Sochi Autodrom (Russia)

SOCHI, RUSSIA – OCTOBER 10: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 10, 2015 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Track name: Sochi Autodrom
Times the race has been held here: 3
First GP: 2014, won by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Total number of race laps: 57
Complete race distance: 745 kilometers (192.467 miles)
Pit lane speed limit: 60 kph (37.3 mph)
Pitlane length: 330 metres (0.21 miles), which is average. A pitstop takes about 22s
2016 winner: Nico Rosberg, 57 laps, 1:32:41.997
2016 pole position: Nico Rosberg – 1:35.417
2016 fastest lap: Nico Rosberg, 1:39.094
Most wins (driver): Lewis Hamilton – 2
Most wins(team): Mercedes – 3
Lap record: Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 2016 – 1:39.094
Smallest winning margin:  5.953 in 2015.
Circuit Length: 853km/3.637 miles
Direction: Clockwise
Turns: 18
Distance to Turn 1: 450 metres/0.280 miles to Turn Two, the first braking zone
Longest straight: 650 metres/0.404 miles, on the approach to Turn Two
Top Speed: 332km/h/206mph on the approach to Turn Two
Fastest corner: 260km/h (162mph),, Turn 3
Slowest corner: 105km/h (65mph), Turn 13
Full throttle: 57 per cent. This is higher than the average for a street circuit
DRS Zones: Two – on the approach to Turn Two and again on the approach to Turn 13
Key Corner: Turn Two, the best overtaking opportunity on the lap.
Fuel consumption: 9kg per lap, which is high
ERS Demands: Low
Brake wear: Low. Only 10 per cent of the lap is spent braking, into turns 2 and 13
Gear changes: 40 per lap/2,120 per race
Safety car likelihood: 45%. The substantial run-off areas make it relatively easy to remove stranded cars.
Tyre choices: Soft, Supersoft, Ultrasoft
Weather: Warm (15 – 22)
Chance of rain: 47%
Grip levels: Low. The asphalt is very smooth, which makes this race one of the lowest tyre degradation races of the season.
Run off: Substantial

A lap around Russia

You arrive into turn one – it’s very big braking, quite a fairly long straight. Then you go out from turn one and arrive into turn three, which is a very fast, high-speed corner usually flat out. You arrive into turn four – it’s a medium-speed corner, quite important to get brake balance with the proper settings as you come from turn three which has a lot of lateral load. Next corner is turn five, which is a 90-degree corner.

It’s a fourth-gear corner, and you can use all the curb available. Then you have an off-banking corner, so the track is going away from the apex to the exit of the corner, and this puts a bit of trickiness into the traction of the car. You have some medium-speed corners before the backstraight, which is not really a backstraight because it has a few corners which are part of the straight.

The next corner is a hairpin. You arrive on the braking with a lot of lateral, and this requires a very different brake balance because it’s quite a big braking with a lot of cornering, which is a little bit like Bahrain.

Then you exit the very slow-speed corner with a lot of lateral trying to prepare for the next corner, which is off-banking again, followed by a left-hander that is also off-banking. There’s a small straight before the last two corners, which are both 90 degrees. It’s important to have the tires up to temperature because you need the traction. It’s a track that is pretty stop-and-go. It requires a very different setup to what we had in China.