingly involving them in his politics. Just like some former dictators have done. Had to give a low rating. Many people – e.g. Ecclestone – say one shouldn’t connect sports with politics. This race was nothing else than politics aiming at supporting Putin.

I am appalled by the pro-Putin TV direction and the fact that he was allowed anywhere near the podium (what happened to ‘F1 has nothing to do with politics’?). Still, I am trying to rate this race on the on-track events alone.

To all those saying, “Oh, they cut to Putin so much, typical Russian propaganda!” First off, they cut from racing to show Putin three or four times maximum, secondly do you really think that if say the US president or the UK prime minister were at one of the races they wouldn’t show him in the feed?

Didn’t think it was as bad as people are saying. Just a normal race, plus a bonus point for Putin being there! Can you imagine the Queen or David Cameron going to Silverstone and handing out trophies? This was the equivalent.

Previous rate the race results

2014 Rate the Race results

Race Rating
2014 Canadian Grand Prix 9.190
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix 9.141
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix 9.095
2014 German Grand Prix 7.857
2014 British Grand Prix 7.848
2014 Belgian Grand Prix 7.760
2014 Italian Grand Prix 7.420
2014 Monaco Grand Prix 7.044
2014 Australian Grand Prix 6.889
2014 Austrian Grand Prix 6.698
2014 Spanish Grand Prix 6.449
2014 Singapore Grand Prix 6.433
2014 Malaysian Grand Prix 5.896
2014 Chinese Grand Prix 5.473
2014 Russian Grand Prix 4.064

NB. No poll for Japanese Grand Prix

2014 Russian Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Russian Grand Prix articles

Images © Pirelli/Hone, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

88 comments on “First Russian GP gets one of the lowest-ever ratings”

  1. Ouch!..but sort of expected

    1. Race should have never occurred given Putin’s actions in the Ukraine – but Bernie looks the other way to increase his wealth… I choose to not watch it as a way to send my personal message – too bad the UE didn’t enforce its sanctions. Glad it turned out to be a poor event…

      1. @indyf1fan

        Should the US get a race because of its imperialist adventures? What about Canada and Australia given their horrid treatment of aboriginal people in their countries? The Germans get a GP despite their terrible history of violence.

        If you want to base a race due to the actions of the nation it’s held in you’re going to have an awfully short F1 year.

          1. 2face (perfect name btw) – “Whataboutism” is an attempt to excuse one’s bad behaviour by comparing it to an opponent’s bad behaviour. i.e. trying to make two wrongs a right.
            @rcorporon is absolutely correct. This isn’t about excusing bad Russian behaviour, this is about the hypocrisy of those who want to ban one particular country from holding an F1 GP but who refuse to hold other countries to the same standards. Two faced, indeed.

          2. @2face Exactly as @juan-fanger said. I’m not excusing Russia’s actions at all. My point was that if the Russian GP gets criticism from the fans on this site solely based on the actions of its government then the same standard needs to be applied to every race and its host nation. If we do that we’ll have no racing at all.

            A race should be judged on the merits of the race itself. By that standard the Russian GP was horrible.

        1. @rcorporon, can you hear me all the way back in the 40’s? We recognise Aboriginals as the first Australians and our PM gave the landmark sorry speech back in 2008. As for Germany, they are a far cry from what they were 70 years ago.

          1. @stigsemperfi I can hear you just fine in 2014. I can’t speak too much to Australia but I know in Canada there are still deep wounds over our governments treatment of natives and many people still demand more action (native women are in a lot of trouble in Canada, so much so that some organizations call it a human rights crisis:

            I didn’t realize there was a statute of limitations on abhorrent behaviour. When will it be OK for Russia to have a GP then?

            If we’re sticking solely to the past ten years the fact that the US has bombed seven different sovereign nations must hurt their chances at a GP? Human Rights Watch calls Bahrain’s record “dismal” and includes torture of minority Muslim groups. China has horrid record on this as well. In the UAE they aren’t even a democracy and forming a political party is illegal.

            So we shouldn’t race in the USA, Russia, China, UAE, & Bahrain, or is Russia a special case because of the current western rage against Putin?

        2. spot on mate, the US foreign policy has killed/displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the last 10-15 years. Yeah, I was in the military too, took money for blood, the only difference is I can admit my sins. A lot of people just want to repeat what they are told and be entertained though. Sick world we live in.

  2. A lot of people saying there would be just as much coverage of the U.S president or U.K prime minister, as Putin, if they attended their home grand prix. The difference is they haven’t invaded another sovereign state……..oh hang on a minute!

    1. Remind me which sovereign states Obama and Cameron invaded?

      1. There’s plenty of fuss over unauthorised (by the country the drone was flying in) drone strikes.

    2. Glad there are people here who dont succumb to herd mentality.

  3. 4.06 is a very appropriate rating. This race was (slightly) better than the manipulated 2010 German GP or a couple of Valencia snoozefests but otherwise the Russian GP was exactly what F1 did not need after the sport had seen its darkest weekend since 1994. The race should have reminded everyone why drivers keep risking their lives but I guess they do not do it to give the likes of Putin more exposure.

    1. I don’t think it was bad as a 4.06, the Monaco race had a 7.04 and nothing much happened in that race either.

  4. The race wasn’t good at all. But the track deserves some credit. The tyres ruined a good race. They where too good. Best cars in position means no action. Reminder of the schumi/bridgestone domination.
    Let’s wait till next your for a final judgement. The track isn’t that bad I think!

    1. I agree, the track does have potential. I didn’t watch GP2, but the GP3 race on Sunday was great. Great racing, great overtaking action. The final laps were fantastic. And keep in mind a lot of GP3 races this year have been proper snoozefests and the chassis has been blamed for having too much downforce and not being very well suited for good overtaking action.

      I’ll reserve judgement until next time around.

    2. el presidente
      20th October 2014, 12:23

      I would say the track isn’t very good either.. I think, it is a good track for F3/WSR/GP2/3 those kind of cars, they are a bit slower, and therefore i feel it suits the track better.

      We need (read : want) circuits with long sweeping corners, heavy breaking zones after high-speed sections, (to create long braking zones) into a chicane or something.. Like the great tracks all have.

      @COTA they did exactly that, they took the best elements from the best circuits and merged that into a new Proper circuit. It can’t be that hard to do more often than they do now i would say.

      To me Sochi looks like a failed attempt to create a new Melbourne.

    3. The track has about two nice corners but the rest are dull. It’s even put me off buying F1 2014 completely as it would be is the only track which I haven’t got on any other game. Turn 3 is even spoiled by what is possibly the most stupid corner in Formula 1 at the moment in Turn 2. I understand that there are certain restrictions in building a circuit around an Olympic park (just look at the Beijing ePrix circuit) but that Grand Prix was an absolute joke. I am amazed how a race where you had both Massa and Rosberg charging through the field could be so dull. The track needs a serious rethink for next year otherwise I fear that next year’s Grand Prix could be just as bad, even with a better tyre choice from Pirelli.

    4. Blaming tyres for a bad race because they did not wear-out over 10/15 laps is like blaming the engines for not exploding or the drivers for not crashing. Perhaps Bernie is right F1 needs more gimmicks, sprinklers, tyres by Crispy-Creme, fanboost etc.

  5. “GP2 and GP3 really showed that racing can be good here.” Really? Watched one of them which also had a crazy first lap but then even more of a procession than the F1.

    As for the Politics, you would never see a US President at a race or on a podium – the closest F1 got was Texas Governor Rick Perry at Austin a few years ago. HM George VI attended Silverstone in 1950 at it was the first ever round of the F1 World Championship, with the most notable Royal attendance since being probably Princess Diana giving Damon Hill the winners trophy at Silverstone in 1994, and the great thing about the Royal Family in the UK is that they are totally apolitical and above the mediocrity of domestic politics. But given where F1 is heading we will be seeing even more political leaders on podiums pressing the flesh and grandstanding to both their domestic and regional audiences. Inevitable when it is only Governments that can shoulder the expense of paying F1 race hosting fees, and only the rather more unsavoury regimes that can write blank cheques for millions of dollars without having to worry about basic good governance and parliamentary scrutiny.

    1. el presidente
      20th October 2014, 12:26

      You should be reported….

      … For a great comment!

    2. Well written.

    3. @pwright78 Of course you’re forgetting the other end of the specturm, which is the Monaco GP. The Crown Prince attends every race and is part of the podium ceremony. He’s an unelected constitutional Monarch who has more power within his tiny nation than just about any President or Prime Minister you can mention. Monaco’s race is absolutely political, without there being any argument to the contrary – the Monegasque state without its Monaco GP would likely fade into relative obscurity, existing as little more than a tax haven and millionaires’ playground, making the race absolutely central to everything that defines Monaco as a nation.

      It’s easy to criticise the Sochi GP as a political show, but that’s what many F1 races are, and will continue to be. The issue people have with the regime in Russa should be disassociated, I think, from the F1 race. Because while Putin is undoubtedly a tyrant and a warmonger, for F1 to clearly brand him as such and deny a race would be to make a political distinction between Russia and the likes of Monaco. Which I think is fundamentally opposed to the principles of political impartiality which F1 claims to hold as central. That is to say, that while races themselves can naturally be sponsored by a state, F1 as a whole should probably refrain on casting judgement on the politics of those nations.

      That said, I personally did not agree with holding a Russian GP, on the basis of their current actions in neighbouring states. But that is simply my opinion, and I can make a clear distinction between my own opinion on how I would run my own championship, and how I see F1 should operate within the parameters it has set for itself.

      1. Double standards.The same can be applied to every race held in the EU and in the US ,both of them supporting the tyrannical Ukrain goverment ,not to mention their military actions in the middle east,but never before had i read such complaints on that matter.Although im not fan of any political leader ,there are far worse regimes that hosts formula one races(China,Bahrain etc)than those mentioned above.

      2. @mazdachris Monaco is a liberal democracy that does not violate human rights. Albert II has zero impact on the international politics and the yearly race has little impact on his position as Monaco is the wealthiest country in the world that is well known for its recreational activities, banks, casinos and several sporting events. Russia is pretty much the opposite of it all.

        F1 has already declared its full support for Putin’s policies by giving him tons of airtime, letting the most influential man in the sport keep praising his greatness and not allowing drivers and teams to voice other opinions. If F1 truly wants to be apolitical, then it has failed big time.

        1. @girts Monaco is not a democracy – it’s a constitutional Monarchy.

          1. Monaco has a democratically-elected parliament, and that makes it a democracy. Specifically, it is a democratic constitutional monarchy.

          2. Monaco is not a democracy – it’s a constitutional Monarchy.

            The UK is a constitutional monarchy, too. The official head of state is the Queen, but her powers are limited by the law. In the UK’s case, she has practically no real power. She is a figure head.

            In the case of Monaco, I believe Prince Albert holds a lot more power. However, it still has a democratically elected council. I don’t know enough about the politics to make any further judgements, but a constitutional monarchy can still be a democracy.

        2. @girts, Good point, when Greenpeace unfurled banners protesting against climate-change, FOMs cameras studiously avoided showing them, leaving TV viewers ignorant and confused about what was happening, very non-political or merely blatantly one-sided ?

          1. @hohum You are right, Greenpeace’s protest was completely ignored. Of course, the difference is that Greenpeace didn’t pay FOM millions of dollars for airtime. So it is not really a matter of apoliticism, it is a matter of money.

    4. The British Royal Family are not apolitical, Prince Charles has spent the last 15 using the High Courts to prevent the media from publishing details of his interference in domestic and foriegn politics. Several members of the Royal family regularly interfere in politics while the Prime Minister is required to brief the Queen every week and she has the power to change or veto every decision the government makes.
      Prince Micheal of Kent also happens to be a patron of the Russian-GB Chamber of Commerce and has earned millions of pounds promoting Russian interests in the UK and Europe, including winning contracts for companies with close links to Putin and other senior Russian politicians.
      The Royal Family do a very good job of hiding their involvement in politics but that doesn’t mean they’re not using and abusing their influence on a wide range of issues.

      Prince Harry has also attended the British GP and presented the winning trophy on behalf of the Queen in 2011.–PICTURE-SPECIAL.html

      1. the Prime Minister is required to brief the Queen every week and she has the power to change or veto every decision the government makes.

        While she could, in theory, veto a law, AFAIK she could not change it. Nothing becomes law until she signs on the dotted line, but the laws must be written by parliament.

        In practise, she has not vetoed anything for many years, and there would be outcry if she did.

        I am sure the Queen, and her family, can still have a major influence on both our own political institutions and those around the world, but so does any rich, powerful person or group. I do not see this as such a bad thing. The royal family has been presiding over this country for centuries. They do not hold absolute power, and I believe the Queen is a benevolent force in politics. Political parties and politicians come and go, but the Queen (and her family) have overseen it all. They can impart advice gained from her many years of experience, guiding the country to where it wants to go.

        1. The Royal Family have had lots of changes made to government policies in recent years from planning laws, tax laws and media freedom to name just a few. Many of our laws have specific clauses written into them to ensure that they do not apply to the Royal Family and there are laws protecting them from investgation by the police, courts, parliament and the media.
          Unlike everyone else in the country the Royal Family are protected from investigations such as Operation Yewtree and as such any victims of abuse involving Royals will never see justice – Jimmy Saville was a regular guest at several Royal residences and was very close to several of the Royals yet they are his only friends who are not being investigated for past or current sexual offences.

    5. ““GP2 and GP3 really showed that racing can be good here.” Really? Watched one of them which also had a crazy first lap but then even more of a procession than the F1. ”

      The Saturday GP3 race was dull (As most GP3 races this year have been), But the Sunday GP3 race was brilliant & both GP2 races were full of good racing & overtaking.

      The Sunday GP3 race was probably the best GP3 race of 2014-

    6. And next year they will back to back this with Azerbaijan. Another kleptocracy where people who have spoken out about the regime have just been arrested. What a fine couple of races that is going to be. Dodgy regimes trying to buy acceptance and legitimacy by being willing to host lavish and expensive sporting events and/or the eurovision.

  6. the 4.06 come because some people had trouble from what i had read to vote and clicked the 10 to test… i dont know if this is the case really. Either way i was expecting worser result.

    1. @bluechris There was an initial problem with the poll during which time no votes were recorded at any of the score levels. I don’t understand why anyone would respond to a problem with the poll in the way you described but suffice to say only 12 people gave the race ten out of ten.

      If anyone is concerned the incorrect score was logged then please get in touch with me via the contact form:

      Contact F1 Fanatic

      1. @keithcollantine – It is unfortunate that the scale only goes down to 1, which led me to give a 2 to this race. I realize it would skew historical comparability at this point, but if the scale did go to 0, I would have given this a 1 instead. I think a 4 is overrating it a bit.

  7. People, are Pirelli’s ‘durable tyres’ now the problem?
    Just last year, almost everyone were all over the company concerning their strategy in collusion with F1 authorities to reduce tyre durability to make races more interesting as teams chose whatever strategies best suited them.
    Agreed, some cases such as the events of exploding tyres at Silverstone last year was absolutely unnacceptable, I beleive last year’s Pirelli compounds would have been suitable for Sochi, of course without the explosions.
    The circuit in my opinion is beautiful and I think this year’s race was a learning experience. You can’t get it right all the time.
    We tend to complain, I guess about everything.

    1. Pirelli’s “durable” hard tyres, with their finite grip levels, were the factor that made the opening race at COTA exciting and memorable. You can’t have it both ways!

      1. That’s because graining was the problem at COTA, not particularly wear.

    2. People will complain when tyre compounds are so durable it gets ridiculous, and when they’re so soft it gets ridiciulous.

      As far as I know there hasn’t been too much complaining about the tires between summer last year and Sochi.

  8. Tilke tracks sterilizes the races because the tracks he designs doesn’t present any challenges that require extraordinary skills. Instead it tends to be just traffic.

  9. I think this race was doomed to a poor reception to be honest. The hangover of the awful accident at Suzuka had cast a shadow over everything at Sochi, and I didn’t feel like many were really looking forward to this one. On top of that, there’s the dubious political situation, and then in the end the race was not really that inspiring. All in all, a race that left a sort of weird aftertaste and had none of the hype or excitement about it that we usually have with a new circuit.

    Just thinking purely about the race itself, I thought it was fairly average, though certainly not terrible. Reminiscent of lots of races in the Bridgestone era; something people have looked upon with the rosiest of tinted specs in recent years. Perhaps it was a good reminder that indestructible tyres don’t make for a great race. But I didn’t really get particularly bored by the race; I thought it was fairly interesting and I enjoyed the recovery drive by Rosberg. It’s just bad timing I think that garnered such a negative reaction.

  10. The durable tyres weren’t the cause of the dull racing. The cause of the dull racing was that the tyres were unexpectedly durable and the teams under fueled the cars (as is usual to compensate for tyre saving and safety cars – neither of which happened) not expecting them to be able to push for the whole race distance.

    1. Exactly.

    2. There have been times I’ve wondered if F1 should change the fuel limit rules so that teams have to start the race with the full 100kg, rather than having a maximum limit of 100kg.
      Almost every race we hear engineers telling drivers to conserve fuel only to find out later that the team had under-fuelled the car to save weight and gain an advantage, if the FIA took away that option then maybe we’d see a bit more racing and a bit less fuel saving.
      Admittedly it may be difficult to police but surely no more difficult than enforcing a maximum fuel limit.

      1. if the FIA took away that option then maybe we’d see a bit more racing and a bit less fuel saving.

        While it may happen as you say, I would not like that as a change. Racing has always involved saving weight wherever possible. The teams will always try to judge the perfect amount of fuel for the race, and this is part of the strategy.

        I am not at all shocked that the teams misjudged the fuel required. Before the race, I was absolutely convinced there would be a safety car. My reasoning was simple: Most races require a car to be recovered at some point, and this being a new track, there was more chance than normal of this happening, as the drivers do not know the track. After Japan, any car needing to be recovered would likely result in a safety car. So the chances were much higher than normal for the safety car to be deployed.

        The teams would view the race in a similar way. If there is more chance of a safety car, there is a better chance that they would need less fuel. The lack of tyre deg didn’t help either.

        1. If the fuel issue had been a one off at Sochi I’d agree but it’s getting to the point now that more often than not we’re seeing drivers saving fuel.
          There are plenty of rules stopping the teams from saving weight from the minimum weight rule to restrictions on the use of certain materials so I don’t think stopping them from reducing the weight by a few kg by having a set fuel level is that big a deal, especially if it leads to a reduction of lift & coast and other fuel saving tactics.

    3. Ted Kravitz pointed out during the Sky broadcast that the track surface was unusually smooth & that there would not have been much, If any tyre degredation regardless of which compounds Pirelli used.

      He said that because the tarmac was so new the stones in the tarmac have not have time to come to the surface & that its the stones which make a track surface more abrasive & wear the tyres. Next year its expected the track surface woudl have worn in & there should be more tyre wear.

  11. Here are the highlights of the 2011 european grand prix for comparison:

  12. ‘Can you imagine the Queen or David Cameron going to Silverstone and handing out trophies?’
    um no I can’t imagine this happening tbh.

    1. Why not ?
      The Queen regularly hands out trophies at horse races, in fact she did just that at last weeks Britains Champions Day at Ascot while David Cameron handed out medals at the Paralympics.
      Prince Harry also gave out trophies at the 2011 British GP on behalf of the Queen.

      1. @beneboy the birtish gp has been going for 60 years or so. the queen to my knowledge has never handed out trophies. this is why i don’t think she ever will. Same with a british PM.
        prince harry is a young, jovial figure and it wasn’t so serious with him up there.

  13. Am I the only one who finds it slightly annoying that people go from complaining about the tyres’ lack of durability one week to complaining about them being too durable another? I’ve read a good few comments on here calling for less durable tyres and even for forcing teams to have a minimum fuel load so they can’t run light on fuel.

    Well, are we in favour of stupid gimmicks or opposed to them? Really, what is it you lot are looking for – pure racing or sheer entertainment?

    1. @bforth Some people on this site lack consistency above all…

  14. Not saying it deserved a 10/10 which apparently 12 people voted but I hardly see how the race was only the 124th best of the last 127. People must’ve really voted low because of Putin and sevaral varia around the race itself because there were plenty of races that saw less overtaking in the previous years with less drama, title attention, etc…

  15. Do you want F1 to be treated more like a sport rather than a TV show? Rating the races in a similar vein to the latter only contributes to the problem. Each race is a sporting event, and (2014 notwithstanding) all are worth the same in terms of outcome. The unreasonable expectancy for having ‘excitement’ each race has led to the sport’s integrity being diluted massively, with the introduction of made-to-wear tyres and DRS. If these are the types of gimmicks which appease F1 fans’ shortening attention span and increasing entitlement, more so in the interest of avoiding what is perceived as ‘not exciting’ (i.e. processional races) at all cost, then maybe F1 deserves the myopic squirming course it is currently on.
    It’s all about the attitude towards what a Grand Prix entails: a sporting meeting to the end of establishing which entity has done the best combined job of car design, setup choice, driver performance, weather effects, and the more subtle ways through which results have been achieved, or a Sunday afternoon entertainment session finding itself scrutinised by the most fickle of audiences, who fail to grasp how their attitude can compound the daft knee-jerk decisions of the governing body?
    Granulating an F1 season into a rating session for each Grand Prix only serves to trivialise the sporting achievement within the Grands Prix itself, which is unfairly recognised in accordance to how exciting the race is perceived.

    1. You need the big TV audience to be able to attract the big sponsors with their even bigger wallets. The issue isn’t the fact that F1 is televised; the issue is that it’s being run by people with a myopic vision of short-term profits, not long-term sustainability.

  16. I didn’t think it was truly awful, but there were certainly a lack of notable occurences.

    For me, the greatest indicator of the poor quality of the race was Rosberg being able to do 52 laps on his tyres, yet still being able to overtake everyone. That suggests conservatism on the part of Pirelli and of other drivers.

  17. It wasn’t tyre durability causing drivers to hold back, it was the fuel limits. Had the fuel not been an issue, we would’ve had a race where drivers could push harder since the tyres were excellent this race.

    If no one else will say it… Congratulations, Pirelli. The tyres were spot on for the race.

    1. And yet I read reports of drivers ruining their tyres in 1 lap during qualifying, so which is it, are the tyres too durable or can they be made to last by not exploiting maximum grip ?

  18. Have to disagree with all of you, the Russian GP was more interesting than the average 2013 race. It’s just that all the races have been so good this year that an ‘average’ race suddenly seems boring as hell.

    Frankly, we have seen a lot of processional races last year WITHOUT the interesting 15 laps we got here. This was a 6 IMO, not lower.

  19. Not a surprise, but I don’t understand why Germany 2010 is so low and why Abu Dhabi 2013 is so high in the list.

  20. I live in the US and record all the races to watch them on Sunday morning with a good cup of coffee. I have never seen a race I did not like, yes some are better then others, but it is Formula 1 and it gets me excited. Later I see all the comments and people nit pick the event to shreds. Be more open minded and enjoy while it still exists.

  21. And this rating has nothing with the constant bashing this GP got even before the weekend even started. No, not at all…
    One or two years of constant bashing, on this site among others, will get the people to approach it with a negative vibe.

  22. It would have been utterly ridiculous and frankly a swipe in the face for F1 if Putin had not very publically attended the GP.

    It is ridiculous to compare the British GP with the Russian GP, hosted by a country that as far as I can recall has had only one event of international significance in the last 34 years. We have had our GP for 54 years, then there are.. to name but a few.. Wimbledon, Moto GP, The Open, The Ryder Cup, Euro 96, The Olympics, several Commonwealth Games, the FA cup final, the Rugby World Cup several times, a WRC event every year, The Grand National, the Six Nations, many test match series and the champions league final [oh, sorry, that was held in Moscow in 2008, but we’ve hosted two since then..].

    So why not give em a break will you, they’re trying to engage the outside world, we should applaud that.

    1. Napoleon also engaged the outside world, did we applaud him ?

      1. I expect you’ll be referencing Gengis Khan as a reason why China shouldn’t have a GP next..

      2. @hohum
        I knew you were old but I didn’t realise you were old enough to remember when Napoleon was knocking about ;-)

        1. @beneboy, Thanks for an early morning chuckle to start my day.

    2. Adolf Hitler was a very prominent figure in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin…

  23. Hang on a minute, I thought Lewis Hamilton won the race and this is a British bias site ;)

  24. It is a standard Tilke track. Boooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggg
    The man doesn’t simply know how to put together a exiting and challenging track for F1, why he keeps being ask to design them is way beyond me.

  25. Just another of eccleston’s pump-and-dumps. Two more years on the calendar and it’ll be dead.

  26. It was a really terrible wrong race.

  27. Very unjustified. This is my scale:
    10.Best race you could hope for. A mix of emotions and I’ll watch it and talk about it for years to come.
    9. Lots of drama and epicness, but wasn’t consistent throughout the race so I won’t watch it as many times.
    8. A very enjoyable race in which I’ll enjoy watching the highlights later that week.
    7. Good race with something to talk about, will probably watch highlights of it if I have lots of spare time.
    6. A race that had nothing special, but was memorable and warrants good discussion until the next one.
    5. Not a lot of action and occasionally fills monotonous. Don’t feel like I want to discuss the race that much.
    4. Quite boring and I would have rather just watched highlights.
    3. A poor race where it feels like a waste of my time.
    2. A race that actually made me upset with the sport and I don’t want to think about F1 for a while.
    1. Predictable, unsporting and if more races like this happen, I’ll be switching off for a long time.

    I put Sochi in the 6 category, but only just.

  28. hey look on the positive side, Putin only appears three times in the official video of the race or did I tune in to Russian TV by mistake ???

  29. F1would always go to country that are willing to host it and Sochi did quite good actually. I did enjoyed for politic..all the countries that are hosting it always have had issues one way or another but blaming Russia outright is just hypocritical when for the last ten years or so the US had been involved in destabilising more countries than others..just because they controlled majority of the media to print like wise to hoodwinked the majority doesn’t mean it’s right.

  30. I enjoyed the race far better than other events this season. It was not as action packed but the right people did their job and deserved their results either Alonso defending Ricciardo or Rosberg making emends. I think people would prefer if the race wasn’t in Russia(honestly don’t know why, it’s not like they did anything different to the other G6 countries, US felt left out…) and if there was more drama in the form of crashes mechanical failure and tyre drop-off.

  31. I can understand the lower rating but I think ripping on the track is a bit too far. Had Lewis and Nico stayed with each other for more than a lap this could have been a truly exciting race watching them murder the tyres trying to get the championship, probably the whole way through. I agree that the layout spread the field much like Australia, where you got the impression about 7 cars were going round in their own space, but when they were together the action was wonderful, especially the duelling in turn 3.

  32. Who “Had to give a low rating” to GP due to politics has foolish mind.
    Where were you when with your support bombing civilian cities of Serbia in 1999?
    Or where were your principals when your rulers destroy whole countries in the XXI century far from your seat?

    But Putin rating is high and withot F1 GP and not only Russia.
    And is not needing additional “propaganda” for that.
    But you, who considers himself a model of democracy, and is a real victim of its centuries-old propaganda.

  33. The tyres caused the boring race as it was clearly seen from GP3 and GP2 races that overtaking and close racing was possible. Felt so Bridgestoney. Then it felt more like the Putin Grand Prix and his forced smile was cold as Siberia. It was so obvious Hamilton, Rosberg and Bottas looked frightened with the Russian President hanging out in the green room, not good for F1 at all. If Putin was not shown on tv at all, it would have been better IMHO and the coverage of him was like forever, way overcooked and Bernie looked fearful too!

  34. 38 overtaken is not so small as some people try to rates.
    And it is with not so useful tyres and with dry weather and without safety-car.
    This number of overtakes is better than on the 5 previos races of season.
    But next GP will be more “overtake-able”.
    I’m sure.
    I wish the interesting races to all adequate fans of Formula 1.
    Without USA/NATO lies.
    4 years ago Putin signs agreement with Bernie about first GP in the Sochi.
    Why he had no right be on the Prize ceremony?
    Everything else is a lie and hypocrisy.

  35. It is symbolic that GP USA right away after GP Russia


    But it is true that the circuit in Austin is well done and race will be interesting.

  36. Remark:
    On GP Austin in 2013 was 22 overtakings

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