No wins have been recorded from outside the top four at the Russian Grand Prix, while every grid slot has previously scored. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at Sochi Autodrom!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- No wins from outside the top four
- 2nd and 4th never failed to score
- 20th has furthest back podium
- Three grid slots have never retired
- All 20 grid slots have previously scored
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last Non Finish||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
The polesitter has won only two of the seven races held at the Sochi Autodrom, and hasn’t taken victory in any of the last five seasons. In both 2017 and 2018, polesitters Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas finished as runner-up, while in 2019 and 2020, Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton finished third. In 2021, polesitter Lando Norris finished only seventh following a late race downpour. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are the two drivers to have taken pole for the Russian Grand Prix and won. Hamilton did so in 2014, while Rosberg took one of the most convincing wins so far at the circuit in 2016. Rosberg had suffered misfortune in the previous year, becoming the only polesitter so far to have retired from the Russian Grand Prix, putting a serious dent in his title aspirations for that season.
Second on the grid is one of only two grid slots to have scored on every occasion in Sochi. This grid slot has had more wins than any other, being victorious three times – including twice in the last four seasons. Lewis Hamilton is the driver to have won from second on the grid on all three occasions – in 2015, 2018 and 2019. Valtteri Bottas’ fourth place in 2016 is the worst result for a driver starting from this position, as well as the only time the grid slot has failed to give a podium finish.
Five podium finishes have been recorded from third on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix. It has provided two wins – both for Valtteri Bottas – in 2017 and 2020. There have also been two retirements from this grid slot. Bottas was still classified twelfth in 2015, but failed to cross the finish line after a collision on the penultimate lap with fellow-Finn Kimi Raikkonen, while in 2019, Sebastian Vettel failed to finish the race having started third. 2021 is the only other time that the grid slot has failed to provide a podium finish. George Russell finished tenth having started third for Williams last year.
Along with second, fourth on the grid is one of only two grid slots to have scored at every Russian Grand Prix so far. In 2021, it provided the furthest back win at Sochi Autodrom so far, with Lewis Hamilton taking victory. The position has provided a further two podium finishes, both runner-up spots: for Sebastian Vettel in 2015 and Valtteri Bottas in 2019. The driver starting fourth has also finished fourth on four occasions. Felipe Massa’s fifth place in 2016 is the only time a driver starting here has finished in a position lower than where they started.
The driver starting from fifth at the Russian Grand Prix has only scored five times in the seven races held at the Sochi track. Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen each scored eighth place finishes having started from fifth on the grid here in 2015 and 2018 respectively, while Carlos Sainz finished sixth in 2019. In 2020, Daniel Ricciardo became the first driver starting from fifth to finish in the top five. Meanwhile, in 2021, a fourth place finish for the Australian saw him become the first driver to finish in a better position than where he started from fifth on the grid in Sochi.
The driver starting sixth at the Sochi Autodrom has never finished in a better position than where they have started. While Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz are the only drivers to have retired from this grid slot, doing so in 2017 and 2020 respectively, Fernando Alonso’s sixth place in 2021 is the best finish so far for a driver starting from sixth. The driver starting here finished ninth in every season between 2016 and 2018.
From the seven races at Sochi Autodrom, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll are the only drivers to fail to score having started seventh at the Russian Grand Prix. Vettel recorded the grid slot’s only retirement in 2016, while Stroll finished eleventh in 2021. A single podium finish has come from here, with third place for Sergio Perez in 2015.
The driver starting eighth at the Sochi Autodrom has never finished in a better position than where they have started. Nico Hulkenberg is the only driver to have not lost a place at the Russian Grand Prix starting eighth: he finished eighth in 2017. Eighth is one of only two grid slots in the top fifteen to have recorded two retirements at the Russian Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean failed to finish having started here in both 2015 and 2019.
Max Verstappen recorded the best result yet for the driver starting ninth at the 2019 Russian Grand Prix with fourth place. The grid slot scored for a fourth time in 2020, with Pierre Gasly finishing where he started. Verstappen also finished tenth in 2015 and Sergio Perez finished sixth in 2017. The grid slot has had one retirement, also for Verstappen, in 2016.
In 2019, Daniel Ricciardo became the first driver to retire from tenth on the grid at Sochi Autodrom. Tenth has given the second furthest back podium finish at the track, with Lewis Hamilton finishing as runner-up having started tenth in 2016. Charles Leclerc’s sixth place finish in 2020 marked the first time that the driver starting here scored since 2017.
The driver starting eleventh at the Russian Grand Prix has never failed to finish the race. Eleventh has scored two fifth place finishes, in 2014 and 2015. The grid slot has scored in two of the last three seasons: Sergio Perez finished in seventh place in 2019, while Daniil Kvyat finished eighth last year.
Lance Stroll brought an end to the twelfth grid slot’s 100% finishing record at the Russian Grand Prix by retiring on the opening lap in 2020. No one has scored from this grid slot since 2016. Sergio Perez and Jenson Button both finished tenth in 2014 and 2016 respectively, while Felipe Nasr recorded the best finish so far from this grid slot with sixth in 2015.
Three points finishes have been recorded from thirteenth on the grid at Sochi Autodrom. Jenson Button in 2015 and Kevin Magnussen in 2019 both picked up two points with a ninth place finish. Kimi Raikkonen recorded the grid slot’s best result to date in 2021 with eighth place. Nico Hulkenberg’s retirement in 2016 is the only time a driver starting here has failed to finish the Russian Grand Prix.
In 2021, Mick Schumacher became the first driver to retired having started fourteenth on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix. The driver starting here has scored three times, with a best finish of sixth for Fernando Alonso in 2016.
The driver starting fifteenth has scored points three times at the Russian Grand Prix. Felipe Massa recorded the best finish from this grid slot in 2015 with fourth place, Romain Grosjean finished eighth in 2016 and Alex Albon finished tenth in 2020. Though there have been no DNFs from this grid slot, Fernando Alonso recorded a DNS having been scheduled to line up fifteenth in 2017.
In 2021, Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to score from sixteenth on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix. The Finn came home in fifth place. The previous best finish for a driver starting here was fourteenth, which was scored by both Fernando Alonso in 2018 and Pierre Gasly in 2019. Both Marcus Ericsson and Jolyon Palmer were eliminated in first lap crashes having started from sixteenth in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
The driver starting seventeenth has retired from the Russian Grand Prix twice in the last four seasons. Pierre Gasly was out in 2018, while George Russell failed to finish in 2019. The position has recorded one points finish: a seventh place for Kevin Magnussen in 2016.
In 2019, Robert Kubica became the first driver to record a retirement from eighteenth on the grid. Meanwhile in 2018, Daniel Ricciardo became the first driver to score from this grid slot, as he finished sixth for Red Bull on a great recovery drive.
Nineteenth on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix has supplied one points finish, a fifth place for Max Verstappen in 2018. Two drivers have recorded retirements from here: Kamui Kobayashi in 2014 and Romain Grosjean in 2017.
In 2021, Max Verstappen became the first driver to score from twentieth on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix. He recorded a podium finish from the grid slot, coming home in second place. The previous best finish for a driver starting twentieth at this track was fourteenth, which Stoffel Vandoorne took in 2017. Twentieth has more DNFs in Sochi than any other grid slot, and is the first position to have had three retirements. Max Chilton, Carlos Sainz and Brendon Hartley are the three drivers to have had their races ended early after starting from this slot. Due to Alex Albon’s pit lane start, the twentieth grid slot was left vacant for the first time in 2019.
Alex Albon became the first driver to start from the pit lane at the Russian Grand Prix in 2019. He made his way to fifth by the end of the Grand Prix.