Sochi Autodrom instantly became one of the favorite circuits
Russian Grand Prix is one of the youngest races on the Formula 1 calendar, with the Sochi Autodrom being one of the newest circuits to host the prestigious competition. Like almost all the other new tracks, the Russian one is also designed by famous German architect Hermann Tilke.
Sochi Autodrom fulfilled many desires
Sochi Autodrom is a temporary street circuit around Olympic complex built for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and is very similar to those like Beijing Green Circuit and Sydney Olympic Park Circuit. After very long negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, an agreement was finalized in 2010 and nearly $200 million was invested in the construction of the circuit by the Russian government. In the summer of 2014, Sochi Autodrom was approved by FIA and in September of that same year, the inaugural Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was held.
Ambitions and expectations were high in the country that never hosted Formula 1 races. Russia desperately wanted a promotion and Formula 1 was happy to fulfill one of its prime tasks – to conquer a new market. Two sides signed a seven-year contract which has started in 2014 and future of the F1 racing near the Black Sea looks bright.
Third longest track in Formula 1 calendar
With a length of 5.848 km, Sochi Autodrom is one of the longer circuits on the Formula 1 calendar. Approximately 1.7 km of the circuit are public roads used throughout the year. The track has 19 turns and is considered as relatively fast, even after being without long straights, but pretty demanding with its unusual corners. Standings capacity of 55.000 is relatively small considering the capacity of the other racing venues in Formula 1 calendar.
Turn 3 at Sochi Autodrom already has a legendary status
Sochi Autodrom, originally named Sochi Olympic Park Circuit, then Sochi International Street Circuit, had a good reception by many F1 drivers, especially because of its famous Turn 3 which quickly became legendary because of its 161 degrees rotation and a length of 789 meters.
Lap record time holder is Nico Rosberg. Driving a Mercedes in 2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, he set the lap time 1:39.094 beating the previous record held by Sebastian Vettel in Ferrari a season earlier.
Youtube video – Sochi Autodrom Formula 1 onboard
Other racing series are more than welcome
Except Formula 1, Sochi Autodrom hosts also GP2 (Formula 2) and GP3 Series races, TCR International Series, and some national racing series, but in the future, we can expect more international racing at this interesting venue which may be even more improved and modernized. Before the 2016 Russian Grand Prix, organizers made some changes at the track. At turn 13, where Carlos Sainz Jr. had a huge crash in 2015, the run-off is laid with asphalt while the guardrail straight is replaced with wall blocks.
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