Mercedes are undefeated in Russia, Ferrari have taken pole twice at Sochi in the last three years and Racing Point have never failed to score at the track. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at the Russian Grand Prix!
WINS: 6, POLES: 4, PODIUMS: 10, FINISH RATE: 92% | 2019 RESULT: HAMILTON 1st, BOTTAS 2nd
Mercedes remain undefeated at the Russian Grand Prix. The Benz team even won the pre-F1 1913 and 1914 Russian Grands Prix, meaning the team have dominated the event for 107 years. In addition to winning every race so far at the Sochi Autodrom, they’ve also taken 1-2 finishes in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Nico Rosberg’s retirement from the event in 2015 and Lewis Hamilton’s fourth place in 2017 are the only two occasions where a Mercedes driver hasn’t finished on the podium at the track.
A Mercedes car has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the Sochi circuit. Lewis Hamilton’s tenth place in qualifying here in 2016, the result of a hybrid system failure, is the worst qualifying slot for a Mercedes driver so far at the track. They’ve taken pole in four of the six races here, and locked-out the front row in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The 2017 race, in which Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton lined up third and fourth respectively, is the only time a Mercedes hasn’t appeared on the front row of the grid at the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton appeared on the front row last year, while Valtteri Bottas lined up fourth on the grid.
WINS: 0, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 6, FINISH RATE: 83% | 2019 RESULT: LECLERC 3rd, VETTEL DNF
Ferrari are yet to win the Russian Grand Prix, but have taken podium finishes in all of the last five Sochi races. 2017 is the only year in which both Ferraris have finished on the podium here, with Sebastian Vettel finishing a very close runner-up to Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen coming home in third. Vettel’s DNF in 2016, a result of being hit twice in two corners by Daniil Kvyat, and his DNF last year after a loss of power, are the only retirements for Ferrari so far at this track, as well as the only times one of the team’s cars have failed to score.
Ferrari have taken pole position twice at the Russian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in 2017, while Charles Leclerc was on pole last year. 2017 is the only time that Ferrari have locked-out the front row here. A Ferrari driver has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying at this circuit, with Kimi Raikkonen’s ninth place in 2014 being their worst qualifying result so far in Sochi.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 83% | 2019 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 4th, ALBON 5th
A Red Bull driver is yet to finish on the podium at the Russian Grand Prix. Last season, Max Verstappen recorded the team’s best result so far at the track with fourth place. With Alex Albon following him home in fifth place, it was the first time that both Red Bull drivers have finished in the top five at the Sochi Autodrom. 2014 and 2018 are the only other occasions that both Red Bulls have scored here. 2016 is the only season where the team have walked away from the circuit without any points, in a race which saw Daniil Kvyat ruin the team’s chances of scoring.
With grid penalties awaiting them, neither Red Bull driver put in the effort to reach the final part of qualifying here in 2018. It’s the only occasion that neither Red Bull driver has appeared in Q3 in Sochi. Max Verstappen recorded the team’s best qualifying effort yet last year with fourth, but a grid penalty dropped him to ninth on the final grid. After crashing in Q1, Alex Albon recorded the team’s first Q1 exit at the track last year.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 92% | 2019 RESULT: SAINZ 6th, NORRIS 8th
McLaren have not finished in the top five at the Russian Grand Prix since the first race at the Sochi Autodrom in 2014. Both cars finished in the top five on that occasion, with Jenson Button recording the team’s best result here so far with fourth place. Since then, both cars have finished in the points in both 2016 and 2019. The team failed to score in both 2017 and 2018. Though McLaren have not recorded a DNF here, Fernando Alonso recorded a DNS in 2017, coming to a halt on the formation lap.
Last season, McLaren qualified in the top ten at the Russian Grand Prix for the first time since 2014. Each time they have reached Q3, they have done so with both cars. Jenson Button’s fourth on the grid in 2014 remains the team’s best Saturday result so far at the track. 2018 is the only season that both McLarens have been eliminated in Q1 at the Sochi Autodrom.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 75% | 2019 RESULT: HULKENBERG 10th, RICCIARDO DNF
Renault have scored on all but one visit to the Russian Grand Prix, but have never had both cars finish in the top ten. They failed to pick up a point in 2018. Their best finish so far here came in their returning season, when Nico Hulkenberg finished in seventh place. The team have recorded two retirements at the event in the last three seasons. Jolyon Palmer retired on the first lap in 2017 and Daniel Ricciardo retired last year. In their Lotus guise, the team’s only points-scoring finish was seventh place for Pastor Maldonado in 2015.
Last year, both Renault cars appeared in Q3 at the Russian Grand Prix for the first time. While Daniel Ricciardo qualified tenth, Nico Hulkenberg recorded the team’s best qualifying result at the circuit with seventh. The German’s eighth place in 2017 is the only other time a Renault driver has appeared in Q3 here. The team recorded a double Q1 exit in 2016, while both their cars were eliminated in Q2 in 2018.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 67% | 2019 RESULT: KVYAT 12th, GASLY 14th
The former Toro Rosso team have scored only two points at the Russian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz both finished in tenth in 2015 and 2017 respectively. In 2018, both Toro Rosso drivers retired on the first lap of the Russian Grand Prix with similar brake issues. Having also recorded a further two DNFs in 2015 and 2016, Toro Rosso have the lowest finish rate of any current team at the track, with four DNFs in total.
The inaugural race at the Sochi Autodrom is the only time so far that both Toro Rosso drivers have reached the final part of qualifying at the Russian Grand Prix, with Daniil Kvyat picking up their best qualifying position at the track with fifth on the grid. Since then, the team have reached Q3 only twice more, in 2015 and 2016. Toro Rosso have suffered three Q1 exits here – with Carlos Sainz, who failed to set a time following a monster shunt in Free Practice Three in 2015; Brendon Hartley, who qualified sixteenth in 2018; and Daniil Kvyat, who failed to set a time in 2019.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 1, FINISH RATE: 83% | 2019 RESULT: PEREZ 7th, STROLL 11th
Force India and Racing Point have never failed to score at the Russian Grand Prix. Sergio Perez scored a podium finish for Force India in the 2015 Russian Grand Prix, marking the team’s best result here. Force India finished in the points at the circuit in both 2017 and 2018. The team have entered only four cars at the circuit which have failed to score, one of them being Lance Stroll’s eleventh place finish last year. In addition, Nico Hulkenberg finished twelfth in 2014 and retired in both 2015 and 2016.
In their first race here as Racing Point last year, the team recorded only their second appearance at the track in which neither driver has reached Q3. The only other time that has happened was in 2014. Lance Stroll recorded the team’s worst qualifying position to date at the track last year with fifteenth. None of the team’s drivers have had a Q1 exit in Sochi. Esteban Ocon equalled Force India’s best qualifying position at the Sochi Autodrom in 2018 by setting the sixth fastest time, the same as Nico Hulkenberg did in 2015. The team have had double Q3 appearances at the venue in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 92% | 2019 RESULT: RAIKKONEN 13th, GIOVINAZZI 15th
Sauber scored only twice at the Russian Grand Prix. Felipe Nasr finished sixth in 2015, while Charles Leclerc finished seventh in 2018. In their first race as Alfa Romeo at the track last year, Kimi Raikkonen finished thirteenth, while Antonio Giovinazzi finished fifteenth. The team’s two points-scoring appearances are the only times that their drivers have finished above thirteenth at the circuit. Marcus Ericsson’s first lap collision in 2015 is the only time the team have failed to finish a race here.
2018 is the only time that the team have reached Q3 at the circuit, doing so with both cars. Charles Leclerc qualified seventh, while Marcus Ericsson set the tenth fastest time. 2014 is the only other season that the team have not recorded a Q1 exit. Both cars were out in Q1 in 2016 and 2017. Last season, Antonio Giovinazzi qualified thirteenth while Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixteenth.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0, FINISH RATE: 75% | 2019 RESULT: MAGNUSSEN 9th, GROSJEAN DNF
The Haas team have scored three times so far at the Russian Grand Prix. The team’s best result at the track so far is eighth place for Romain Grosjean in 2016 and Kevin Magnussen in 2018. 2017 is the only year where they’ve failed to score so far in Sochi, with Magnussen picking up two points for his ninth place finish last season. Grosjean is the only Haas driver to have failed to finish a race at the track, retiring in both 2017 and 2019.
2018 marked the first time Haas had reached the final part of qualifying in Russia, with both cars qualifying in the top ten. Kevin Magnussen recorded the team’s equal-best qualifying with fifth while Romain Grosjean qualified in ninth place. Last year, Grosjean qualified in ninth while Magnussen was out in Q2.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 1, FINISH RATE: 75% | 2019 RESULT: RUSSELL DNF, KUBICA DNF
Williams recorded a double DNF at the Russian Grand Prix last year, making it the second season in a row that they failed to pick up points at the event. Valtteri Bottas took Williams’ only podium finish so far at the Russian Grand Prix as he finished third in the inaugural event. While more top five finishes followed in the next two seasons for the team, they have only scored two points here in the last three seasons, with Felipe Massa finishing ninth in 2017. 2016 is the only season where Williams have finished the Russian Grand Prix with both cars scoring points.
In all of the first three years of F1 visiting the Sochi Autodrom, Valtteri Bottas qualified in third place for Williams here, and he even started from the front row in 2016. 2016 is the only time that both Williams cars have appeared in Q3 at the track. The team have had both drivers eliminated in Q1 in each of the last two seasons.
After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fifth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.