THE 2021 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX
ROUND 15. 24th – 26th September.
1050th F1 GRAND PRIX | 10th RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX | 8th GRAND PRIX AT SOCHI AUTODROM
2020 POLESITTER: LEWIS HAMILTON | 2020 WINNER: VALTTERI BOTTAS
Friday 24th September
Free Practice 1 (11:30am Local Time/ 9:30am UK Time)
Free Practice 2 (3pm Local Time/ 1pm UK Time)
Saturday 25th September
Free Practice 3 (12pm Local Time/ 10am UK Time)
Qualifying (3pm Local Time/ 1pm UK Time)
Sunday 26th September
The 2021 Russian Grand Prix (3pm Local Time/ 1pm UK Time)
- This will be the fifth race to be held on 26th September. It’s the first race to be held on this date since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.
- Lap 30 of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix will be the 400th racing lap to take place at Sochi Autodrom in F1 history.
- This will be the first Russian Grand Prix in which Romain Grosjean has not lined up on the grid.
- Mercedes have won all seven Russian Grands Prix held so far at Sochi Autodrom. A win for any other team would end Mercedes’ winning streak at the track and make them the second team to have won here.
READ MORE IN MILESTONES AND RECORDS TO BREAK
Since F1’s last visit to Sochi, a number of turns have been resurfaced. This includes the apex at Turn 2, Turn 15 and the right hand side of the track between Turns 16 and 17.
Information about the upcoming race weekend, such as DRS zones and track changes, will be added here.
SOCHI AUTODROM TRACK GUIDE
After failed attempts for thirty years, Russia finally got to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014, as the sport headed to Sochi to race around the site of the Winter Olympic Games.
Before the First World War, two Russian Grands Prix were held, in 1913 and 1914. Taking place at a circuit in Saint Petersburg, the races were a success, with Russian racer Georgy Suvorin winning the first event, and German Willy Scholl winning the 1914 Grand Prix. Following the outbreak of the war, and the subsequent Russian Civil War, racing in the country was stopped. The Grand Prix was not resumed in the post-war years following the forming of the Soviet Union.
As Vitaly Petrov became Russia’s first Formula One driver in 2010, momentum was gaining to finally bring the sport to the country. In October 2010, it was announced that Sochi would host the Russian Grand Prix from 2014 onward. Sochi is a popular holiday destination as it is located on the coast of the Black Sea. It has the best of both worlds, with both the Caucasus mountains and the beach nearby.
READ MORE IN OUR ULTIMATE TRACK GUIDE
PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULES
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on the Thursday before the race. All 20 drivers will appear in the press conference, which will take place virtually.
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Friday. The team members appearing in the Teams’ Press Conference for this race weekend are Andreas Seidl (McLaren), Toto Wolff (Mercedes), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Marcin Budkowski (Alpine), Laurent Mekies (Ferrari) and Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda).
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Enrique Bernoldi.
The weather forecast for the week ahead at the circuit currently looks like this:
In 2021, each team will be supplied with the same selection of tyres by Pirelli: two sets of hard compounds, three sets of medium compounds and eight sets of soft compounds. Pirelli will supply the C3, C4 and C5 compounds for this race weekend.
2020 RUSSIAN GP RECAP
Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, but a time penalty derailed his Sunday afternoon. Valtteri Bottas ensured Mercedes maintained their 100% win record at Sochi Autodrom.
Sebastian Vettel crashed in qualifying, and was lucky to be avoided by his team-mate. The resulting red flag meant that Lewis Hamilton had a bumpy route into Q3, but he made it and subsequently took pole position. Max Verstappen lined up alongside Hamilton on the front row. Valtteri Bottas made light work of passing the Red Bull on the run to Turn 1 and even challenged Hamilton for the lead – but the reigning champion remained ahead. Behind, Verstappen ran wide at the first chicane, as did multiple other drivers. Among them was Carlos Sainz, who crashed when attempting to round the bollards in the run-off area. With the yellow flags out, Lance Stroll spun after contact with Charles Leclerc; the Racing Point driver becoming the second retirement of the afternoon. Before the race reached Lap 10, Hamilton picked up two five second time penalties as a result of making a practice start in the wrong area of track. Alex Albon, Lando Norris and George Russell became embroiled in a battle for position at the back of the field, with Albon ultimately ending up ahead. Hamilton was first of the leaders to pit and dropped to tenth as he served his penalties. He fought back to third place, with the top two positions remaining unchanged. There was action in the closing stages from Norris, Albon and Pierre Gasly, all fighting over ninth place. As Gasly and Albon fought over tenth, with Gasly winning that particular battle, Norris was able to pull clear – though a late pit stop dropped Norris to fifteenth. Bottas took the victory with a seven second margin to Verstappen.
FASTEST EVER LAP
RECENT FASTEST LAPS IN EACH SESSION
|Free Practice 1||1:36.074 (Kimi Raikkonen)||1:34.488 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:34.462 (Charles Leclerc)||1:34.923 (Valtteri Bottas)|
|Free Practice 2||1:34.120 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:33.385 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:33.162 (Max Verstappen)||1:33.519 (Valtteri Bottas)|
|Free Practice 3||1:34.001 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:33.067 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:32.733 (Charles Leclerc)||1:33.279 (Lewis Hamilton)|
|Qualifying||1:33.194 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:31.387 (Valtteri Bottas)||1:31.628 (Charles Leclerc)||1:31.304 (Lewis Hamilton)|
|Grand Prix||1:36.844 (Kimi Raikkonen)||1:35.861 (Valtteri Bottas)||1:35.761 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:37.030 (Valtteri Bottas)|