After more than 20 years since the first plans, the Russian Grand Prix in 2014 became a new destination in Formula 1. Although the Russian capital Moscow and St. Petersburg were mentioned as possible destinations, the race is held in Sochi on the Black Sea coast.
It was an unforgettable year for Sochi because the February 2014 Winter Olympics were also held. The Formula 1 race is run at the Sochi International Street Circuit, which was, of course, designed by Hermann Tilke. The trail is 5848 m long, of which more than 1.5 km are public roads, consists of 16 bends, 11 right, and is driven clockwise.
The trail has two main routes that are not because they are intersected by very gentle bends that pass at full throttle. There are also two DRS zones. The rest of the track consists mostly of medium-slow and slow turns, with the exception of the long, super-fast third turn, which cars passed in qualifying at more than 280 km / h.
Due to the above characteristics, medium levels of downforce are used, and due to the many slow turns, the emphasis is on good traction. The surface of the track is extremely flat and smooth, which caused unexpectedly low tire consumption (Pirelli brought soft and medium tires in 2014).
So Nico Rosberg drove almost the entire race (52 of 53 laps) on one set of medium tires and along the way set his fastest lap of the race in lap 52 (the second fastest lap of the race, behind Bottas who achieved his time in the last, 53rd lap) .
First and second sector
The first sector consists of the start-finish plane which continues to the extremely slight right turn (also the first DRS zone), and the first braking is at right angles before the right turn number 2.
This is followed by an exciting, super-fast left turn number 3 and another right turn at right angles, ending the first sector. The second sector starts with another right turn at right angles, followed by several consecutive medium slow turns.
After another right turn at right angles follows a long straight section and a second DRS zone. This direction is not really a clear direction, but turns slightly to the right, but Formula 1 cars pass it at full throttle in all conditions.
Towards the end of the second DRS zone begins the third sector consisting of strong braking with more than 300 km / h before the sequence of slow turns 13 and 14, followed by slow chicanes, short course and finally two more slow right turns at right angles which are in Sochi obviously a real hit.
In addition to the medium level of downforce, the cars are very close to the ground due to the straight track, and it is possible to use quite hard suspension settings. Also, the curbs are very low and flat and it is not necessary to make special modifications to the car so that drivers can aggressively attack them.
As usual, most of the time is obtained in slow turns so traction from a number of slow turns is most important for good weather in Sochi. The brakes are not particularly loaded because they brake at high speeds in only two places (after the DRS zone), and the extremely flat surface and smooth asphalt forced Pirelli to bring soft and supersoft tire components to Sochi in 2015.