Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about the Sochi Autodrom ahead of the Russian Grand Prix!
Track length: 5.848km
Race length: 309.745km
Circuit opened: 2014
F1 first visited: 2014
Races held: 8
Track Record: 1:31.304, Lewis Hamilton, 2020
Lap Record: 1:35.761, Lewis Hamilton, 2019
There have been eight races held at the Sochi Autodrom since it joined the F1 calendar in 2014. The 2022 Russian Grand Prix will be the final race at the circuit, with the Russian Grand Prix set to move to Igora Drive in 2023.
From the eight races held here so far, there have been only three different winners.
Lewis Hamilton has the most wins of any driver here, with five, Valtteri Bottas has won twice and Nico Rosberg took victory in 2016.
Mercedes are the only team to have won the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.
Lewis Hamilton is the only driver to have taken back-to-back wins at the Russian Grand Prix, having done so in 2014 and 2015 and then again in 2018 and 2019. No driver has taken more than two wins in a row here.
The longest streak of different winners at the track is three, with a different driver taking victory in every season between 2016 and 2018.
Mercedes have recorded four 1-2 finishes at Sochi Autodrom.
Lewis Hamilton set a new record for the largest win margin at the Russian Grand Prix in 2021. He took victory by 53.271 seconds. The previous record was Nico Rosberg’s win by 25.022 seconds in 2016.
The smallest win margin at the Russian Grand Prix was in 2017, when Valtteri Bottas took his maiden F1 victory as he finished just 0.617 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
The Russian Grand Prix has been won by less than ten seconds on five occasions and has been won by less than five seconds three times, in three of the last five seasons.
From the eight races held at the track so far, the average win margin has been 14.078 seconds.
ON THE PODIUM
Nine different drivers have finished on the podium at the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton has more podium finishes here than any other driver, having finished in the top three on seven occasions.
Mercedes are the team with the most podium finishes at the track, with thirteen.
Finnish and British drivers have had the most podiums of any nation, with seven top three finishes each.
Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen are the only drivers not on the current grid to have finished on the podium at the Sochi Autodrom. Aside from Hamilton’s seven podium finishes, the other drivers on the grid to have finished in the top three here include Valtteri Bottas – with five top three finishes, Sebastian Vettel – with three top three results and Max Verstappen – with two Russian Grand Prix podiums. Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz each have a single Russian Grand Prix podium to their name.
All of the top three qualifiers have finished on the podium here on four occasions: in 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2020. 2014 is the only time the top three finished in the order in which they started.
There is yet to be a race here where none of the top three qualifiers have finished on the podium.
RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX POLESITTERS
Six different drivers have started from pole at the Sochi Autodrom. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers who have taken multiple pole positions at the circuit. Rosberg did so in 2015 and 2016, while Hamilton took pole in 2014 and 2020.
Mercedes are the team to have taken the most poles at the track, with five.
German drivers have four poles at the track, the most for any nation.
Nico Rosberg is the only previous Russian Grand Prix polesitter not on the current grid. In addition to Lewis Hamilton’s two poles, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris have each taken one pole at the circuit.
Nico Rosberg is the only driver to have taken back-to-back pole positions at the circuit, having done so in 2015 and 2016. No driver has taken more than two consecutive poles at the track.
Mercedes hold the record for most consecutive poles at the Russian Grand Prix. The team took pole in all of the first three races held at Sochi Autodrom.
The largest pole margin at the Sochi Autodrom is 0.706 seconds, which is the margin by which Nico Rosberg set the fastest qualifying time in 2016. The smallest pole margin was in the following year, when Valtteri Bottas took pole by just 0.059 seconds. That’s the only time pole has been decided by less than a tenth of a second here.
From the eight Russian Grands Prix held so far at Sochi Autodrom, the average pole margin is 0.364 seconds.
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
Only two of the seven Grands Prix at Sochi Autodrom have been won from pole. The polesitter has finished on the podium without winning the race five times. In 2021, Lando Norris became the first Russian Grand Prix polesitter who failed to finish on the podium.
2017, 2020 and 2021 are the only times that the Russian Grand Prix has not been won from the front row of the grid. Valtteri Bottas won from third on the grid in both 2017 and 2020, while Lewis Hamilton won from fourth on the grid in 2021.
20th is the lowest grid slot to have scored a podium finish at the track. Max Verstappen finished as runner-up having started from 20th in 2021.
The most drivers to finish all the laps of a Russian Grand Prix is fifteen, in 2019. The least came in 2016, when just five drivers finished on the lead lap.
There has been a Safety Car period in five of the eight Russian Grands Prix held so far. The most Safety Car stints in a single race here is two, which happened in both 2015 and 2019.
The 2021 Russian Grand Prix was the first rain-affected race at Sochi Autodrom.
Six different drivers have set the fastest lap of the race at the Russian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas has set the most fastest laps at the circuit, having set the fastest lap of the race in 2014, 2018 and 2020.
The highest number of cars to finish a Russian Grand Prix is nineteen, which happened in 2014, while the following year saw just thirteen drivers reach the end of the race.
From the 162 cars which have started a race here, 135 have reached the chequered flag. That gives an overall finish rate of 83%.
In total, ten retirements have been recorded on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix. The 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020 events all featured multiple drivers retiring on the first lap.
There is yet to be a red-flagged Russian Grand Prix. The 2017 Russian Grand Prix is the only F1 race at Sochi Autodrom which failed to reach its scheduled distance. That season, the first race start was aborted due to Fernando Alonso’s McLaren grinding to a halt at the pit entry on the formation lap. Another formation lap took place and the race distance was shortened by one lap.
So far there have been 423 Grand Prix laps of the Sochi Autodrom.
There has never been a Drivers’ Champion crowned at the Sochi Autodrom, but Mercedes clinched the Constructors’ Championship as a result of the Russian Grand Prix in 2014 and 2015.
There is yet to be a dead rubber race held at Sochi Autodrom. Both championships were undecided after the Russian Grand Prix in all of the last six seasons.
The winner of the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom has gone on to win the championship in the same year on five occasions. Valtteri Bottas failed to do so in 2017 and 2020, while Lewis Hamilton failed to win the title in 2021.
2014, 2016 and 2020 are the only seasons in which the Russian Grand Prix polesitter has gone on to win the title.
The driver leading the World Championship after the Russian Grand Prix has gone on to win the championship in every season except 2017 and 2021.
After graduating 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. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.