Nico Rosberg heads into this weekend with a 36 point gap ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but will it grow or decrease after the race? Are the once mighty Red Bull team back? And the battle for first points is close?
History of the Russian GP
Russia first held it’s first grand prix in 2014 in the same year the country hosted the Winter Olympics. The Hermann Tilke track is integrated into the Olympic Park infrastructure. In 2015, Lewis Hamilton won ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez. After being overtaken by Williams Valterri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Perez was 5th heading into the final few laps. A late move by Kimi Raikkonen on Valterri Bottas sent Bottas into the wall and Raikkonen with heavy damage promoted Perez into 3rd place. The weekend in 2015 saw two huge crashes by Carlos Sainz Jr in SP3 and another by Romain Grosjean in the race.
- Lap record: 1:40:071, Sebastian Vettel, 2015
- Laps: 53
- Circuit length: 5.848km
- Race distance: 309.245km
- Corners: 18
Lewis Hamilton is the only victor here winning in 2014 and in 2105. Mercedes are also the same with with in 2014 an in 2015.
Will Rosberg’s deficit grow or decrease?
Mercedes Nico Rosberg heads into the Russian grand prix with a 36 point advantage over team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton has come out and said the points gap to Rosberg is a “big deal”. Will Hamilton ends Rosberg’s winning run or will Rosberg increase the points gap?
Are Red Bull back in business?
After Daniel Ricciardo leading the race at the start and a podium finish for Daniil Kvyat, things are on the up for Red Bull. Ricciardo qualified in 2nd place alongside pole sitter, Nico Rosberg and went onto lead for the first 2 laps until a puncture for Ricciardo ruled out any chance of a possible win. Despite a slow start to the season for Kvyat in the opening 2 races, he bounced back in China and took a well deserved 3rd place, his 2nd ever F1 podium. Red Bull heading into this weekend are only 4 points behind Ferrari. Can this weekend resemble the performance in China or will Red Bull struggle?
The fight for first points
Heading into this weekend, Renault, Sauber and Manor are the remaining F1 teams left to score their first points of 2016. You can also include McLaren in this battle as the driver who filed in for Fernando Alonso has been the only McLaren driver to score and points. That was Stoffel Vandoorne, who filed in for Alonso at the Bahrain GP after Alonso’s big crash in Australia ruled him out. Vandoorne finished 10th and grabbed a single point. So neither of the Alonso or Jenson Button have scored points so we can count McLaren into this battle.
I think McLaren will score their “real” points ahead of Renault then Manor and lastly Sauber.
Qualifying is on Saturday the 30th of April with the Race on Sunday the 1st of May.