Formula One 2020 – Russian Grand Prix Preview

History

The Russian Grand Prix has a very brief history in the world of Formula 1, but an interesting one nonetheless. The first recorded race was held an astonishing 107 years ago, in 1913. It was held at an unnamed circuit in St. Petersburg and was won by (no surprise) Benz driver Georgy Suvorin. One more race was held in St. Petersburg the following year and again was won by a Benz driver, but this time it was the German Willy Scholl. After the break out races, Formula One events in Russia took a very long pause. It wasn’t until 1983 that gave Russia some hope of a return to the F1 calendar. The calendar was supposed to feature a Russian Grand Prix, but unfortunately things never fully panned out and in its place stood the ever-popular Hungary Grand Prix. Another long pause came, but in 2010 things finally started to look up for a Russian Grand Prix. By now Russia was already hosting a ton of Motorsport events, and Formula One recently acquired its first Russian driver. With momentum in full power, a 2014 Russian Grand Prix was announced in 2010 to continue until 2020.

A little fun fact, Mercedes is the only team to have ever won a Russian Grand Prix.

Track

The track featured in this year’s 2020 Russian Grand Prix is the Sochi Autodrom, held in Sochi on the coast of the Black Sea. The track is 3.634 miles (5.848 km) long and features 19 turns. It is the 4th longest track in the calendar, but lacks some of the high speed stretches of the likes of Silverstone and Monza. Mercedes has always been very successful on this track, so look to see that pattern continue this year.

Going Into Race Weekend

After the previous Tuscan Grand Prix, the teams will be happy to have a week to make repairs and upgrades. Drivers will also be happy to take a break from the constant crashing happening on the track. After the Tuscan Grand Prix, I think we can finally put aside the Alex Albon rumors. Even after Gasly’s surprise Monza victory, Albon’s podium shows that he has what it takes to get some good points out of the Red Bull seat. Albon should be less jittery now that he seat is safe for the moment, and this confidence should help him calm down and push for a solid result this coming Sunday. The Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault, and Mclaren situations should all be more or less the same as the Tuscan Grand Prix, as nothing dramatic has happened in the paddocks of any of those teams. The Racing Point and Ferrari debacle should continue to get more and more interesting. It seems as though Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel have fallen off pace after news dropped of Vettel’s move to racing point. Their decline should continue, and we predict that Vettel will be out of the points Sunday. Finally, Williams starts it’s second race under new management, and so far the team looks to have better pace as they were 1 position off points at Tuscan GP. Now that race was a bit weird, so Russia should be the first chance for us to see what Williams looks like under new management.

Questions

When is the Russian Grand Prix?

The 2020 Russian Grand Prix will be held the 25th, 26th, and 27th of September. FP1 and FP2 are on the 25th, FP3 and Qualifying are on the 26th, and Race day is the 27th.

Where is the Russian Grand Prix held?

In case you missed it from above, the 2020 Russian Grand Prix will be held in Sochi, Russia at the Autodrom.

Russian Grand Prix Track
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi, Russia REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

When does the Russian Grand Prix start?

*Times are in US East*

FP1 is at 2 AM, FP2 is at 6AM, FP3 is at 3 AM, Qualifying is at 6 AM, and the Race is also at 6 AM.

How can I watch the Russian Grand Prix?

  • USA – ESPN
  • Canada – RDS/TSN
  • Mexico – TUDN Mexico
  • United Kingdom – Sky Sports
  • France – TF1
  • Italy – Sky Italia
  • Russia – Match TV
  • China – CCTV/Tencent
  • Japan – Fuji Television Network
  • Australia – Fox Sports Channel

Predictions

So who will win the Russian Grand Prix? Well, this is probably the easiest Grand Prix to predict. Mercedes have always dominated this track, and it seems their dominant streak isn’t going to end this year. Here are our predictions for the points finishes in the 2020 Russian Grand Prix.

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes)
  3. Max Vertstappen (Red Bull)
  4. Carlos Sainz (Mclaren)
  5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
  6. Alex Albon (Redbull)
  7. Lando Norris (Mclaren)
  8. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
  9. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
  10. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Recap

Mercedes Russian Grand Prix
A likely Mercedes 1-2 finish at the Russian Grand Prix (skysports.com)

All signs point to a pretty normal race, with a 1-2 Mercedes finish and a high chance of at least 2 DNF’s. But after the last few races, let’s be honest… a normal race might be nice for a change.

Make sure to tune back in for live highlights on race day

Recap: 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

Just as the 2020 F1 season started to become just a bit mundane a new track in Mugello, 2 red flags and a safety car make race day just a bit more interesting. This is everything you need to know to understand what went down at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix.

Where was the Tuscan Grand Prix?

The Tuscan Grand Prix was held in Mugello, a central Italian city. It is usually the Scuderia Ferrari test track, but it was added to the 2020 F1 schedule to keep 2 races in Italy, but to make sure only 1 was held in Monza.

Were there fans at the Tuscan Grand Prix?

As a matter of fact there was! It was good to see a few fans speckled throughout the stadium, as this is the first 2020 F1 race to feature any kind of fan appearance. The drivers certainly enjoyed waving to actually people during their cool down lap…

Why were the Ferrari’s a dark red?

If you have a keen eye, you might have noticed the Ferrari’s were not sporting their usual bright red, but rather a more maroon color. This is because the Tuscan Grand Prix was Ferrari’s 1000th race, and the team decided a one-off paint job would be perfect for the occasion.

Who was on the Podium for the Tuscan Grand Prix?

In a chaotic race, the podium featured Lewis Hamilton in 1st, Valterri Bottas in 2nd, and Alex Albon in 3rd.

What happened at the start of the Tuscan Grand Prix?

The race started off fine, but about 30 seconds into the race Max Verstappen got squeezed and took himself and 2 other drivers off the track. Carlos Sainz also got spun out by a Racing Point, but managed to make it away from the spin without any major damage.

So what’s the bottom line?

Well, the race was the most interesting all year but unfortunately ended in an all too familiar Mercedes 1-2 finish. Other than that, Alex Albon may have redeemed himself a bit with his first ever red bull podium. For now, we wait another full week for Russia…

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