From gear changes to corner speeds, our track guide is the home of F1 geekery.
Swot up on the stats and facts ahead of the 2017 Russian Grand Prix.
|Track name||Sochi Autodrom|
|Track length||5.848km/3.364 miles (3rd longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)|
|2016 pole position||Nico Rosberg 1m35.417s|
|2016 fastest lap||Nico Rosberg 1m39.094s (lap 52)|
|Lap record||1:39.094s (Nico Rosberg, 2016)|
|Distance to Turn One||450m/0.280 miles (longest of season: Barcelona, 730m/0.454 miles)|
|Longest straight||650m/0.404 miles (longest of the season: China, 1.17km/0.727 miles)|
|Top speed||345km/h/214mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)|
|Full throttle||60 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)|
|Fuel consumption||1.9kg per lap, which is high.|
|Gear changes||40 per lap/2120 per race|
Maximising straight-line speed, without compromising cornering grip. The long straights at the Sochi Autodrom encourage engineers to run reduced levels of downforce on the cars, but it’s important not to compromise braking and traction performance at the same time.
How to tell when a driver's really on it
The way they use the kerb at the exit of Turn Two. When a driver is pushing hard he uses this outside kerb to maximise his exit speed before turning into the horseshoe-shaped Turn Three.
Trickiest bits for the driver
The quartet of corners around the fire station, towards the end of the lap. The initial braking zone for Turn 13 is tricky because the driver is braking hard while turning left. The subsequent corners are all inter-linked and off-camber at the exit, making it difficult to get the power down.
Medium downforce, with an emphasis on rear tyre life. “There isn’t much to wear out the front tyres,” says Fernando Alonso’s race engineer, Mark Temple. “As a consequence, the track is slightly rear-limited and there are a few things we can do with the set-up to help that.”.
Low. The high level of tar in the asphalt makes it very smooth. This will break down with time, meaning grip levels will improve, but the engineers don’t expect a great change from last year, when the surface was very smooth and unabrasive.
Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft – a combination that was last used at the Australian Grand Prix.
Medium. There are only two significant braking events, into Turns Two and 13. The rest of the lap is relatively undemanding on brakes.
Tips if you're a gamer
Focus on two sections of the track in particular. First, Turn Three, a horseshoe-shaped left-hander. With the extra downforce produced by the 2017 cars, it should be ‘easy-flat’ this year, so think about the possibilities that presents, like going around the outside of rivals and getting the inside line into Turn Four. Second, take a look at Turns 13, 14, 15 and 16 – the most intense sequence of corners on the lap. Braking for Turn 13 is tricky because it’s on a bend and the corner exits are off-camber, making it tricky to get the power down. It’s easy to lose a lot of time in this latter section.