Sochi. The location of the last Olympic Winter Games in 2014, is now playing host to the Formula One circus. It hasn’t been the least talked about location this year, what with all the “situations” surrounding Russia, but after last weekend in Japan, it has become the race after the accident. Last weekend in Suzuka, Jules Bianchi of Marussia was involved in a heavy crash with a piece of track equipment, sent to remove a stricken Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, just one lap earlier. FOM has been withholding images of the incident, as it was very violent and they are trying to honor the Bianchi family (in this author’s opinion). I’ve read and heard a number of different positions on this situation, and only one resonates with me; #forzaJules as it is known on Twitter. The drivers will all be wearing stickers on their helmets in Sochi, stating #tousavecJules or “All With Jules.”
Hoping for a dry race in Sochi, let’s see what Pirelli have to say in their preview of the Sochi Circuit.
Pirelli Sochi Circuit Preview
Sochi is a medium to high speed track, with 12 right hand corners, and six left hand corners. The average track speed should be around 215 kph and the front straight should produce a top speed of around 320 kph. There is a long left hander here reminiscent of the triple apex right hander at the former F1 track in Istanbul.
The track was designed by Hermann Tilke, the likes of whom designed the other most recent track on the F1 calendar in the United States; Circuit of the Americas. As this track is newly finished, there isn’t a lot of hard data on what the cars are able to do here, and is mainly based on computer simulation alone. Pirelli has chosen the yellow banded soft tyre and the white banded medium tyre for Sochi as this will give more grip on the “unknown” track.
Will you be watching the Formula One circus descend on Sochi this year for the first time in a 100 year drought? I am curious what the new track will bring in terms of strategy and speed, as no one has truly put rubber on this track yet. As hard as it was to get here, I hope the FIA decides to stay. Oh and, #forzaJules.