The Sochi Autodrom was designed by Hermann Tilke around the Olympic Park in Sochi. A flat track with some unique curves, but we didn't see much sensation in Russia yet. The winner so far has always been a Mercedes-Benz driver.
The Olympic Games of 2014
In 2014 the Winter Olympics will take place in Russia and the Olympic Park will be located in Sochi. There is the stadium where the ice hockey tournament is held, as well as curling, ice dancing, short track and long track skating. The opening ceremony and closing ceremony were also held in Sochi.
The terrain in Krasnodar Krai had the space to provide even more and so Hermann Tilke was flown in to make something beautiful from the ground. It became the Sochi Autodrom, which opened for Formula 1 in September 2014 after the Olympic Games.
At the end of 2014 the time will have come. Following the opening of the track in September, Formula 1 drivers will be able to test the track in Sochi for the first time during the first free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix. It will also be the first Russian Grand Prix to be officially on the Formula 1 calendar, after an unofficial Grand Prix was held in St. Petersburg in 1913 and 1914.
Like many of Tilke's designs, the circuit has many different race lanes, but also some unique features. For example, turn four is notable and is compared to the spectacular turn eight in Turkey. Furthermore, however, there are many long straights and right angles, which makes one team stand out well on the circuit so far.
Since the race on the Black Sea is on the calendar, it is only Mercedes that has been able to win the race. Lewis Hamilton has won the first and the last two editions, setting a record with four victories on his own. Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas each won the Russian Grand Prix once. We rarely saw a big battle for victory.
A striking detail about these Mercedes victories is that Mercedes sincerely won every race in Russia. Indeed, the two editions in 1913 and 1914 were won under the constructors name Benz. Indeed: Mercedes-Benz.
As said, there have been few impressive moments on the Sochi circuit, but the 2016 Grand Prix is one that is etched in many a memory. After not having become friends with Sebastian Vettel in China, Danill Kvyat gets his nickname the 'Torpedo' in his own country a completely different dimension. The Russian touches Vettel twice and creates a DNF of the Ferrari driver. It will cost Kvyat his seat at Red Bull Racing, where 18-year-old Max Verstappen is preferred for the next race in Spain. The rest is history...