Russian Grand Prix

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Coordinates: 43°24′16″N 39°57′16″E / 43.404421°N 39.954529°E / 43.404421; 39.954529

Russian Grand Prix
Sochi Autodrom
(2014–present)
Circuit Sochi.svg
Race information
Number of times held8
First held1913
Most wins (drivers)United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton (4)
Most wins (constructors)Germany Mercedes (8)
Circuit length5.848 km (3.634 mi)
Race length309.745 km (192.466 mi)
Laps53
Last race (2019)
Pole position
Podium
Fastest lap

The Russian Grand Prix (Russian: Гран-при России, romanizedGran-Pri Rossii) is an annual auto race held at Sochi Autodrom – a street circuit built around Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia, as part of the Formula One World Championship.

The race was first held briefly in the 1910s in Saint Petersburg of the Russian Empire. Plans were made to host a Formula One event in Moscow for the 1983 season as the Grand Prix of the Soviet Union, but these plans fell through. In 2010, it was officially announced that the Russian city of Sochi, which was also preparing to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, would host a new event on the Formula One calendar, beginning in 2014 under a seven-year deal.

The Russian Grand Prix is notable for having only ever been won by Mercedes.[1]

Pre-WWI history[edit]

The beginning of the 1913 race
Russian driver Georgy Suvorin crossing the finish line in 1913

The Russian Grand Prix was run twice, in 1913 and 1914 at a circuit in Saint Petersburg. The first race was won by Russian driver Georgy Suvorin,[2] whilst German Willy Scholl won the 1914 event.[2] The race was abandoned following the outbreak of the First World War and the Russian Civil War, and it was not resumed with the establishment of the Soviet Union.

Mural depicting a racing car at Tsar Nicholas II's car garages in Tsarskoye Selo (modern-day Pushkin)

1913 race results[edit]

1914 race results[edit]

Formula One[edit]

Plans for a Grand Prix in Russia emerged in the early 1980s, with a proposed circuit in Moscow to be run under the title of the "Grand Prix of the Soviet Union". The race was included on a provisional calendar for 1983, but bureaucratic barriers prevented the Grand Prix from being held, and the race was removed from all subsequent revisions of the calendar.[3] Nevertheless, Bernie Ecclestone continued in his quest to organise a race behind the Iron Curtain, and Hungary became the first communist country to host a race instead, joining the calendar in 1986.

The starting grid at the 2014 Russian Grand Prix.

In 2001, Vladimir Putin, then serving as President of Russia, expressed personal support to the project of the "Pulkovskoe Ring" near the Pulkovo Airport,[4][5] but the race never came to fruition. Another attempt was made in 2003, with the Moscow council approving a project to build a track in Molzhaninovsky District of Moscow.[6] The project was abandoned after a dispute over the commercial contract. In September 2008, it was revealed that work was to begin on a Formula One circuit to be located at the village of Fedyukovo, Volokolamsky District of the Moscow Province, approximately 77 kilometres (48 mi) away from Moscow. Known as the Moscow Raceway, the track was designed by Hermann Tilke to host both Formula One and Moto GP races.[7][8] The plan to host a Grand Prix at the Moscow Raceway was never realised, but unlike the Pulkovskoe Ring and Nagatino Island projects, the circuit was completed, and in 2012, hosted rounds of the Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 Series[9][dead link] – which became the first internationally accredited motorsport events to hold a round in Russia – as well as the FIA GT1 World Championship,[10] and the Superbike World Championship.[11]

President Putin congratulates Lewis Hamilton, the winner of 2014 Russian GP
Nico Rosberg at Russian GP 2014

Vitaly Petrov became Russia's first Formula One driver in 2010, when he joined Renault, adding further momentum to the project. Bernie Ecclestone expressed a desire to see Formula One travel to Russia at a circuit in or near Moscow or at the resort city of Sochi.[12] After several decades of attempting to re-establish the race, the new Russian Grand Prix was officially announced on 14 October 2010 for a debut in 2014, running through to 2020. The race is held in the resort city of Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, at the Sochi Autodrom – a 5.9 km street circuit which passes around the venues of Sochi's Olympic Park.[13][14][15]

Race results[edit]

The inaugural event was held on 12 October 2014, and was won by British driver Lewis Hamilton, followed by German driver Nico Rosberg, both from the Mercedes-Benz team, and Valtteri Bottas, of Williams. Mercedes' one-two finish also saw them claim their first constructors' title in Formula One.[16]

The 2015 race was held on 11 October 2015. The weekend saw a massive crash for Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. in the third free practice session, after he lost control of his car at turn 13, hit a wall, and went into the Tecpro barriers. He was declared fit to start the race. Nico Rosberg took pole position but he was forced to retire in the early stages due to a faulty throttle. His teammate Lewis Hamilton took the win, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, and Force India's Sergio Pérez, who had initially lost third place on the final lap, but retook it after Kimi Räikkönen and Valtteri Bottas both collided while battling each other for third, with Bottas retiring on the spot and Räikkönen receiving a 30-second post race penalty for the collision. Mercedes also secured their second consecutive constructor's championship, having done so at the previous year's event.

The 2016 event was held on 1 May 2016, moved forward to the fourth round of the calendar, unlike the previous two events. The race saw a big crash at the start at turn 2 that saw Nico Hülkenberg, Esteban Gutiérrez, and Rio Haryanto all eliminated, while Sebastian Vettel was hit in the back by Daniil Kvyat going into turn 2, then he was hit again at turn 3, causing him to spin out and crash out of the race. On the Thursday after the event, Red Bull announced that they demoted Kvyat back to Toro Rosso for the rest of the season, switching places with 18-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen. Nico Rosberg was the winner with Lewis Hamilton making it a one-two finish for Mercedes.

The 2017 event was held on 30 April 2017, and saw Valtteri Bottas secure his first career win in Formula One, ahead of the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkonen. Vettel and Räikkönen locked out the front row but both were passed by Bottas on the run to turn 2. The race saw Fernando Alonso unable to start due to a problem with his power unit and Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer eliminated in a crash that saw the Renault driver launch the Haas driver into the air and into the barrier. Both drivers escaped unhurt. Bottas took the win by just 0.7 seconds from Vettel in the end, with Räikkönen setting the fastest lap.

The 2018 race was held on 30 September 2018, moved back from its April slot to fill a vacancy left by the Malaysian Grand Prix, which was discontinued at the end of 2017. The event saw Valtteri Bottas take pole position one year after securing his first ever victory at the circuit. The race was notable for Mercedes ordering Bottas to let teammate Lewis Hamilton to overtake for second place at turn 13 on lap 26. Hamilton himself took his third win at the circuit, with Bottas second ahead of Sebastian Vettel. The result sparked discussions about the future of team orders in the sport, with some[who?] even calling for an outright ban on the practice.[citation needed]

Winners[edit]

Repeat winners (drivers)[edit]

Drivers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.

Wins Driver Years won
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019

Repeat winners (constructors)[edit]

Teams in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
8 Germany/Germany Benz/Mercedes 1913, 1914, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Repeat winners (engine manufacturers)[edit]

Manufacturers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Manufacturer Years won
8 Germany/Germany Benz/Mercedes 1913, 1914, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

By year[edit]

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1913 Russia Georgy Suvorin Benz Saint Petersburg Report
1914 Germany Willy Scholl Benz Report
1915

2013
Not held
2014 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Sochi Report
2015 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2016 Germany Nico Rosberg Mercedes Report
2017 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Report
2018 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2019 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report

Sponsors[edit]

  • 2017–present: VTB Russian Grand Prix[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Russia Stats: Hamilton surpasses another Schumacher record". formula1.com. 29 September 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b Grand Prix Winners 1895–1949 : Part 1 (1895–1916), The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing
  3. ^ Формула нелюбви
  4. ^ Formula Onovich: Russian Grand Prix gears up again – Autoblog
  5. ^ Еще одна трасса для «Формулы-1»
  6. ^ Lenta.ru: Москва возвращается к проекту трассы "Формулы-1"
  7. ^ "Moscow to start construction work this week". GPUpdate. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  8. ^ Moscow Raceway
  9. ^ "Russia included on 2012 World Series calendar". GPUpdate.net. GPUpdate. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Moscow Raceway: FIA GT1, September 1–2". Moscow Raceway. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Moscow Raceway confirmed for Russia WSBK debut". crash.net. Crash Media Group. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  12. ^ Guardian Staff (6 April 2010). "Ecclestone plans to take F1 to New York and Russia". Guardian.co.uk. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Sochi track warms up for Russian F1 Grand Prix". RT. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  14. ^ Korsunskaya, Darya; Gennady Fydorov, Alan Baldwin (14 October 2010). "Sochi to host Russian GP from 2014 to 2020". Reuters. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  15. ^ "IOC threatens to postpone Russian Grand Prix". GP Update. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Russia 2014". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  17. ^ "VTB Group becomes title partner for Russia". Formula1.com. Formula One World Championship Ltd. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.

External links[edit]