- Round 10 of the 2020 Formula 1 season takes in place in Sochi this weekend for the Russian Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton looks to win record-equalling 91st Grand Prix, with Briton holding 55-point championship lead
- Mercedes unbeaten at Autodrom Sochi since race’s modern-day inception in 2014
SOCHI, RUSSIA – As Formula 1 reconvenes for the 2020 Russian Grand Prix this weekend, can Lewis Hamilton claim an historic F1 win at Sochi?
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F1 resumes in Russia
Nine races down, eight to go.
As the 2020 Formula 1 season resumes this weekend for Round 10, the home straight for teams across the Paddock is beginning to appear on the horizon ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.
Before a trip to the Nurburgring on the latest stop of this year’s European grand tour however, the Sochi Autodrom plays hosting duties in this most surreal of F1 campaigns.
On the back of a fortnight of memorable F1 races in Italy, can Russia replicate the drama of Tuscany and Monza earlier this month?
Regardless, Sochi could be the venue for an historic moment in motor sport.
Hamilton eyes history
For Lewis Hamilton, Sochi could be a very special weekend indeed.
Picking up his 90th career F1 win last time out, the 35-year-old Briton rolls into Russia to book his place in history once more.
This particular and latest record however, is of rather greater significance with Hamilton knowing that should he take the chequered flag first on Sunday, he will draw level with Michael Schumacher‘s tally of 91 wins.
After further extending his drivers’ championship lead win victory in round nine, Hamilton’s cushion of 55 points leaves him in good stead toward his seventh F1 title.
Whilst that is the bigger picture in 2020, his latest trip to the Black Sea will be of greater short-term importance.
Thirteen years on from his first win in the sport in Canada, Hamilton could begin to indelibly etch his name into the motor sport annuls on Sunday – if he has not done so already.
Six from six at Sochi
Hamilton’s chances of achieving a record-equalling feat this weekend, on paper, look good.
Mercedes have made this particular corner of Southern Russia their own, having won every race here since the Russian GP’s modern-day re-introduction six years ago.
Hamilton has four of those six victories – winning in both 2018 and 2019 – but teammate Valtteri Bottas will also be buoyed before the weekend’s events, with the memory of his own race win three years ago.
Despite a roller-coaster last two races for the German manufacturer, will a return to Russia again prove to a be another exercise in F1 dominance?
Sainz seeks assurances
Whilst Mercedes have their own agenda this weekend, Carlos Sainz will hope the Russian GP erases memories of F1’s latest ‘grand incidente‘ two weeks ago.
The debris-laden events of the Tuscan GP still fresh in the minds of the drivers involved, the Spaniard will seek talks with F1 bosses before the weekend that there will be no repeat of the chaos that unfolded at Mugello.
One of the drivers involved in the terrifying pile-up crash, the McLaren driver was caught up in the frenzy at the Safety Car restart, that also took out Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi on the pit straight.
Ahead of Sochi, Sainz wants assurances of safety, and as he told F1.com, the Ferrari-bound driver says clear understanding and agreement on the events of Mugello, are vital before resumption this weekend.
“The third triple-header of the season gave us some high and low moments. The great result at Monza was an important boost for the entire team, but what happened at Mugello is something I hope we never see again in a race.
As I said before, the most important thing is that everyone left unharmed, but I’m sure we will discuss it all together again in Russia to understand what happened and agree on how we can avoid it in the future.”
The 2020 Russian Grand Prix takes place at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia, this weekend.
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