Sochi Autodrome, 2014

Sochi holds first race weekend ahead of Russian GP

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sochi Autodrome, 2014In the round-up: The Russian Touring Car Championship held the inaugural race at the Sochi Autodrom which will host the Russian Grand Prix next month.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Russia: Is Sochi Autodrom ready for F1 Grand Prix? See for yourself (RuptlyTV via YouTube)

Onboard lap of Sochi Autodrom (YouTube)

Ferrari races off with £15m Formula One stake (The Telegraph)

“Ferrari may become the first ever team to own a stake in Formula One after receiving options in the racing series worth an estimated $25m (£15m) that were previously held by Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s former chairman, who resigned last week.”

Raikkonen: ERS improvement vital (ESPN)

“Obviously now we are in the season it is not very easy, we know that, but I’m 100% sure we can make a good step over the winter.”

Rosberg: Hamilton has experience edge (Autosport)

“It might help him, yes, quite possibly having those experiences. But it’s not something that I am concerned about.”

Daniel Ricciardo: I’m thrilled with my season and glad my friends and girlfriend have seen first-hand how hard I work (The Advertiser)

“It was media call after media call and then team and engineering debriefs; my friends couldn’t believe the extent of the behind the scenes work I was involved in so I thought it was really cool for them to see that.”


Comment of the day

This was one of the hardest Caption Competition to pick a winner for in quite a while – there were lots of amusing and very different suggestions.

Honourable mentions go to Nick, Martin Fuhs, Jack, Suffolk, Alfie, Graham and Euro Brun.

But my favourite was the funny and topical offering from Steven Smith:

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2014

“Fernando! We’ve found a way out of your contract…”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Siy, Butch27, Warfieldf1 and Sudhi!

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On this day in F1

On this day in 2011 Ferrari tested their development drivers Sergio Perez and Jules Bianchi at Fiorano.

Image courtesy of the Russian Touring Car Championship via Instagram

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “Sochi holds first race weekend ahead of Russian GP”

    1. While it might be a one-off for this event rather than a reimplementation of FIA policy, I’m glad to see a circuit host a test event of some sort before the F1 circus rolls into town.
      Would certainly have prevented issues at events like Korea 2010, though with CVC chasing all the $ they can strangle it’s not really surprising that it happens.

      1. I think as much as anything, it demonstrates some kind of motorsport culture in the country that they can hold a race weekend outwith the Grand Prix (again, unlike Korea, which I recall only had a Hyundai race to support F1).

    2. I watched that Ericsson movie and it TRULY was epic, as epic as Ericsson’s formula one career to date.

    3. Have to say the circuit looks quite fun apart from the last 4-5 corners, but for what is pretty much a street circuit I think that’s acceptable.

      1. Hm, @hunocsi I saw heaps of 90degree corners with a bit of a more flowing piece in between bare fences. If it would be lined with people, I could be ok with such a “street circuit” (its even less street than Valencia, with purpose build roads in a desolate location) on the calendar. But I doubt even Putin can ship in that many people to make it look like the crowd is really enjoying its racing.

        Now, don’t get me wrong, there could be worse ways to let such a site go to waste, and I think that it could be a nice place to let russians race all their souped up cars (see endless internet videos). But its not a great or even good track / location for F1 from what I see.

      1. @coldfly Fixed it – thanks.

    4. I knew F1 is worth a lot, but did not expect ‘a market capitalisation of $10bn’.
      And that is just the ‘rights holder’. There must be a lot of value in FIA as well, and in many of the big teams.
      How much is that per fan/visitor/viewer?

    5. Thanks for that background article about Renault and Nissan and their battery business Keith. Very relevant, especially after just having had the first Formula E race weekend!

      1. Do you have a link to this article? I cannot seem to find it.

    6. It’s so F1 that Bernie’s brazen bribe to Monte becomes a share in F1 for ONE team. Everyone accepts it as normal, and Ferrari love it. It doesn’t occur to them that the bias makes their performance less creditable. Quite weird. How does Bernie pull it off?

      1. There is a suggestion that Ferrari wasn’t the only team that received a favourable deal from FOM – Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren also appear to have received commercially favourable deals with FOM along similar lines to Ferrari’s deal, albeit not quite so generous.

        Quite simply, the reason why FOM can drive such deals is that, as things stand, the teams are far more occupied with attacking each other than FOM, preferring to try to gain a larger slice of a small pie than maintaining the same sized slice of a much bigger pie.
        As for the FIA, the common complaint is that Todt is more interested in using the FIA as a tool for his own personal glorification (he’s reportedly spent more time trying to use the FIA as a stepping stone for a role in the UN rather than actually showing any interest in governing the world of motorsport) and has effectively sold out a large chunk of the FIA’s decision making capabilities to FOM and the larger teams in return for a slightly larger income stream.

        To a certain extent, Bernie and FOM aren’t really doing that much – the teams are so disorganised and the governing body is so passive that both of them are creating this situation themselves.

    7. That Sotchi circuit is just plain ugly, like Valencia.
      Not a single tree, absolute flat, barriers, barriers, white walls and no landmarks. I hope it is fun to drive because it seems not fun to watch.

    8. Sochi looks just so dreadfully dull. There are no interesting corners, even though they had more than enough space to make some cool sweeping corners or corner combinations. There is no point on the track where a driver would feel close to the wall. The entire place just looks so grey. I’m sorry, but this is not what a circuit is supposed to looks like.

      1. @andae23 +1

        It’s ridiculously uninteresting. It’s impossible to spot where on track you are, every single bit of it looks exactly the same.

      2. You can lay at least some of the blame for that on the IOC – they effectively dictated the layout of the circuit by imposing strict restrictions on where the roads could be built, therefore heavily restricting the ability of the designers (the IOC maintained a constant threat of legal action against both the FIA and Tilke if there was even the slightest perception that construction work on the circuit could impact the venues).

    9. I know these Sotchi videos are promotion material, but im getting quite exited about the F1 race. The circuit and surroundings look ready for the big event. The circuit itself looks good/fun from the onboard, and the Russians seem really passionate about their racing. To me it looks much better than Abu Dhabi. It certainly doesn’t look to have all those huge run-off areas. It’s a bit more like Valencia, but with much better and interesting surroundings.

      1. @me4me

        Hello CEO of Sochi Race Track!

        (P.S. The track is just about one of the worst I’ve seen in modern times)

        1. @psynrg, Hello new job?

          Seriously tho, I think the negativity about this track is unjustified. Either being it because of similarities with Valencia, or all the bad political news from Russia, or even people saying it has no pretty surroundings. I think neither of the 3 reasons affect the racing itself. And since we haven’t seen an F1 race there, we shouldn’t judge just yet.

    10. I just hope it rains so we’ll see ‘some’ action…

    11. Time to carpetbombing the circuit.. (if the track isn’t good enough)

    12. I can already see one big problem.. track limits. Especially in turn 1. I think we will see al lot of drivers off track there. Furthermore, the circuit looks too dull to be true. I you would have this track in a racing sim you would say “mwa, boring, not finished yet”. The racing itself, just wait and see. Could be interesting, you never know.

    13. Sochi looks like a permanent track with barriers installed directly around it to be honest.

    14. Majority of opinions expressed above reminds me of the media hype slandering Sochi before winter Olympics. And what was a result? One can argue wether they were great games, but they were definitely good. Large portion of critics was due to a biased attitude and unfounded. I do not recall anyone saying simple sorry, guys, you did a good job, we were wrong, thank you. Don’t you think there are chances it could be just a good racing event and there is no such need to bring political issues in this regard?

    15. If Ericsson did that here in New South Wales, he’d be fined a couple hundred dollars and have a couple of demerit points on his license!

    Comments are closed.