Category Archives: Russian GP

Formula One: Rosberg Humanising F1

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Fresh of the back of his 4th win of the year at the Russian Grand Prix Nico Rosberg took to social media to share the experience of his return flight to Monaco.

Sharing a rare glimpse into the life of an F1 driver away from the circuit Nico was joined on the flight by fellow Monaco residents Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Max Verstappen, Esteban Gutiérrez, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean Eric Vergne, Alex Wurz, & David Coulthard.

In addition to a cost and environmentally conscious mindset, the film highlights a growing comradery amongst certain drivers on the grid. Whilst such relationships are unlikely to impact a drivers approach when they are racing against each other on track, but as the season progresses and individual prospects are diminished consciously or subconsciously drivers may make life that little bit easier for friends.

Perhaps in a bid to further bring F1 to the fans the GPDA should consider running competitions for a fan to join these flights…

You can follow Nico Rosberg’s personal season diary through his You Tube Channel here

 

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Formula One: Silver Arrows seal Sochi one-two in high tension Russian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg has continued his run of victories (started at the 2015 Mexican GP) by winning from pole in Sochi, starting on the supersoft tyre then switching to the soft on lap 21. In second place was his team mate Lewis Hamilton who used the same strategy to make up eight places from 10th on the grid: the result of a technical problem before Q3.
Most drivers used a one-stop supersoft-soft strategy, but an alternative tactic was used by both Red Bull drivers, who were caught in the incident at the start that caused a brief safety car, which influenced strategy. Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat both switched to the medium tyre, with Kvyat completing more than 50 laps on this compound to finish 15th from the back, despite picking up a 10-second penalty.
A different alternative strategy was adopted by Force India’s Sergio Perez, who switched to used soft tyres on lap one under similar circumstances, then switched to more used softs with just over 20 laps to go. Perez finished in the points but he was not the highest-placed two-stopper: that was Williams driver Felipe Massa in fifth, who completed a final stint on supersofts. Only six drivers stopped twice, with the rest all stopping once.
Following a cool day yesterday, temperatures during the race were much warmer.

Nico Rosberg
This weekend really went really perfectly for me. Already in Qualifying I had found a perfect balance and that continued throughout the race, which was fantastic. I had a great start and from there was able to control the pace at the front. Thank you so much to everybody at the factories for building such an amazing car. If you have a car like this, you are really able to push to the limits and that’s an awesome feeling. Lewis drove really well to come back up to second so quickly, so well done to him too. The only down side to the weekend was to see that reliability is becoming a bit of a concern, as Lewis obviously has a problem yesterday and both cars had issues during the race today. But we have a great team behind us and I’m fully confident that we will sort this out. It´s unbelievable to go into the European races with four wins and I really look forward to Barcelona now. Thanks, Russia – you were very good to me!

Paul Hembery:

“The early safety car certainly added an interesting dimension to the race, with a number of drivers trying an alternative strategy. In the end, Daniil Kvyat completed an entire race distance on the Medium compound, in an era when there is more load going through the tyres than there ever has been before in Formula 1 history. We saw some other different strategies: Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were able to maximise their opportunities with a one-stop strategy to make up several places compared to their grid positions. Generally speaking, the one-stop strategy was the way to go as we predicted, with low wear and degradation across all three compounds.

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Formula One: Rexona promote Magnit partnership through Williams in Sochi

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Lead Williams F1 team partner Rexona (Unilever deodorant brand known as Sure in the UK) are promoting an innovative new partnership with Russian retailer Magnit with revised branding on the FW38 for the Russian Grand Prix.

Magnit branding features on the rear wing endplate of both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa’s in tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix.

In addition Rexona are promoting the brands key antiperspirant in Russia – Cobalt on the FW38 SPLEF. In so doing the driver numbering has been moved to the top left section of the rear endplate.

With Bottas and Massa starting 2nd and 4th on the grid respectively (having qualified 3rd and 5th), Magnit and Rexona will be more than satisfied with the exposure.

Valtteri Bottas: I’m very pleased with our qualifying performance; it was the maximum result I think we could have achieved, and my lap in Q3 was very good. It now puts us in a very good position for the race and we need to focus on turning a good qualifying, into a good race performance. This is a track that I really like and normally do well at, and it’s a track that suits our car. The new parts we have introduced are helping us, so the team at the factory and track have done a good job in improving the car. We have some fast cars starting behind us which will make the race difficult, but a podium will be the target.
Felipe Massa: It was a good qualifying for us as starting P2 and P4 is positive. We were a bit lucky with the penalties for Ferrari and Mercedes but I think it was definitely a good session. We just need to concentrate to have a good race tomorrow. Anything is possible and it’s probably the best track for us so far this season, so we’ll try and put everything together in the race.

Formula One: Lewis “I’ve never been superstitious”

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Bittersweet afternoon for the Silver Arrows in Sochi

Lewis Hamilton
It’s obviously not a great feeling to be on the sidelines again – but that’s life. I knew there was a problem and that it was probably the same failure that I had in China pretty much straight away. I went out for a second run in Q2 to get a feeler lap and felt the same power loss as last time. When it happened in Shanghai it was something we hadn’t seen before and now unfortunately it’s happened again, so we need to understand it. I’ve never been superstitious about these things, though, and I never will be. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll move on and look ahead to the race. I don’t know where I’m going to start yet – we’ll wait to see how that unfolds. But I never give up and I’ll give it all I’ve got to recover whatever I can in the race, like always. It’s not an easy track for overtaking. With the levels of tyre degradation and it being so tough to follow here, it’s not going to be easy to make my way forward. But there are long straights and we’ve got good pace, so if I can keep the car in one piece I’ll be fighting for decent points I’m sure.

Nico Rosberg
That was a very strong Qualifying session for me behind the wheel today. I found a great rhythm in Q2, then just turned the front wing down a bit for Q3 and the balance was then absolutely perfect. This is a really rare feeling to have out there in the car, so thank you to the guys for making that happen. I was able to really nail the first lap in Q3 and was quite confident that it was quick enough, so I gave it everything and more on the second lap and had a huge lock up, which is why I abandoned that attempt. I’m happy to have another pole – but tomorrow is a long race and a lot can happen. Even if we are looking strong pace-wise, I can never write off my opponents, that’s for sure. They’ve had some bad luck once again this weekend – Sebastian with his gearbox issue and Lewis with his engine again. But we’ve seen in previous races that they are able recover quickly and get through the field from behind. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
It’s a bittersweet feeling after qualifying today. Nico took a dominant pole position and the car is really quick here. The team at the track has done a great job and the upgrades we brought are working well. But we didn’t get to see the battle we had all hoped for after Lewis suffered a repeat of the failure he experienced in Shanghai. It’s so unfortunate for him after the problems he has already faced this season – and of course we have the concern that the same thing could happen again. But this is also part of motor racing. The Power Unit is a core element of performance and one of our biggest strengths. We are pushing hard to find lap time in every area and it’s inevitable that sometimes you reach limits in that process. Lewis has handled everything so far this year with calm and professionalism. He is resilient and showing a great attitude, even though this is a tough time for him. For tomorrow, it’s clear we are in a strong position in terms of performance. But like the saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish…

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
A great pole lap for Nico and our congratulations to him on a fantastic performance throughout the weekend so far. Unfortunately, however, our day has been tainted by a failure which deprived Lewis of a shot at pole – and deprived the fans of what would surely have been a thrilling climax to an immensely close battle between our two drivers. We’ve let Lewis down for the second weekend in a row, so our apologies go to him once again. It’s a cruel twist of fate that, out of eight Mercedes-Benz Power Units on the grid, the problem should befall the same driver twice. We’ve been working very hard over the past couple of weeks to understand what happened in China – but unfortunately there is clearly still more work to be done. Our focus for the immediate future, however, is on making sure Lewis’ car is in the best possible condition for tomorrow’s race to give him the best chance of making the kind of strong recovery we’ve seen him pull off so many times in the past.

Formula One: Felio Siby joins Force India

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Sahara Force India have announced a new partnership with  Felio Siby, which sees the luxury brand become the team’s official lifestyle partner. The Felio Siby logo will appear on the VJM09’s nose starting at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

A purveyor of some of the best leathers in the world, manufactured to the highest standards in a time-honoured way, Felio Siby is a reference for customers whose way of life is to find timeless and unique products. This is a vision that has now been extended to watch-making, as the brand embarks on a new venture with the best Swiss watchmakers to redefine the industry.

To celebrate the start of the partnership, Felio Siby will design a special edition Sahara Force India timepiece, due to be launched at next month’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “A luxury watch-maker and a Formula One team are a perfect match: both pursue excellence, have absolute attention to detail and work to produce awe-inspiring machines through the wonder of human ingenuity. We are delighted to welcome Felio Siby to our family and we are looking forward to sharing the successes of a long and fruitful partnership.”

Dominique Siby, CEO of Felio Siby: “Today is a day with great emotional significance for me, being the ten-year anniversary of my father’s passing. Working with a Formula One team was a project we always wanted to do together. I dreamed of being part of this sport since I was a child, watching the timeless battles between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. I am glad and thankful to be a partner of Sahara Force India: the team is the perfect match for Felio Siby and I can’t wait to show the world the unique watches we will be making for them.”

Formula One: Rosberg SMASHES Sochi lap record

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Nico Rosberg has set the fastest lap ever of Sochi to claim pole on the P Zero Red supersoft, comprehensively beating the previous record of 1m37.113s set in qualifying last year.

Rosberg’s Pole time of 1m35.417 eclipsed the previous lap record, also set on P Zero Red supersoft tyres, by almost 2 seconds.

With every driver using the supersoft in Q2 as well, this is the tyre that the top 10 on the grid will start on tomorrow. As conditions were cool in Russia today, drivers had to concentrate carefully on warming up the tyres. Similar conditions are expected for tomorrow’s race as well.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Russia is by no means a typical track as it features low grip that keeps wear and degradation at very low levels and also enables long stints. For this reason we saw drivers complete multi-lap runs during qualifying, with consistent performance from the tyres. We expect a one-stop strategy to be the preferred choice for most contenders tomorrow, and it’s unlikely that the medium tyre will be used.”

Pirelli Race strategy predictions: A one-stopper should be the favoured tactic on the smooth asphalt of Russia for the 53-lap race. Starting on soft or supersoft makes little difference to the overall race time. Starting on supersoft, the fastest way is to change to soft on lap 18. Starting on soft, it’s best to change to supersoft on lap 35. Some teams may gamble on a two-stopper, which is theoretically the fastest way to do the race but risks traffic. In which case: start on supersoft, change to soft on lap 12, then soft again on lap 32.

Formula One: Jenson “I love the track”

Mclaren Honda’s Jenson Button discusses his surprise enthusiasm for the Sochi Autodrome  with Mobil 1’s The Grid.  After struggling to pick out landmarks and differentiate corners when learning the track in the simulator, Jenson shares his thoughts on the thrill of driving through the Winter Olympic village and how the characteristics of the track encourage and rewards an aggressive style of driving.

Jenson hopes to register his first points of the 2016 season in Sochi, with the opening three races of the year falling somewhat short of both the team and drivers expectations.

Early indications suggest similar weather conditions for the 2016 running of the Russian Grand Prix to previous years despite the race moving from October to April. This should suit the supersoft tyre compound with which Mclaren have performed strongly this season.

Formula One: “Sochi is not the Russia I pictured”

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Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat preview the Russian Grand Prix:

Daniel Ricciardo:

“Sochi is not the Russia I pictured before I first went there. All of a sudden I saw a beautiful blue beach, which made me feel as if I was in a resort and they also have a very modern facility with the Olympic Park.
“I think the track hasn’t suited us in the last two years, but we’ve had some strong races so far this year on circuits we didn’t think suited us either so let’s see what happens. In the past it’s been quite a low grip. It got a bit better last year but it’s still quite slippery and because there is not that much tyre wear we haven’t done many pit stops in the past.
“There is not much camber change which you get on a lot of tracks. Also the corners are very flat and because of that quite unique. I’m looking forward to going back.
“The hotel we’re staying in has a very nice restaurant called Fellini. But because we spend so much time at the track we don’t really get the chance to see much. I’m going to try this year and speak to Dany to get some local advice. I think Dany will get a very busy week ahead but I don’t think it compares to Australia because it is the first race of the season, so you get more media anyway. I know how he feels though: it’s a week of survival.”
Daniil Kvyat:
“I’m very excited to get back to Russia for the Grand Prix. It’s an important race for me and it’s nice to see my family and friends and all the fans who come to support me and the team in Sochi. I can’t wait!
“It’s a very modern track with a few corners that look quite similar but they are never as easy as they might look, because you have to try and drive the car on the limit each time you turn. I think Turn 4 is the nicest corner, and it’s also the grandstand named after me. I see my face on that corner often during the race, and that support is really nice. Any time I want to say something cool I say: I have a grandstand named after me!
“It will be a hectic week and thinking about Daniel’s busy week in Australia it’s a bit of a payback for me in a way but you already got into quite a good rhythm after the first few races so you’re used to it in a way. In the end it’s my home race and that gives me an extra boost as well. It’s very nice to have a home race. It’s very special for every driver so I think I’m very lucky to have one.
“When back in Sochi I like to go and visit a Sauna. It’s a very classic thing to do in Sochi and it’s quite nice to go with a couple of good friends and have a relaxed evening. I did play some ice hockey last year as well and they have an Olympic Village there so there is a lot of sports to do. During race week I also enjoy to take a walk along the nearby seaside.”

Formula One: Pirelli tyre compounds for the Russian Grand Prix announced

 

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Pirelli will bring the following three compounds to the fourth round of the 2016 Formula One season in Russia (April 28-May 1)

P Zero White medium
P Zero Yellow soft
P Zero Red supersoft

These are the tyres that Pirelli has said must be used at some point in the race:

One set of P Zero White medium
One set of P Zero Yellow soft.

Each driver must have both these sets available for the race, and must use at least one of them.

There are the tyres assigned for Q3 in qualifying:
One set of P Zero Red supersoft

Following on from the 2016 regulations, each driver must save for Q3 one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds. This set will be given back to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race – as is the case currently.

The teams are free to choose the remaining sets; making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.

Confirmation that Pirelli will not be taking the Ultra Soft compound to the Russian Grand Prix means the compound is unlikely to make its debut until the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May.

Formula One: Ultrasoft compound set for Sochi debut at the earliest

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Pirelli will bring the following three compounds to Bahrain and China for the second and third rounds of the 2016 Formula One championship:

P Zero White medium
P Zero Yellow soft
P Zero Red supersoft

With the compounds for the Australian GP already announced this means the ultrasoft will not appear on the calender until the Russian GP, the 4th race of the season.

These are the tyres that Pirelli has said must be used at some point in the race:
One set of P Zero White medium
One set of P Zero Yellow soft.
Each driver must have both these sets available for the race, and must use at least oneof them.

There are the tyres assigned for Q3 in qualifying:
One set of P Zero Red supersoft
Following on from the 2016 regulations, each driver must save one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds for Q3. This set will be given back to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race – as is the case currently.

The teams are free to choose the remaining sets; making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.

The tyre choices so far:

Purple Red Yellow White Orange
Australia  Supersoft Soft Medium
Bahrain  Supersoft Soft Medium
China  Supersoft Soft Medium