ANALYSIS: Assessing the Field – 2020 Russian GP

The Formula 1 circus has frequented the Sochi Autodrom since the Winter Olympics were held at the site in 2014, and this year was no stranger to providing controversies and Turn 2 dramatics. 

Valtteri Bottas won the sixth annual Russian Grand Prix at the Black Sea circuit, adding to his season tally of two wins. Max Verstappen, again, became the only driver to competitively challenge the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team duo, claiming second place and after a weekend plagued with time penalties and penalty points, Lewis Hamilton claimed the final podium spot. 

Like the previous round of the championship, the Tuscan Grand Prix, at Mugello, the opening few laps of the race were not short of clashes and retirements. During those opening laps, the grid lost Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lance Stroll to retirements due to collisions with barriers. 



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‘New upgrades from Ferrari are going to help Vettel’ – report

Scuderia Ferrari needs to catch up enormously by 2020. In 2019, they were still fighting for victories, and in 2020, they are mainly fighting for points. In recent weeks, more and more upgrades are coming in to improve the car, and upgrades are also expected at the Nurburgring.

Auto, Motor und Sport. The German news site sees that the Italians have already brought some upgrades towards Sochi and they expect Ferrari to bring some upgrades towards the Nürburgring as well. The most important changes to come should ensure that Charles Leclerc’s and Sebastian Vettel’s car will have more downforce at the rear.

For example, a new floor is expected to be ready for the circuit in Germany. Binotto has indicated to AMuS that if the upgrades give the same data as in the wind tunnel, the focus will be on the diffuser. There is still a lot of potential in this and it … Read the rest

What’s in store for Seb?

Sebastian Vettel never hid the fact that the man who inspires him is Michael Schumacher. And Seb always dreamed of winning titles behind the wheel of a red car like his compatriot. In 2015, it seemed like the main dream of the four-time world champion would come true. But here there is no place for a beautiful fairy tale, and with the leave from Red Bull Racing his career began to go downhill. This season will be the last for Sebastian with Scuderia Ferrari – it was recently announced that Vettel will join Racing Point, which will change the name to Aston Martin F1 next year. So what’s really in store for Sebastian here?

2015 – dreams come true

In 2014, at the end of the season, it was announced that Sebastian Vettel would replace Fernado Alonso in the Scuderia. For Vettel, joining Ferrari meant everything: “When I was a … Read the rest

Kurt Busch wins at home track in South Point 400 overtime victory

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs’ Round of 12 began under the desert sun with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After a fairly clean first two stages, the final laps took the playoff drivers into overtime, where Kurt Busch held off Matt DiBenedetto to win at his home track for the first time and advance to the Round of 8.

Points leader Kevin Harvick started on the pole ahead of Kyle Busch. No cars were sent to the rear for failing pre-race inspection, though a notable starter at the back was Chad Finchum, running his first Cup race of the year after missing the Daytona 500.

Stage #1

Chase Elliott, who started third, pushed Harvick ahead before taking the lead himself. Shortly before the competition caution on lap 25, the MBM Motorsports duo of Finchum and Timmy Hill went to the garage … Read the rest

Ferrari gains were down to Sochi track characteristics, not upgrades

Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted that the Maranello team made progress with its troublesome SF1000 in the Russian Grand Prix, but not as a result of the new parts they introduced.

Charles Leclerc finished sixth, scoring his best result since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in early August. However Binotto believes the team’s improved form was largely a result of the differences in the track layout compared to previous races.
“No, I don’t think it’s down to the upgrades,” the Ferrari team principal explained. “That’s not the reason.

“I think we’ve got a better balance here on these track characteristics. So let’s hope again that we’ve found again some competitiveness that will give the opportunity at least for the two drivers to compete for a better position in the future.”

It was a mixed picture for the team in Sochi. Ferrari lapped 1.6 seconds slower than they did … Read the rest

Bittersweet Russian Grand Prix for BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

For BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, the Russian Grand Prix was a tale of two halves, with Sergio Pérez bringing the car home in fourth place and Lance Stroll retiring from the race at the Sochi Autodrom

Having qualified in fourth, Pérez got a clean getaway at the start, on what was a dramatic first lap, losing two places to the Renault DP World F1 Team cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, however the Mexican managed to reclaim fourth place where he remained to the flag. 

Pérez was pleased with his result, despite a rather lonely race, saying: “It was a lonely race out there! We got the absolute maximum out of the car today and P4 was the best result we could achieve, so I’m very happy.

“We knew the start would be difficult on the dirty side of the grid, but I was Read the rest

Ferrari to bring new floor upgrade for Eifel GP and focus on diffuser area

Scuderia Ferrari leaves Sochi with a sixth place courtesy of Charles Leclerc and a 13th with Sebastian Vettel, after a relatively straightforward race, apart from two incidents on the opening lap that brought out the Safety Car. Starting from tenth, Charles soon found himself eighth, after Carlos Sainz hit the barriers at turn 2 and Lance Stroll spun after a collision with the Monegasque. From then on, he did a perfect job of managing the tyres, which was the key to his race. Leclerc was actually the third from last driver to make his stop on lap 29, going from Medium to Hard. Charles ran at a consistent pace and made no mistakes, thus making up two more places, getting ahead of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, to finish sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo.

The Maranello team brought a small aero update which seemed to have a positive effect on the … Read the rest

McLaren very happy with two top ten starts in Russian GP qualifying

McLaren F1 Team have had a positive day in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix this weekend after both drivers qualified within the top ten.

Carlos Sainz Jr. put a 1:32.550 on the timesheets, meaning he will start from sixth position, using the soft compound tyre. His team-mate, Lando Norris, will start in eighth, also on the soft tyre, setting a 1:32.847 personal best.

Sainz Jr. said that while their performance in the final practice session had been encouraging, once qualifying got underway they saw that the track and wind conditions were different, altering the balance of the car.

“I’m very happy with sixth today after a challenging session for us. We were encouraged after our Free Practice 3 pace but, as soon as qualifying started, we saw that the wind conditions and track temperature had changed, which compromised our car balance.”

Despite this, he considers it to be … Read the rest

Ferrari Sporting Director explains team’s qualifying result in Sochi

Qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom for the Russian Grand Prix did not go well for Scuderia Ferrari. When the race gets underway tomorrow at 14.10 local time (13.10 CET), Charles Leclerc will start from 11th on the grid and Sebastian Vettel from 15th.

Laurent Mekies Sporting Director:
We’re unhappy about qualifying for various reasons. Sebastian crashed, fortunately emerging unscathed, but the impact with the barrier did considerable damage to the car, which will require a lot of work by the mechanics to repair it.
Charles should have been able to get into Q3 but he had a very hectic time in the final part of Q2. In a strange situation like this, it’s difficult for all the drivers to get a clean lap and in fact, only four of them managed to improve their time in the final two minutes. Charles managed to start his lap in time, but … Read the rest

To Sochi Autodrom to start the next thousand – Scuderia Ferrari

Sunday sees the seventh running of the Russian Grand Prix, the tenth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. It takes place at the Sochi Autodrom, near the Black Sea coastal resort, with the 5.848-kilometre track using roads around the Olympic village built for the 2014 Winter games. The nearby Luna Park and its brightly coloured rollercoasters provide a backdrop at various parts of the track.

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18 corners. The track has 18 corners, 12 to the right and 6 to the left, with 1.7 km on public roads. The lap starts near the train station and heads for the Medals Plaza, which was where the Olympic prizegiving ceremonies took place and the five linked rings still mark the spot. The distance from the start line to the first corner is just over 100 metres, with a slight bend to the right that … Read the rest