Before the F1 race in Sochi – just a month! Everything you need to know about the Russian Grand Prix now
Exactly a month remains until the eighth Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in history – we tell you everything you need to know about the main motorsport event in the country. Recall, it will still take place in Sochi – the “Big Prizes” will move to St. Petersburg only in 2023.
In the 2021 season, like a year ago, as part of the Russian Grand Prix weekend, fans will see the Formula 2 stage – the main youth series in Europe. As in F-1, a Russian pilot is represented in the championship – moreover, Robert Shvartsman , unlike Nikita Mazepin , performs under the national flag. Formula 2 is not a World Championship level competition, so it is not subject to WADA sanctions.
Mazepin, frankly speaking, does not have many chances to shine in the home race: “Haas” in its current form is the main outsider on the starting grid. At the same time, Schwartzman has real chances of winning: Robert won two victories in F-2 this year and is in third place in the championship.
The weekend racing program will traditionally begin on Friday: Formula 1 drivers will hold two hour free sessions, while Formula 2 drivers will have only one short training session – in the evening they will have to pass qualification.
Schedule of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix
September 24, Friday:
11:30 – 12:30. The first session of free rides
15:00 – 16:00. Second free practice session
on Saturday, September 25:
12:00 – 13:00. Third session of free rides
15:00 – 16:00. Qualifying
September 26, Sunday:
15:00. Race start
The first item on Saturday’s schedule will be the first race of Formula 2 – the drivers will start according to the results of qualification with an inverted top ten. Then the track will be occupied by Formula 1 for half a day: the riders will have a final training session and their own qualifications. And after it, the second F-2 race will take place – according to the results of the first race, again with an inverted top-10.
Finally, the culmination of the weekend is traditionally Sunday. In the morning, the audience will be warmed up by the main Formula 2 race – this is the longest run of the youth team during the weekend, it brings the most points to the pilots, and they start in order of qualification – where the pole holder really starts from pole.
Well, at 15:00, the Formula 1 pilots will go to the warm-up lap of the 15th (as it is supposed at the moment) stage of the season. Earlier, we note, all seven races were won by Mercedes drivers, and this is an absolute F1 record, previously no team managed to win the same Grand Prix seven times in a row. Isn’t it time for Red Bull or Ferrari, which by that time will receive an updated engine, to push the Germans off the top of the podium?
This will be the penultimate Sochi Grand Prix
More recently, the promoters of the Russian Grand Prix, together with Formula 1, announced the move of the Russian stage of the championship to a new track near St. Petersburg – Igora Drive. This will happen only in 2023, when the reconstruction of the final section of the track is completed (the race track will be lengthened for Formula 1), and the transport infrastructure around Igora will also be improved.
These plans will hardly affect the Grand Prix in 2021 – the next race in 2022 will be truly farewell, when chassis built according to the new regulations will arrive at Sochi Autodrom. But right now there will be the last opportunity to see cars of the current generation – with a flat bottom, but developed aerodynamics throughout the body.
The cars of the 2022 season are expected to be slower by a few seconds, so this is the last chance for the next few years to see cars that can break speed records in the fight with our own eyes. In theory, it is possible that we will witness a record that will never be broken.
Concerts and entertainment
As always, the Formula 1 Grand Prix will be accompanied by a powerful concert program, and although this year there were no foreign performers, the line-up turned out to be convincing.
On Friday, the “Beasts” group will perform in the Olympic Park, on Saturday, perhaps, the main musical show of the weekend – the “Bi-2” concert with a symphony orchestra, will take place, and Ivan Dorn will conclude the program on Sunday .
Traditionally, for the Formula 1 stages, every day fans will have access to the F1 Fan Zone with stores of the official paraphernalia of teams and drivers of the championship, simulators and other entertainments, and in the evenings, guests of the Olympic Park will enjoy regular shows of singing fountains. It will not do without the traditional for the Russian stage of the Festival of Drive and Motors, during which the most famous extreme sportsmen of the country demonstrate their best tricks.
How to get there
One of the main advantages of Sochi Autodrom is excellent logistics around the autodrom. From anywhere in the Imeretinskaya lowland, you can get to the highway by buses, and from the center of Sochi, comfortable trains run directly to the Olympic Park – the exit from the station is located literally opposite the entrance group. The exact schedule will be available closer to the racing weekend, the Championship will definitely tell you about it!