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2014 Russian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Russian Grand Prix

The fun has come and gone from the Sochi sun and the Russian Grand Prix passed by without any idiot from the Formula 1 world threatening to “shirtfront” Putin. Which, in some ways, in just as bad as it would have been if some idiot did engage his mouth before his brain.

Anyway, enough of that, let’s just try and enjoy the images from the race. Hopefully, they’re not quite as dull as the on track action ended up.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2014 Russian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Russian Grand Prix

So after Lewis’ procession to win the 2014 Russian Grand Prix maybe the post-race presser had some spark in it? Something to add a bit of life to the race. Well, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo explains a little about his tyre performance and some of the challenges he faced in securing P7.

“Starting the race the tyre was already blistered, it had quite a bit from qualifying,” Daniel said. “So it wasn’t looking too healthy and the first stint made it worse; I could see it starting to come apart, so we had to pit quiet early.

“Then on the prime the tyre lasted well and we had good pace and could match Alonso, but couldn’t get past. Congrats to Mercedes—it’s been a dominant season by them, so hats off to them.”

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Lewis Hamilton wins 2014 Russian GP

2014 Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has won the Russian Grand Prix and in doing so has helped the works Mercedes AMG team secure its first ever constructors’ world championship. It’s Hamilton’s ninth win of the season and the second time this year he has won four races in a row. He now has 31 career grands prix victories, which puts him equal with Nigel Mansell.

For all of that though it was a boring race. The only excitment was at the approach to Turn 2 on the opening lap when Nico Rosberg overtook Hamilton for the lead, but in doing so locked up his tyres so badly that he had to pit for new rubber at the end of the lap.

In an illustration of how lifeless this race was Rosberg was then able to complete the race on the tyres he had fitted at the start of Lap 2. That enabled him to claw back every position except the lead and claim yet another Mercedes AMG 1-2 for the year (nine in total so far this season).

Valtteri Bottas continued his good form to finish P3 and ensured the Silver Arrows didn’t have it all their own way by securing the fastest lap of the race on his final tour. Jenson Button came home fourth, ahead of his teammate Kevin Magnussen.

If you’re paying attention you’ll notice the first five cars were Mercedes-powered.

Fernando Alonso was the first non-Mercedes powered driver across the line, hanging on to keep his Ferrari ahead of the Red Bull pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

With three races left, including the double points novelty at Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton has a 17 point lead over Rosberg and seems unstoppable for the drivers’ title. But as we all know, anything can happen in Formula 1 and it usually does.

Let’s hope that is the case, because after tonight’s Russian Grand Prix we need soemthing to wake us all up.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

2014 Russian GP: qualifying report

2014 Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the first Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s time (1:38.513) was exactly two tenths quicker than teammate Nico Rosberg (1:38.713) who will share the front row.

Valtteri Bottas (1:38.920) was looking good to upset that Mercedes front row until he made a mistake on the final corner. He had to settle for P3 and will have Jenson Button (1:39.121) to his side.

The third row gives us a brief insight into 2015, with Daniil Kvyat (1:39.277) delighting both his Toro Rosso team and the local fans by qualifying fifth. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo (1:39.635) qualified seventh, but inherits P6 thanks to an unscheduled gearbox change from Kevin Magnussen (1:39.629), who drops to P11.

“It’s tough to get a lap together around here,” Daniel said. “For a new track it’s really high in grip but at the same time it’s hard to read the grip; it’s not such a natural feeling that it gives us behind the wheel, but it’s fun and a new challenge.

“We were trying to get the fronts in and get grip out of them and on the last lap I lost the rear. We’re better off than we were yesterday, but I was hoping for more than seventh.”

The top ten is rounded out by Fernando Alonso (1:39.709), Kimi Raikkonen (1:39.771), Jean-Eric Vergne (1:40.020) and Sebastian Vettel (1:40.052). Vettel missed out on Q3, qualifying eleventh, but moves up due to Magnussen’s penalty. Felipe Massa was another unexpected quali casualty, failing to make it out of Q1 after suffering from a fuel pressure problem. He will start from P18.

The drivers have, in general, praised the Sochi circuit. Its high grip and low abrasion mean there is a low level of tyre degradation. It will be an interesting race tonight, make sure you tune in.

Formula 1 Infiniti

VIDEO: Sebastian does Sochi

Sebastian Vettel drives a lap of Sochi F1 circuit

Infiniti’s Director of Performance, aka Sebastian Vettel, has become the first Formula 1 driver to complete a flying lap of the Sochi Autodrom Grand Prix circuit.

Forget, for a moment, the debate over whether F1 should be going to Russia; the race will go on. So you may as well jump in the car with Seb and have a look around before the lights go out on 12 October.

Fellow Red Bull ambassador David Coulthard was with Sebastian in Sochi and had this to say: “There are several corners where you could do yourself some serious damage—they’re fast and it’s a street circuit with walls.”

Formula 1 News

“Morally proper” to postpone 2014 Russian GP

Sochi Autodrom, July 2014

The official Sochi Autodrom website tells us there’s only 80 days until the Russian Grand Prix. Yet, one week on from the MH17 disaster, calls for the race to be cancelled are gathering momentum.

In addition to MH17 British-Russia relations are on high alert after a public inquiry into the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was announced. Critics from the political and academic spheres are now speaking out.

David Davis, a Conservative MP and former Foreign Office minister is one outspoken critic calling for the Russian Grand Prix to be postponed.

“If Russia continues as they have been doing, then the grand prix is one of many things that they should be denied,” Davis declared. “The morally proper thing to do is put the race on hold.

“F1 already had a problem in the past with Bahrain. Whilst I’m not particularly in favour of cancelling sports events at the drop of a hat, I think that Formula 1 should reflect the global outrage. It would be an important and appropriate response to cancel the race.”

Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, weighed in saying: “Public opinion all over the world will find it difficult to accept Mr Putin taking all the plaudits for this grand prix in Russia and, no doubt, presenting the prizes.”

Further, Dr Andrew Foxall, from the Russian Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, a British-based think tank, added: “Formula 1 is not, and never has been, an organisation known for morality. There are a host of reasons why this race should not go ahead.”

Previously, and unsurprisingly, Bernie Ecclestone has stated he has no problems with the race going ahead.

“We shouldn’t speculate as to what could happen,” Ecclestone told Adam Cooper. “We will honour our contract. Mr Putin personally has been very supportive and very helpful, and we will do the same.”

[Source: The Telegraph | Pic: via twitter]

Formula 1

2014 Russian Grand Prix in doubt

Sochi F1 circuit

Despite having a seven year contract to host a Formula 1 race at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, next year’s Russian Grand Prix is in doubt after organisers failed to submit an official application to the FIA for the 2014 race in time. The deadline closed on 31 July and was missed due to a spat between the Russian Automobile Federation and race promoter JSC Omega.

The news has been confirmed by a statement from the RAF, which reads in part: “The application to the FIA for submitting the Russian Grand Prix to the 2014 Formula 1 calendar was not sent in proper time as JSC Omega (Promoter) didn’t fulfil the necessary conditions.

“That is: [it] didn’t sign a contract with the Russian Grand Prix organiser, didn’t sign a deal for an application submission and also didn’t pay a fee to the FIA for including an event on the FIA F1 calendar.

“RAF informs that it is ready to include the Russian Grand Prix on to the FIA calendar under force-majeure conditions, permissible by the FIA, as soon as the promoter fulfils all the necessary formalities.”

The dispute centers around the funding of preparatory programs for the race, including the training of track marshals. The training has being carried out to date by the FIA Institute and CAMS with funding from the FIA. However, the RAF claims it needs to secure finances from the race promoter in order to continue its preparations.

There are other areas of impasse as well, including the commercial and intellectual property rights along with the contract terms between the RAF and JSC Omega.

[Source: Autosport | Pic: Joe Saward]