Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Hamilton predicts ‘boring race for the fans’

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton is pessimistic about the prospects of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix being a good race following the first day of practice.

The Mercedes driver said he found it hard to follow other cars closely on the Sochi track even when he had a performance advantage over them.

“As soon as you get within a few seconds of another car it’s pretty difficult to even get close,” he said. “Even with a tyre difference. I was trying to catch someone that was on soft tyres and I was on hypers.

“That’s the bad thing about this track, unfortunately. I don’t really know what they can to do make it better.”

Hamilton doubts tyre strategy will create much opportunity for racing either.

“Unfortunately it’s most likely going to be something like a one-stop race which means it’s going to be boring for the fans,” he said. “Immediately I already know it’s going to be boring because it’s so hard to follow.”

Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola expects the higher levels of tyre degradation seen on Friday will prompt teams to manage their pace for much of the race.

“As happened in the last races we know that teams will manage the pace,” he said. “And this is not good because we prefer to see a race where they are pushing, not where they will managing the pace.

“But with increased degradation this year we know the tendency this year is to manage degradation in order to avoid a second stop.”

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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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  • 18 comments on “Hamilton predicts ‘boring race for the fans’”

    1. With Sochi having one of the longest pit lanes in F1, a two stopper is best avoided.

    2. Seems this aero flaw is a bit bigger at Mercedes. That’s something Mercedes will need to have on their development roadmap for next year. Understandable where they come from (being in front in clean air all thei time), but the car needs to be able to follow other cars better next season. Luckily there are other cars besides the Mercs, so let’s see how boring it will get.

      1. There will be new front and rear wings, and therefore entirely different aero across the rest of all cars, next season.

    3. it is going to be boring we know. sad to say this but since 2 years it has become boring… :(

    4. I don’t think this race has ever polled well in those Rate the Race polls on this website so I am guessing LH is right.

    5. Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola expects the higher levels of tyre degradation seen on Friday will prompt teams to manage their pace for much of the race.

      Mmm not great news, any hope of rain?

      1. Forecast says no chance unfortunately. It’s such a dreary track.

    6. In tha case Lewis should endeavour tk go off at turn 1 and entertain us with a fight back thru the field!

    7. Lewis a real savant of fun here…

      The real fun is quali. Like half of the modern tracks. Then we will watch for one of two cars out of position and hope Lewis and Vettel crash on lap 1.

      Offcorse chances of them both crashing are super low, not like Lewis and Rosberg who had a good chance of crashing every weekend.

      If Kimi or Bottas win, that will be quite something.

      1. Part of the reason we have these dull tilkedromes is due to no one actually standing up on the inside and telling it like it is. Same as DRS. Thankfully some drivers these days are saying what they actually think without fearing offending Bernie or whoever.

    8. Yes, that might be, but still, too early to jump to definite conclusions as in 2015 this circuit produced a decently exciting race. Furthermore, the fact, the RBR-drivers will be massively out-of-position on the grid from their usual grid spots should provide an overtaking-show from them through the field.

      1. The RBR’s coming from the back could make it a bit nicer to watch @jerejj . But as you know this year it’s even harder to follow another car closely. We seen the result only two weeks ago…

        1. @ricod Yes, but the RBR-car has a significant pace advantage over all the cars (except for Mercedes and Ferrari) ahead of them on the grid, so, therefore, climbing through the field to P5 and P6 shouldn’t be too big of a task for them as they have a more significant than the 1.2-1.5 seconds advantage over them, which is the commonly used reference delta needed to overtake another car on merit.

    9. The only exciting part in Russia is turn 2 in lap 1 but that’s more stupid track design than anything. Who thought it’s a good idea to put a bottleneck at a place where 20 cars storm down into a cluster at once?

    10. Got to love these design for two stops tyres that don’t allow drivers to race nor require a two stop strategy as the fastest way to finish the race

    11. There’s no such thing as a boring race…. Some races are less interesting than others but I’ve never found any race i’ve watched over the last 29 years to be boring.

    12. Boring qualifying – check
      Boring race – on Sunday

    Comments are closed.