Held at Sochi’s Autodrom racetrack between the picturesque Black Sea and Caucasus mountains, the Russian Grand Prix is a new addition to the F1 calendar. With ‘lights out’ at 12:00 GMT on Sunday, the race is live on Sky Sports F1 and BBC1.
Hamilton Takes Pole in Russia
Taking pole position for the seventh time in 2014, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished 0.2 seconds quicker than teammate Nico Rosberg in Saturday’s Russian GP qualification.
It could have been very different, however, as Williams’ Valtteri Bottas had set the fastest time in the first and second sections of the Sochi circuit, but the Finish driver’s error in the final section kept him in third and confirmed provisional pole sitter Hamilton’s position.
Shocks as Massa Out in Q1, Vettel in Q2
Struggling with a fuel engine problem and lack of power, Williams’ Felipe Massa was surprisingly eliminated in Q1 and will start 18th on the Grid at Sochi.
Stating that he and the team were too aggressive with the car’s setup, four-time world F1 champion Sebastian failed to qualify for Sochi’s Q3 and had to be content with 11th place.
Meanwhile, McLaren’s Jenson Button continued his recent good form by qualifying fourth, with home hero Daniil Kvyat netting an impressive third row spot in fifth.
Jules Bianchi Update
Of course, while we’re all excited to see the first-ever F1 race in Sochi, the condition of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi is far more important. Unconscious and unable to breathe without assistance after crashing into the tractor that was on the side of the Suzuka track in last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Bianchi remains in a critical but stable condition after being treated for a diffuse axonal injury – a type of brain trauma.
Russian Grand Prix Betting
Now, we think that Hamilton looks to have found an extra gear in Sochi and we fully expect him to win the race, but at 4/9 and shortening he’s a bit too short for a tip.
It’s fair to say that the Red Bull’s are way off the pace this weekend and Ricciardo looks a reach to make the podium, as such, while Vettel doesn’t seem himself.
Most of all, we’d love to back Bottas to finish on the podium, but the value’s gone at 8/11 and, all in all, it’s tough to recommend a strong bet at a value price otherwise.
Instead, for those looking to punt anyway, Button to finish on the podium at 4/1 with Bet Victor and Massa to finish in the top 6 at 11/4 – also with BetVictor – are our suggestions.