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Trackside – 2017 Russian Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to the Sochi Autodrom and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix, including the on-track schedule. This year’s race takes place on April 28-30, 2017.

The Sochi Autodrom circuit is built around the Olympic Park, which is where several state-of-the-art venues built for the 2014 Winter Olympics are located, including the Bolshoy Ice Dome and the Adler Arena speed skating centre. This makes for an interesting trackside experience, especially for Olympic fans! Sadly, entrance is restricted for some sections depending on your ticket, and there’s a decided lack of English-language signs. English is not widely spoken at the track either, so it pays to have a translation app at the ready on your smartphone.

2017 Russian Grand Prix schedule

The full on-track schedule for the 2017 Russian GP is yet to be published, but we have included the F1 schedule below. The only support series confirmed so far this year is the Mitjet Series Russia for mini prototypes.

  • Thursday, April 27

    • Time TBC: Pitlane walk and F1 driver’s autograph session (only for 4-day ticket holders)
  • Friday, April 28

    • 11:00-12:30: Formula 1 free practice 1
    • 15:00-16:30: Formula 1 free practice 2
  • Saturday, April 29

    • 12:00-13:00: Formula 1 free practice 3
    • 15:00-16:00: Formula 1 qualifying
  • Sunday, April 30

    • 15:00-17:00: 2017 Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix
2017 Sochi Autodrom map: click for a large version

Circuit Entry

Several gates provide entrance to the circuit. Spectators are not allowed to bring in any food, alcohol or glass bottles. Only 0.5l water bottles are accepted. Other prohibited items include flag/banner poles longer than 1.5 meters, folding chairs and cooler boxes (this is not Spa), plus all the usual dangerous items that you have no business bringing in anyway! Bag checks are conducted on entry.

Sochi Autodrom: things to do

  • The F1 Village is located behind the Main Grandstand. This is the place to go for the best food and drink, and to buy merchandise. There’s also a game zone with simulators and a children’s area with entertainment.
  • The organizers also put on various displays around the Olympic Park on Grand Prix weekend, including extreme sports, trick motorcycle riders and a “musical fountain show” after dark.
  • There’s not one, but two car museums within the circuit grounds, both of which are free to F1 ticket holders! The  Sochi Autodrom museum is focused on racing cars from around the world, whilst the Sochi Automuseum is more about obscure Russian cars from the communist era.
  • F1 driver’s autograph sessions will be held in the central square of the Olympic Park. Details will be available soon
  • Concerts take place on the big stage of the Olympic Park central square on Saturday and Sunday nights. The headliners have yet to be announced, but don’t hold your breath for the appearance of well-known international acts; this will be Russian music for (the mainly) Russian fans.
  • Sochi Park is a theme park within walking distance of Olympic Park. Adult tickets cost 1350 RUB (22 EUR) and  tickets for children aged 5-12 are 1050 RUB (17.50 EUR).

Food & drink

Over 100 food and drink stands are located around the circuit. The F1 village behind the Main Grandstand has the best selection, but there are also dedicated cafes and restaurants, including a pizzeria inside the Main grandstand (near Gate A) and cafes inside the Bolshoy Ice Arena (for General Admission fans) and the Adler Arena speed skating centre (near grandstand T3). A “gastronomic trip around the world” is also on offer near grandstand T2. Sorry, we don’t have any information on the prices of food and drink. Learn more here.

Have you been to Sochi Autodrom? Leave a comment below and tell us about your trackside experience!

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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