Russian Grand Prix Info, Facts & Stats

The Russian Grand Prix has been a regular fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 2014. The race was one of the legacies of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which took place in Sochi, and the Autodrom utilises many of the Olympic facilities and passes alongside what was the Olympic village.

This year’s race is the sixth world championship Russian Grand Prix, but there have been previous grands prix in the country: two races were held in St Petersburg, in 1913 and ’14.

Sochi Autodrom is an exceptionally long and technical circuit, characterized by hard braking into low-speed corners.

There are 12 right-hand and six left-hand corners, with a 650-meter (2,133 foot) straight between the first and second turns. Of Sochi’s 5.848-kilometer (3.634-mile) layout, 1.7 kilometers (1.056 miles) are run on public roads.

The surfaces of both the public road and the purpose-built portions are incredibly smooth, and the track has remained consistent between its debut in 2014 and in F1’s subsequent visits.

Tire degradation is minimal compared to most tracks, allowing for teams to employ a one-stop strategy while still giving drivers the freedom to push hard. (Sources: McLaren & Haas F1 Media)

Sochi Autodrom

  • Round: 16/21
  • Race laps: 53
  • Circuit length: 5.848km/3.634 miles
  • Total race distance: 309.745km/192.476 miles
  • Distance to Turn One: 450m/0.280 miles
  • Number of corners: 18 (12 right, six left)

Session start times:

  • FP1 – 11:00 local, 09:00 MTC, 10:00 CEST
  • FP2 – 15:00 local, 13:00 MTC, 14:00 CEST
  • FP3 – 12:00 local, 10:00 MTC, 11:00 CEST
  • Qualifying – 15:00 local, 13:00 MTC, 14:00 CEST
  • Race – 14:10 local, 12:10 MTC, 13:10 CEST

Allocated tyre compounds:

  • Hard: C2
  • Medium: C3
  • Soft: C4

Sochi Q&A sourced from

When was the track built?
Designed by Hermann Tilke, the Sochi Autodrom is effectively a street circuit, evolving out of the internal roads of the park built for the city’s 2014 Winter Olympics.

When was its first Grand Prix?
Formula 1’s first ever Russian Grand Prix took place on October 12 2014. The race was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who was midway through a five-race winning streak that would ultimately see him clinch that year’s drivers’ title.

What’s the circuit like?
Looking at a map of the track, your eye can’t help but be drawn to the epic Turn 3, a 750m constant-radius left-hander taking the drivers around the outside of the dramatic Poyushchiye fountain. The rest of the track is characterised by a series of 90-degree bends coupled to some rapid, flowing straights-that-aren’t-straight.

Why go?
Occupying a prime spot on the Black Sea, Sochi is one of Russia’s top beach resorts in the summer, while the race’s early autumn slot should mean it’s just about warm enough for you to work on your tan. If you were inspired by the city’s Winter Olympics, however, you’re out of luck – the ski season in the resorts around Sochi doesn’t get going until December.

Where is the best place to watch?
Get yourself a seat in the Turn 2 grandstand – or the T2 Grandstand Vitaly Petrov, to give it its proper name – to oversee the track’s best overtaking spot, before the cars get back up to speed and slingshot into Turn 3.

Statistics for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, the 16th race of the 21-round season:

  • Lap distance: 5.848km. Total distance: 309.745km (53 laps)
  • 2018 pole: Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes one minute 31.387 seconds.
  • 2018 winner: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
  • Race lap record: Bottas, 1:35.861, 2018
  • Start time: 1110 GMT (1410 local, GMT+3)

Russian Grand Prix

  • Mercedes are the only team to have won in Russia since the first race in Sochi in 2014.
  • Hamilton won in 2014, 2015 and 2018, Nico Rosberg in 2016 and Bottas in 2017.
  • Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, in 2017, is the only non-Mercedes driver to have started on pole in Russia.
  • Mercedes and Ferrari have taken 13 of 15 podium places in Russia to date. The only exceptions were Bottas, third in 2014 for Williams, and Sergio Perez who was third for Force India in 2015.
  • Bottas started on the front row in Sochi in 2016, took the first race win of his F1 career there in 2017 and pole in 2018
  • The layout runs clockwise around the 2014 Olympic Park venues, partly on public roads, and features 12 right and six left-hand corners.
  • Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is the only current Russian F1 driver.

Race Victories

  • Hamilton has 81 career victories and has Michael Schumacher’s record 91 in his sights. Vettel, third on the all-time list, has 53.
  • Ferrari have won 238 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 97 and Red Bull 61. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
  • Hamilton has won eight out of 15 races so far this season and has a 65-point lead over team mate Valtteri Bottas, who has won twice. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc have also won twice, Vettel once.

Pole Position

  • Hamilton has a record 87 career poles, Vettel 56.
  • Five races so far this season have been won from pole — Bottas in Azerbaijan, Hamilton in Monaco and France and Leclerc in Belgium and Italy. Max Verstappen took the first pole of his Formula 1 career in Hungary on 3 August.
  • Ferrari have had 63 front row lockouts, one behind Mercedes in the list of all-time records.
  • Leclerc has outqualified Vettel for eight races in a row.

Lewis Hamilton

  • Hamilton has 146 career podiums. Vettel has 118.
  • Hamilton has led 142 grands prix, a record he shares with Schumacher.
  • Hamilton has finished the last 27 races in the points. He holds the record of 33 successive scoring finishes.


  • Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen is making his 307th start this weekend, sending him third in the all-time list ahead of Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. Only Fernando Alonso (311) and Rubens Barrichello (322) have started more.