Russian Grand Prix gets November date for 2014

2014 F1 season

Sochi Olympic Park F1 track renderingThe inaugural Russian Grand Prix will get a November slot on the 2014 F1 calendar, according to the mayor of Sochi.

Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told R-Sport (part of state-owned media agency Ria Novosti) “after the Olympics, in November, the Formula One will be held.” Sochi will hold the 2014 Wintor Olympics in February.

The F1 teams can expect cool conditions for Russia’s first Grand Prix – the average temperature in Sochi in November is 10.9C.

Location of Sochi

The Sochi circuit will use the roads of the Olympic Park which is under construction.

The location of the park and circuit can be seen below, although the roads built so far don’t correspond exactly to those shown in the image above:

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60 comments on Russian Grand Prix gets November date for 2014

  1. MilleniumBug (@milleniumbug) said on 25th January 2013, 12:37

    I think the cold conditions will make it very interesting for the teams

    • It should really suit Hamilton / Vettel’s aggressive style very well

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2013, 12:45

        I really don’t see how that it going to happen. Assuming that, when the race takes place, the temperature is around ten degrees, everyone is going to be faced with a major challenge: there has never been a race run in such cold conditions before. An “aggressive style” will be no guarantee of success.

        • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 25th January 2013, 13:25

          I think cold is an added dimension to the race. Russia is often associated with cold, harsh weather – from the point of view of advertising it is only logical to market the race as the coldest on f1 calendar. However I don’t think the date is set in stone – teams are likely to disagree about the viability of running the tyres/engines in cold temperatures. I mean, 15 degrees is certainly alright, but what if they turn up and its close to zero?

          • davidnotcoulthard said on 25th January 2013, 13:30

            Prepare for Book II of Dallas 1984!

          • In November it is atleast 50% of chance that there is 10cms of snow on the ground.

          • My mistake, I didn’t excpect that Sochi is so low to the south in Russia.

          • @einariliyev

            teams are likely to disagree about the viability of running the tyres/engines in cold temperatures.

            Tyres, likely as there will be issues getting a heat cycle through them (as we saw in Austin) which will make for very tricky handling and just a general lack of grip which may lead to increased wear. Engines not so though: turbo engines “prefer” colder conditions and so from that perspective they won’t be complaining!

            I doubt though that a race will happen in November: F1 usually follows the sun late-season and it is quite likely that temperatures could drop below 10 or even 5°C in Russia, which would cause havcoe with the tyres. I think September is probably more viable (given that time will be needed to prepare the track).

        • Girts (@girts) said on 25th January 2013, 13:35

          The 2009 German Grand Prix was pretty cold as well, particularly on Saturday. (I was in the stands so I remember very well!) Testing sometimes takes place in even lower temperatures. But it’s still unusual to deliberately choose such conditions for a race.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th January 2013, 10:24

          @prisoner-monkeys To be aggresive you need to have faith in grip, which I doubt wil be in abundance when the rubber won’t stick to the road :D Don’t understand how people draw such wild conclusions.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th January 2013, 12:58

      I honestly don’t understand why they have put it in November. Of all the months.

      As Brundle says, the Formula 1 circus tries to follow the sun.

      Curious as to why they chose winter.

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 25th January 2013, 12:59

      According to Wikipedia the average temperature in Sochi during the day is around 16°C in November with record high being 29.1°C and record low -5.4°C (that’s probably at night)

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 25th January 2013, 13:01

      Just like Singapore, (and perhaps unlike Korea, India, etc) this track brings a new challenge, regardless of track design – the cool temperatures you mention. Could be one of them races where a certain team might shine because of how their cars work the tyres. It does help that the track doesn’t look too bad, either!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th January 2013, 15:24

      What colour will Pirelli use for the snow tyres ?

      • Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 25th January 2013, 21:39

        It is winter now in Northern hemisphere and the temperature is about of 10 degrees Celsius in Sochi. In November it may be much higher.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th January 2013, 12:55

    Unless some other tracks get dropped, I’m going to be feeling very very sorry for the team personel.

    I think Bernie is trying to fit in a couple too many races. I think 19 is a better number.

  3. Girts (@girts) said on 25th January 2013, 13:23

    I just asked my mom about the temperatures in Sochi in November as she often used to spend holidays there during the Soviet times. She said that around 12C could be expected but it depends and it could be colder as well.

    The chances of snow are obviously low but the decision is still a bit strange. Perhaps they need more time to complete the circuit and cannot make it until the summer of 2014.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th January 2013, 14:45

      Perhaps they need more time to complete the circuit and cannot make it until the summer of 2014.

      I would expect that is exactly why it would be held in November. If the Olympics are staged in early 2014 as planned, it will mean then breaking down things that were not needed, and build up grandstands and the paddock for the F1 race. Much of this could be done during the late spring and Summer to be ready for the (end of) autumn.

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 25th January 2013, 13:39

    A little surprised people would rather have it earlier – so the temperatures are much the same as any other Grand Prix?

  5. Russia ? November ? I first thought “that could mean snow !”
    But Sotchi is quite close from Turkey, on the other side of the Black Sea. That should be ok.

  6. Slr (@slr) said on 25th January 2013, 14:12

    Considering that the latest a European round takes place is usually in September, perhaps Sochi will close the 2014 World Championship?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th January 2013, 14:46

      Looks more like slotting in somewhere between the India-Abu Dhabi and Austin-Brazil double headers to me.

    • Cucamest (@kevincucamest) said on 25th January 2013, 17:50

      Yes, I think that Sochi will be placed in between Abu Dhabi and Austin it would make more sense than having the teams go back to Russia after Brazil. Altough I must say I was expecting Sochi to be placed either between Bahrain and Spain or Monza and Singapore, but considering Sochi’s location, I do not think we will have winter weather problems.

  7. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 25th January 2013, 14:15

    It’d be extremely cool (no pun intended) if it was snowing, or had snowed and the track was the only thing unmasked by it. Visually it would make a great spectacle although some of the front teams might have a bigger say then about actually racing.

  8. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 25th January 2013, 14:54

    At the moment teams only encounter such cold conditions in pre-season testing, and even now most have decamped to Spain where it’s a tad warmer.

    Perhaps the demands of a cooler race in Sochi could prompt teams to consider winter testing in the UK or elsewhere in northern Europe again? It’ll be the only chance they get to gather useful data on how the cars behave in cold conditions.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 25th January 2013, 15:53

      You’d hope they’d do this, if only on the grounds of safety…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th January 2013, 5:18


      It’ll be the only chance they get to gather useful data on how the cars behave in cold conditions.

      For one Grand Prix? I don’t think the teams could justify the expense of dedicating an entire test to cold-weather testing, especially when they can probably get an understanding of how the tyres behave in cooler conditions during Friday and Saturday practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

  9. Mads (@mads) said on 25th January 2013, 15:48

    I guess its because they can’t make an earlier date due to the construction of the track, but I think the cool temperatures is going to make it a really nice challenge.
    Actually, if somehow Sochi hit a very early winter and we had snow off the track and then of cause the track having been cleared of snow completely and with a track surface temperature close to 0 degrees what kind of tyres would the teams actually run? First guess would be the softest tyres for 99 percent of the race to be able to keep heat in the tyres, but will that actually be enough?
    Could the intermediate tyre actually be beneficial in those temperatures? I mean, while you get less tyre patch, you will get block movement on the tyre surface and that generates heat. Which is a key feature in wet conditions as the tyres cool quite quickly when its wet. So if its like minus a few degrees outside, would the smaller tyre patch but warmer tyres actually be useful? Or would the soft tyres be able to stay hot enough to work even in sub 0 degrees?

  10. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 25th January 2013, 17:44

    Ok so according to Wikipedia (I know I know) Sochi has on average in November 17°C as max. temp. and 10°C as min. So it’s not sooo cold. Apparently it does rain a lot. So that may be a thing.

  11. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th January 2013, 17:50

    Now we know why Kimi’s going ice racing next month – he knows what he’s doing (leave him alone, etc) Pic and Petrov will be there too, and the Ferrari boys have already had a go.

  12. Ron Mon (@henslayer) said on 25th January 2013, 18:02

    So I guess Pirelli will be expected to come out with a range of F1 snow tires to accommodate this ridiculous decision. What color scheme will they use for the intermediate slush, deep snow and full ice tires?

    Not to mention the extremely long haul distances from Russia to Texas to Brazil.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2013, 23:10


      Not to mention the extremely long haul distances from Russia to Texas to Brazil.

      I’m not so sure that would be a problem. The teams manage just fine in going from Japan to India to Abu Dhabi to Austin in the space of six weeks, and going from Sochi to Sao Paulo isn’t that different – purely in terms of distance – to going from Abu Dhabi to Austin.

      The real problem would be if Sochi doesn’t have an airport big enough to accomodate Formula 1. Then the teams might be faced with a problem, because they’d probably have to land in Moscow and communte to Sochi, which would probably be about the same as driving most of the way across Europe. The only other alternative would be to land in Georgia and try and cross north into Russia. But that might be a problem because the Caucasus can be a dangerous region, and whilst the western parts aren’t too bad, things can flare up easily, as we saw in 2008, when Russia and Georgia went to war over the breakway state of Soth Ossetia.

  13. I would take the mayor of Sochi’s comments with a large grain of salt.

    Not merely because of weather issues, but also logistics. Surely Sochi will be held during the European leg of the season, which under the 2013 calendar will be over by early September (although they could, I suppose, hold it say a week after the Indian GP).

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2013, 23:12

      Sochi could easily fit into the final flyaway leg of the championship. Assuming everything remains constant, it will likely be Suzuka -> India -> Abu Dhabi -> Austin -> Interlagos. Sochi could easily fit in there. Because although it is in a part of Russia that is considered to be in Europe, it’s actually quite isolated geographically.

  14. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 25th January 2013, 20:30

    Gran Prix of Sochi – this is really amazing news for ukrainians. Obviously, we don’t earn much money (if you compare us with russians or European people) so the best possibility for us to get closer to Formula 1 racing is the Gran Prix of Hungary. But in 2014 it would be even cheaper (to get closer) because ukrainians don’t need visa for going to Russia (at least, nowadays). Secondly, there is small distance between my hometown (Dnipropetrovsk) and Sochi comparing to that SPACE from Dn. to Budapest (it is less almost by 500 km). Last, ukrainians generally know russian language as good as ukranian.
    But it is questionable whether russians will be able to provide good organization. Knowing their nature and mentality I’m not so sure. But I hope this is the great start and achievement.

    Anyway, all I’m saying this is really great news not only for Russian, but also for all Ukrainian people:-)

    *sigh* it would be magnificent if the track was already built in Crimea (Eupatoria), which is suitable for F1-testing.

  15. Imre (@f1mre) said on 25th January 2013, 20:55

    I’ve just realized…. Winter Olympics in +10 °C ????? Smart move, very very smart…….

    • The Winter Olympics will be held in February 2014.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2013, 23:05

      The Winter Olympics will be divided up into two venues. Events like speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and curling will take place at the Sochi Olympic Park; although the teamperature might be 10 °C, all of these sports are played in venues where the temperature can be artifiicially controlled.

      As for the events that require snow – the skiing, bobsleigh, biathlon, etc. – they will take place at Krasnaya Polyana, a town up in the mountains about forty kilometres from the city.

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