The Sochi Autodrom (Russian: Сочи Автодром, romanizedSochi Avtodrom),[2] previously known as the Sochi International Street Circuit[3] and the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit, is a 5.848 km (3.634 mi) permanent race track in the settlement of Sirius next to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, Russia.[4][5]

The circuit runs around a former Olympic complex, the Sochi Olympic Park site, scene of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The TCR International Series raced at Sochi in 2015 and 2016, with the TCR Russian Series and SMP F4 Championship as support series.[citation needed]

The inaugural World Championship Russian Grand Prix took place in 2014, with the circuit hosting the Grand Prix up to 2021. The contract was terminated before the 2022 edition due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Development

The circuit and the Olympic Park, as it appeared in 2018

Earlier the International Olympic Committee was given the power to delay the race until 2015 if preparations for the race interfered with the Winter Olympics,[6] though the Games started without interruption. In October 2011, the Russian government set aside US$195.4 million for the construction of the circuit.[7]

The construction of the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit marked the end of a thirty-year campaign for a Russian Grand Prix, with plans for a "Grand Prix of the Soviet Union" originating as early as 1983 before being abandoned for "bureaucratic reasons"[8] and several failed attempts[9][10][11] in the intervening years. The circuit received its final approval from the FIA in August 2014.[12]

The circuit

The start of the 2014 Russian Grand Prix

The 5.848 km (3.634 mi) circuit was the fifth-longest circuit on the 2021 Formula One calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Jeddah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia, Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan and Silverstone in the UK.[13] The circuit is built around the Sochi Olympic Park, that is the coastal cluster of Olympic venues built for the 2014 Winter Olympics that have hosted competitions in ice hockey, speed skating, curling, figure skating, short track etc., and Fisht Olympic Stadium where Opening and Closing ceremonies were held. The surface was not laid until after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics.[14]

Aerial view of the Sochi Autodrome from the final corner

The circuit, designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, has the start grid on the northern edge of the Olympic Park next to the railway station, heading southwest towards the Black Sea coast. Then it runs along the outer edge of the central Sochi Medals Plaza, that is the podium for Olympic medal ceremonies. The long Turn 3 has been compared to Turn 8 in Istanbul Park.[15] Then, the track circles the plaza counterclockwise and makes three turns around the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Then follow series of tight corners before turning north where the track skirts the edge of the Olympic Park, above the main Olympic Village and the Adler Arena Skating Center. Then it passes the skating and curling centres, before funneling up behind the pit paddock toward the train station, and completing a circuit with two ninety-degree right turns.[citation needed] The circuit held the Russian Grand Prix from 2014 to 2021.[16]

The circuit was initially planned to be included in the 2022 Formula One calendar, but the Russian Grand Prix was suspended on 24 February 2022, then it was cancelled on 1 March 2022, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[17][18][19]

Events

Current
  • October: Russian Endurance Challenge
Former

Lap records

The official lap record for the current circuit layout is 1:35.761, set by Lewis Hamilton during the 2019 Russian Grand Prix. The official race lap records at the Sochi Autodrom are listed as:

Class/Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Grand Prix Circuit: 5.848 km (2014–present)
Formula One 1:35.761 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ 2019 Russian Grand Prix
GP2 1:46.407 Stoffel Vandoorne Dallara GP2/11 2014 Sochi GP2 round
FIA F2 1:50.501[20] George Russell Dallara F2 2018 2018 Sochi Formula 2 round
GP3 1:52.459 Esteban Ocon Dallara GP3/13 2015 Sochi GP3 round
FIA F3 1:55.513[21] Jake Hughes Dallara F3 2019 2019 Sochi Formula 3 round
Formula 4 2:11.229[22] Niko Kari Tatuus F4-T014 2015 Sochi SMP F4 round
Ferrari Challenge 2:13.849[23] Bjorn Grossmann Ferrari 458 Challenge Evo 2016 Ferrari Challenge Europe Sochi round
GT4 2:19.468[24] Aleksandr Maslennikov KTM X-Bow GT4 Evo 2021 Sochi RCRS round
TCR Touring Car 2:20.107[25] Dmitry Bragin Audi RS 3 LMS TCR 2021 Sochi RCRS round

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sochi Autodrom officially opened in Russia". Formula1.com. Formula One Administration. 22 September 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014.
  2. ^ "2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix". Formula 1.com. Formula One Administration. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  3. ^ Kabanovsky, Aleksander (22 April 2013). "Vettel impressed by Russian circuit after first visit". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  4. ^ Collantine, Keith (14 October 2010). "Russia to join F1 calendar in 2014". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  5. ^ "OMEGA". OMEGA (Developer). Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  6. ^ "IOC threatens to postpone Russian Grand Prix". GP Update. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  7. ^ Elizalde, Pablo (26 October 2012). "Russia to spend $200m on F1 track". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Формула нелюбви". nevasport.ru. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Москва возвращается к проекту трассы "Формулы-1"". lenta.ru. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  10. ^ Joseph, Noah. "Formula Onovich: Russian Grand Prix gears up again". autoblog.com. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Время новостей: N°100, 08 июня 2001". vremya.ru. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  12. ^ Baldwin, Alan (20 August 2014). "New Sochi circuit wins FIA seal of approval". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  13. ^ Collantine, Keith (24 October 2014). "India's F1 track: Another cookie-cutter circuit?". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  14. ^ Saward, Joe (23 January 2012). "Meanwhile, on the Russian Riviera". Joe Saward blogs about the world of F1. WordPress. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Sochi uncovered - the inside track on Russia's first F1 circuit". Formula 1® - The Official F1® Website. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  16. ^ "Formula 1 terminates Russian GP contract in wake of Ukraine invasion". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2022-09-13.
  17. ^ Woodhouse, Jamie (2022-02-25). "Russian Grand Prix is "suspended" not cancelled, say the race promoters". PlanetF1. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  18. ^ "Formula 1 statement on the Russian Grand Prix" (Press release). Formula 1. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  19. ^ "FIA announces World Motor Sport Council decisions in relation to the situation in Ukraine". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Database Homepage". Motor Sport Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  21. ^ "FIA F3 2019 Sochi Results | FIA F3 Race Results". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  22. ^ "SMP F4 Championship Sochi Race 3 (25' +1 lap) Final Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  23. ^ "Trofeo Pirelli Sochi Race 2 (30') Final Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  24. ^ "2021 RCRS Sochi GT4 Race 1 Results" (PDF). Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  25. ^ "2021 RCRS Sochi Touring Race 1 Results" (PDF). Retrieved 1 November 2021.

External links