Russian GP Preview – Can Hamilton start his comeback?

 

By Ros Satar

Hamilton never beaten in Russia – can he get back to winning ways?

  • Can Lewis Hamilton maintain his unbeaten record
  • Daniil Kvyat prepares for a hero’s welcome at his home Grand Prix
  • Nico Rosberg is prepared for Hamilton to fight his way back

SOCHI, RUSSIA – All eyes will be on Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton bids to turn his fortunes around to maintain his unbeaten streak – Eight things ahead of this weekend’s race.

1) Qualifying went back to its previous format and away from the lack-of-spectacle from the first two Grand Slams… and everyone seems happier!

2) Nico Rosberg is unbeaten this year, and is on a six match winning streak. Even though Lewis Hamilton had secured the title last year in America, he would see Rosberg cap off 2015 with three wins on the trot.

3) No more jokers left – In China, a gear box change had already set Hamilton five places back on the grid, before his engine died on him in qualifying. As reported by the BBC, it was hard to remain optimistic… but he tried!

“There is a long way to go, but I’ve no more jokers available. “Of course it is a trying time and lots of different emotions are going through my mind,” he said.

“But this is a part of motor racing and a part of the journey. I haven’t got an amazing feeling, but I have the utmost confidence in this team and we will recover from this at some point. When? Who knows, but hoping for better races to come.”

 

4) No driver has failed to win the championship from this point.

 Rosberg said: “It’s three races now and they’ve gone really well for me, but it’s the longest season in F1 history with 21 races so that’s 18 to go. Of course I’m happy with the way it’s gone. I’m feeling good and the car’s there, but I don’t want to say more than that.

“Lewis is not many points behind. He will never give up and he’s the benchmark. He’s been the benchmark for the last years, so the battle is going to be a big battle as always.”

5) The first lap in Shanghai was chaos with collisions a-plenty before the safety car came out on lap four.  Hamilton and Kimi Raikonnen clashed in the first corner after the Fin moved right into Vettel’s line as he himself was trying to avoid Daniil Kvyat’s aggressive inside manoeuvre.  As Hamilton tried to avoid Raikkonen’s damaged car, Felipe Nasr turned into him.

Afterwards, Vettel had a few words for Kvyat in the pre-podium room!

(Via YouTube Sebastian Vettel Fans)

6) Hamilton is not impressed with the new ‘aeroscreen’ head protection being piloted by Red Bull this weekend – calling it a ‘riot shield’ (as reported in Motorsport.com), although in fairness he is in dupport of safety improvements in general, even though he declared:

“When I get in my car I know that there is a danger. That’s been the same since I was eight years old, and that’s a risk that I am willing to take. And that’s the risk that every single driver who has ever got in a car has been willing to take.”

7) Sochi prepared to give Kvyat a hero’s welcome as he explained to Formua1.com:

“I’m very excited to get back to Russia for the Grand Prix,” says the 22 year-old.  “It’s an important race for me and it’s nice to see my family and friends and all the fans who come to support me and the team in Sochi. I can’t wait!

“It’s a very modern track with a few corners that look quite similar but they are never as easy as they might look, because you have to try and drive the car on the limit each time you turn. I think Turn 4 is the nicest corner, and it’s also the grandstand named after me. I see my face on that corner often during the race, and that support is really nice. Any time I want to say something cool I say: I have a grandstand named after me!

“In the end it’s my home race and that gives me an extra boost as well. It’s very nice to have a home race. It’s very special for every driver, so I think I’m very lucky to have one.”

8) Take a look at a bird’s eye view of the Sochi track (via Formula 1 YouTube)

 

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