Sochi Autodrom, home of the Formula One Russian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
The weather in Sochi is typically mild and pleasant this time of year, and looking at the forecast for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix fine weather is exactly what we’re in store for. The peak temperature on Sunday should be 69 degrees F (21 degrees C) and the skies will only be partly cloudy.
This mild weather, together with the Sochi Autodrom’s smooth surface and medium-speed corners, means tire wear and degradation should be low. As a result, Pirelli has nominated its two softest and supersoft compounds, a softer pairing than last year’s inaugural race.
The track itself has a few long straights, which makes it interesting for overtaking. Drivers are then confronted with very slow sections in the middle sector. This makes setting up the car really important and the importance of downforce evident.
After early practice today, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was quickest followed by Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The session was delayed slightly because of a diesel spill on the track but other than that there were no major issues. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who is competing in his 250th grand prix, will have to start at the back of the grid because of a new engine configuration being entered by Honda.
Going into the weekend, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton leads the 2015 Drivers’ Championship with 277 points, with his teammate Rosberg second with 229 points and Vettel third with 218 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes is the clear leader with 506 points versus the 337 of Ferrari and 208 of Williams.