What would you do if you were given a chance to recreate a popular event that was last held a century ago? This is the question Russia has had to deal with since the inclusion of the Sochi Autodrom in the 2014 Grand Prix circuit.
A Look at History
While most fans regard the Russian GP as a new phenomenon it dates back to 1913 and 1914 at St. Petersburg Square. It can thus be referred to as one of the oldest races but one that has also missed from action for the longest time.
These first races were won by G. Suvorin and Willy Scholl respectively but with the outbreak of WW1 it was abandoned. Plans to revive the circuit in the F1 calendar have been in the pipeline for over three decades.
Though plans to build a track have existed this long only after a meeting between FIA bosses including Ecclestone and President Vladmir Putin was an agreement signed. The city to host the track is the Black Sea resort city of Sochi which hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
Interesting Circuit Facts
- Circuit length: The proposed length is a 5.853-kilometre track designed by renowned Hermann Tilke.
- Location: Sochi and integrated around the Olympic Park infrastructure. The size of the circuit reduces to 13 meters at the narrowest point to 15 meters at the start and finish line.
- Challenge: With 12 right and six left hand corners drivers are already predicting these to be the main challenges on the track.
- Top speed: Expected top speed is 320 km/h
- Last winner: Willy Scholl in 1914 still holds the record as the last winner.
When BBC’s David Coulthard joined Sebastian Vettel to try out the circuit the driver felt the track resembled Korea in layout. To come up with a prediction using this experienced driver’s feel of the track any driver who exceled in the Korean GP 2013 can make history on this track.
Vettel was of course the 1st in the Korean GP 2013 followed by Raikkonen and Grosjean. Hamilton who is experiencing explosive form this season was 4th. You can bet with all these other drivers in the list not competing for honors the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton will be renewed.
Politics aside the Russian GP can join the great races with a rich heritage including Monaco GP if it beats the usual teething problems that come with new tracks.
Come October 12th all eyes will be on Sochi to see what it has to offer both fans and drivers.