Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Sochi prepared to hold two F1 races if needed

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In the round-up: The Russian Grand Prix promoters say they are prepared to hold two F1 races this year if the championship needs them to.

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Comment of the day

F1’s aerodynamic handicap is just another sticking plaster, says @Stefmeister:

The problem with a lot of these ideas is that they don’t ‘fix’ the problem. There just a sticking plaster hiding it from view and the more reliant F1 becomes on these things means they will be harder to take off and you instead just end up adding more.

DRS is a prime example of this. It doesn’t fix anything, It just hides the issue behind a gimmick that was only supposed to be around a few years and was also supposed to be removed when the 2021/22 rule changes were introduced. Yet it’s been around nearly a decade, Has never looked like been removed and will still be on the cars beyond 2022 because F1 has become reliant on it to create ‘stats’ and ‘fake’ excitement.

The reverse grid qualifying race idea is another example. It again doesn’t ‘fix’ any of the issues, It just hides them by penalising the fastest cars/drivers in a way to create artificial excitement and an even more artificially mixed up grid. The performance differences between teams, The inequality of funding distribution or difficulty cars have following/overtaking isn’t solved… There just hidden behind the gimmick.
@Stefmeister

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  • 29 comments on “Sochi prepared to hold two F1 races if needed”

    1. Two Sochis? I thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse…

      1. Could we please go back to complete shutdown now, please?

      2. Tell me about it…..

      3. It is called a disaster afterall.

      4. @fer-no65 Two is better than nothing.

        1. @jerejj no it isn’t

          1. @fer-no65 I meant two races at Sochi Autodrom is better than no racing at all. I guess I should’ve been more precise with my wording. Sorry about that.

            1. no it isn’t

    2. Pedro Andrade
      6th June 2020, 0:10

      Sochi prepared to hold two F1 races if needed

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      1. Indeed. That would be 2 too many races in Sochi.

      2. Indeed. I’m not prepared for that!

        1. Indeed, please no sochi and abu dhabi!

      3. @Pedro Andrade @jimmi-cynic @eurobrun @esploratore
        Racing there twice is better than no racing at all. In these times, no point in complaining about specific circuits.
        @rocketpanda @mfreire

        1. True IF we had no racing at all. We already have 8 European races planned between now and September. Sochi is 9 on its original date. If we lose Singapore, we lose it. Rather 2 races at Suzuka or Bahrain than Sochi.

          1. @eurobrun I agree. I’d also rather have two Suzuka-races, but unfortunately, the Japanese GP looks quite likely to not happen at all this year due to Japan banning people arriving from Europe (and the US) from entering the country before next March. Two consecutive weekends of racing in Bahrain, on the other hand, could very well happen if more circuits drop out.

    3. Goodness. I don’t think things are that bad are they?

    4. Sochi should be ditched after this year.

    5. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      6th June 2020, 12:05

      Sochi is like watching paint dry and paint never dries twice.

    6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      6th June 2020, 12:11

      I was trying to think of something funny to say about two races at Sochi but to be honest it’s just a spectacularly dull track – possibly the worst on the whole calendar. One is too many.

    7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th June 2020, 16:11

      What is it people find so boring about Russia? I can remember a lot of things happening here. In the first year (2014), it seemed to be one of the few tracks where another team outside the big 3 were possibly as good as Mercedes. Bottas nearly got pole and near the end of the race was actually faster than Rosberg. This was partly because Rosberg was on a different strategy due to locking up and getting a flat spot on lap 1.

      There is almost always chaos on the first lap here, more often than not including Hulkenberg for some reason. There was also Kvyats double contact with Vettel which got talked about for ages. Without Russia, would that have happened?

      There was 2015 where Perez was about to get a podium then both Bottas and Kimi got past him on the very last lap. Was there no tension or excitement during that race? Bottas was then on target to get his 2nd podium on this track and then even more action that we maybe didn’t want, but Kimi lunged into Bottas and then Perex unexpectedly got his podium position back.

      2016, Hamilton had to start 10th, which surely made things a bit more interesting? Then as I mentioned, Kvyat turned his career round this race. This is another memorable thing about this race even if it isn’t a good one. Also, Magnussen got Renault’s best result by far this year. 7th and got 6 out of the teams 8 points over the year.

      2017 maybe wasn’t the most exciting race, but the change was that for once, Hamilton was underperforming. Bottas got a great start and past 2 Ferraris that were quicker in qualifying and brought his car home to the finish to get his very first win. Again, at least something that made this race a little more interesting.

      2018 wasn’t as interesting, but Hamilton had a good scrap with Vettel when he came out the pits, and then of course what we do remember are those cruel team orders against Bottas forcing him to let Hamilton through despite being set to win the race.

      2019 was probably the least exciting of the lot, but again, there was something that helped me remember it. The Ferrari orders for the start and the tension between the two in the race. However, I think Vettel proved to be faster. Ferrari then seemed to deliberately hamper his race to get Leclerc ahead and then he had to retire.

      Really, I don’t understand that those who say this is such a boring track and implying that there is nothing memorable about it. I seem to remember more about Russia than many races. I often think Monaco and several others are worse than Russia actually in terms of on track action.

      1. So, you really digged deep to find some examples of less boring moments… But read your lines again and notice the use of… “was about to get” and likewise statements.
        Booooooring.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          6th June 2020, 18:30

          I didn’t dig deep to find evidence, I remembered this as I myself don’t get why many find this track so boring. Every race had memorable moments IMO and were talked about for some time too.

          You look to read part way then give up. I used your words highlighted once with Perez, and the podium he was about to get was lost then found again. My wording there was relevant.

          The later years here may not have been as good, but the first 3 races were certainly reasonable to me.

          1. Nope, I swallow the whole piece, but it’s still the same.
            Booooooring and predictable two devastating elements.

      2. @thegianthogweed
        It’s a track where Mercedes have won 6/6 races and got 4/6 1-2s, most of them unopposed.
        As a track it looks as a combination of a supermarket parking lot and an abandoned outskirt of a city where they built a few buildings and then run out of money to build the rest.
        Almost all of its corners are completely forgettable 90-degrees with the exception of turn 3 which could have been better if we hadn’t that idiotic turn 1-2 chicane that almost everyone cuts it and the moan about track limits.
        It’s Tilke’s worst work on par with Abu Dhabi, but at least Abu Dhabi looks nicer with the flashing lights and has produced 1 great race in 2012. And it holds the second worst record in our ‘rate-the-race’ poll with an average of 5.33 (only Paul-Ricard is worse but it only held 2 races to Sochi’s 6).

      3. @thegianthogweed
        It’s a track where Mercedes have won 6/6 races and got 4/6 1-2s, most of them unopposed.
        As a track it looks as a combination of a supermarket parking lot and an abandoned outskirt of a city where they built a few buildings and then run out of money to build the rest.
        Almost all of its corners are completely forgettable 90-degrees with the exception of turn 3 which could have been better if we hadn’t that stupid turn 1-2 chicane that almost everyone cuts it and they moan about track limits.
        It’s Tilke’s worst work on par with Abu Dhabi, but at least Abu Dhabi looks nicer with the flashing lights and has produced 1 great race in 2012. And it holds the second worst record in our ‘rate-the-race’ poll with an average of 5.33 (only Paul-Ricard is worse but it only held 2 races to Sochi’s 6).

        1. Indeed, a track where the same boring team always dominates is boring.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            7th June 2020, 10:02

            @esploratore

            “always dominates” isn’t true.

            Both in 2017 and 2019, Ferrari out qualified Mercedces with one or both cars. In 2017, Vettel looked pretty much equal to Bottas speed wise and finished 0.6 seconds behind. If it wasn’t for Massa being a little slow for the blue flags, Vettel could well have won that race.

            2019 it was incredibly obvious that the Mercedes were not dominant. Vettel and Leclerc very obviously were pulling away from the Mercedes pair.

            Leclerc already had pitted before the safety car which would have been a good strategy for the harder tyre until the end of the race. If Ferrari had pitted Vettel first, the lead over Mercedes later on would have been even greater. But they messed up Vettel’s race and then Vettel retired. That caused a safety car where both Mercedes had there one and only stop for softs, which was an incredibly lucky timed stop. This was what got them ahead of Leclerc. Hamilton certainly looked quick in the later stages, but Leclerc was faster than Bottas and that Ferrari was clearly the best car that day. It will have been a Ferrari 1 – 2 without Vettel retiring.

            Even at this track, Mercedes haven’t been “dominant” since 2016.

            1. @thegianthogweed The fact that in 2 out of the 6 races we’ve endured in Sochi, something so insignificant happened, not an epic battle for the lead, not some chaotic race, not a masterful performance from a driver other than Mercedes to snatch the lead and fight for the win… just Mercedes happened no to take pole…until they almost immediatly overtook the Ferraris in the race to lead unchallenged to the end… says it all for this circuit.

              I’ve been watching F1 since 2009 and it’s hands down the worst looking, most boring and most unnecessary circuit the cars have raced since then, even worse than Valencia. Mercedes have also won in Silverstone 5/6 races the last few years, they’ve won in Suzuka 6/6 races…but without a second doubt i would rather get up in the middle of the night to watch them race in Japan knowing Mercedes would probably win again and i would gladly watch them race 2 more times in Silverstone this year (4 in total), than watch a Sochi double header. It’s the epitomy of a bad circuit.

    8. “Sochi prepared to host 2 F1 GP’s if needed”

      The horror. The horror.

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