Russian Grand Prix : Point of view of Operations Director

Renault Sport F1 Operations Director, Rémi Taffin, gives us his impressions on the Sochi Autodrom circuit.

"In the last two races we have been a lot closer to the performance potential of the power unit. In qualifying the Red Bulls have been noticeably closer to pole and Toro Rosso regular Q3 challengers. We’ve unlocked some greater driveability and this, coupled with the increased reliability, has given a net step forward on track, as we saw with the podium in Singapore.

Russia is a mix of Singapore and Japan, with the tight corners of the former and the flowing sections of Suzuka. As a result we are confident that we can continue our run in Sochi. We are looking forward to getting going and pushing on with the job in hand."

Did you know…

  • The track skirts round the arena used for the 2014 Winter Olympics. It passes through the Medals Plaza and round the Bolshoi Ice Dome and close to the main Olympic village and skating centre.
  • The track is incredibly wide. At its narrowest it is 13m and 15m at its widest, or approximately eight men’s skis placed end to end.
  • The Hermann Tilke-designed Grand Prix track is the third longest on the F1 calendar this year after Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone. The length of the circuit, plus its stop-start nature, means fuel consumption is one of the highest of the season.
  • The track is rarely used over the year so there is little rubber on the tarmac and tyre wear can be very unpredictable. Engine engineers can help reduce tyre wear by reducing wheelspin in the slow corners with accurate power delivery.
  • The weather in Sochi last year was around 20°C on average, with low humidity. In climate it is actually very similar to Austin although it is on the same latitude as Toronto, Nice and the Gobi Desert.