F1 Race Event: Russian Grand Prix
Race Track: Sochi Circuit

Start time:14:10 local | 12:10 GMT | 06:10 PT

Here you can see the start grid for the 2020 Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The overview below shows the starting order for the seventh race to be held at the Sochi street circuit near the Black Sea.

This grid is the final starting grid. Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi received a 5 places grid penalty for replacement of their gearbox while being in parc ferme.

F1 Starting Grid 2020 Russian GP

Pos No Driver Team Lap Time Pole gap Tyres
    1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31,304 S (C5)
    2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:31,867 +0,563s M (C4)
    3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31,956 +0,652s M (C4)
    4 11 Sergio Pérez Racing Point 1:32,317 +1,013s S (C5)
    5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:32,364 +1,060s S (C5)
    6 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 1:32,550 +1,246s S (C5)
    7 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:32,624 +1,320s S (C5)
    8 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:32,847 +1,543s S (C5)
    9 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:33,000 +1,696s S (C5)
  10 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:33,239 +1,935s
  11 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1:33,249 +1,945s
  12 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:33,364 +2,060s
  13 63 George Russell Williams 1:33,583 +2,279s
  14 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33,609 +2,305s
  15 23 *Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:33,008 +1,704s S (C5)
  16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:34,592 +3,288s
  17 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:34,594 +3,290s
  18 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:34,681 +3,377s
  19 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1:35,267 +3,963s
  20 6 *Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:35,066 +3,762s

Penalties:

  • Alex Albon car 23 of Red Bull received a 5 place grid penalty for replacement gearbox
  • Nicholas Latifi car 6 of Williams received a 5 place grid penalty for replacement gearbox

2020 Russian F1 GP Race Strategy

The fastest way to approach the 53-lap race is a one-stopper, as has traditionally been the case on the smooth asphalt of Sochi. However, tomorrow's weather is expected to be even hotter than today, which will obviously have an effect on thermal degradation.

As usual the teams will end up focussing on a one-stopper, also because the pit lane speed limit in Sochi is only 60kph: meaning that there's a bigger time penalty for a pit stop. On top of that, it's hard to overtake if you find traffic.
The quickest way will be to start on the Red soft tyre and then switch to the White hard after approximately 12 laps. Just as quick but very marginal on wear is soft for 14 laps and Yellow medium for 39 laps. As usual, this can be done the other way round too.

Slightly slower than those is a medium-hard one-stopper: medium for 22 laps and hard for 31 laps.
Finally, the quickest two-stopper will involve two stints on the soft of 12 laps and one on the medium, possibly running the medium in the 29-lap middle stint.

2020 Russian F1 GP Race Notes

  • Soft tyres. With Pirelli bringing a softer range of tyres to Russia than last year, the teams will have to manage the soft tyre in particular carefully this weekend. Although the soft has held up well, there's potentially a big advantage in starting on the medium compound as it provides more flexibility: as the frontrunners demonstrated in qualifying.
  • Strategy. While a one-stopper is set to be chosen by most drivers tomorrow, there is a wide variety of strategic permutations using all three compounds.
  • Medium tyre. Only the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas will start on the medium compound in the top 10 of the grid, from second and third. The cars immediately behind them – as well as Hamilton on pole – will be on the faster soft tyre.
  • Second place on the grid is reckoned to be a cleaner line, which could help Verstappen get in front of Hamilton tomorrow and claim a subsequent advantage on his different strategy.
  • Red flag. The Q2 session was disrupted with just over two minutes to go, interrupting a number of crucial qualifying laps, including that of Hamilton. This severely compromised qualifying strategy and also meant that managing tyres on the out lap was particularly crucial in the short time remaining.


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