Race Facts – Russian Grand Prix

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Learn about the history of the Russian Grand Prix, which has been held at the Sochi Autodrom since 2014. The sixth edition of the race is on September 26-29, 2019.

It’s hard to believe that the upcoming Russian Grand Prix will be the sixth running of the event in the seaside city of Sochi, The race somehow still feels new still, even though it was over 30 years in the planning. Bernie Ecclestone had talks with Soviet leader Brezhnev about bringing F1 to the Russian capital after the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. It would take another Russian Olympics – this time of the winter variety – to make the race a reality at the purpose-built Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014. The first race was held just eight months after Sochi staged the Winter Olympics and in the same Olympic Park precinct that hosted the indoor sports and opening/closing ceremonies.

The initial seven-year contract for the race was bankrolled by the national government, with strong support from Vladimir Putin. In 2017, the promoter signed a 5-year contract extension which will see the race held until at least 2025. Sadly, the Hermann Tilke-designed Sochi Autodrom has not been popular among fans or drivers due to the lack of overtaking opportunities and subsequent processional races held to date. It was recently reported that the Sochi owners are evaluating changes to the track to boost overtaking opportunities, with the smooth track surface a particular area of focus.

Russian Grand Prix: Did You Know?

  • Mercedes has won all five Russian Grands Prix to date. Lewis Hamilton has three wins, whilst Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg have each won once.
  • Ferrari are the only team other than Mercedes to have taken pole position at the Sochi Autodrom. Sebastian Vettel did so in 2017.
  • There has been a Russian driver present at every running of the Russian Grand Prix so far. While Daniil Kvyat took part in all four races between 2014 and 2017, with a best finish of 5th in 2015, Sergey Sirotkin raced with Williams here in 2018. With Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso comeback, there will once again be a Russian on the grid at the 2019 event.
  • At 5.848km long, the Sochi circuit is the fourth longest on the current F1 calendar behind Spa Francorchamps, Baku and Silverstone. Around 30% of the circuit is used as public roads when racing is not taking place.
  • Sochi is one of eight cities to have hosted the Olympics and a Formula 1 Grand Prix; the others are Melbourne, Montreal, Barcelona and Mexico City (all current F1 cities), plus historic venues in Berlin (AVUS), Los Angeles (Long Beach), and Rio de Janeiro (Jacarepaqua).
  • Drivers starting from second and fourth in the Russian Grand Prix have never failed to score points in the Grand Prix.
  • Six different drivers have finished on the podium at the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton has had the most top three appearances, with four.
Circuit NameSochi Autodrom
Race first held2014
Track Length5.848km (18 turns)
Race Distance53 laps (309.732km)
Lap Record1:35.861, Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, 2018)
2018 Result1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:27:25.181
2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +2.545s
3rd Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +7.487s
November 22, 2018

Travel Basics – Russian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to the Russian F1 Grand Prix! The next race at the Sochi Autodrom is on September 26-29, 2019.

November 17, 2018

Tickets – 2019 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom

Guide to buying tickets for the 2019 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom on September 27-29.

September 25, 2018

Russian Grand Prix Travel Quiz

Test your knowledge of the Sochi Autodrom and the Russian Grand Prix.

September 25, 2018

Trackside at Sochi Autodrom – 2018 Russian Grand Prix

Your trackside guide to the Sochi Autodrom and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix, including the on-track schedule.

March 22, 2018

Off-Track Activities – Russian Grand Prix

What to do in Russia’s winter/summer capital when you are in Sochi for the Russian F1 Grand Prix.

March 3, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 Russian Grand Prix

How much does a weekend at the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi cost? Read on to find out. The next race is on September 28-30, 2018.

February 23, 2018

Race Facts – Russian Grand Prix

Learn about the history of the Russian Grand Prix, which has been held at the Sochi Autodrom since 2014

December 22, 2017

Getting There & Around – Russian Grand Prix

How to get to Sochi for the Russian F1 Grand Prix, plus information on getting to the track and around the city.

November 24, 2017

Accommodation – 2019 Russian Grand Prix

Where to stay for the Russian Grand Prix. The best budget, mid-range and luxury hotels close to Sochi Autodrom and in central Sochi.

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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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