Along with Canada and Spain, the Russian Grand Prix is one of three F1 circuits staged in a former Olympic complex. Though relatively unknown outside the country prior to the 2014 Olympics, several Grand Prix later and a football World Cup to boot and Sochi is well and truly on the map as an international sporting destination.
The event, though well-attended by domestic fans has not yet become a prime destination for the majority of international Grand Prix goers and the reasons are understandable if not entirely justified.
Sochi Autodrome has the look and feel off a theme park that should have closed its doors forty years ago and lacks the sense of history and myth that accompany circuits in Formula One’s European heartland. The location too, far from an iconic world class city like Singapore or Abu Dhabi keeps it low on the radar for your typical globe-trotting F1 fan.
Sochi and the surrounding area certainly has something to offer that no other F1 destination can though. The region’s stunning snow-capped mountains, endless miles of coastline and almost guaranteed sunshine make it easy to see why Sochi has earned its place as Russia’s ‘Summer Capital’. There’s a reason the population of Sochi nearly doubles during the tourist season. When you’re not at the track you can literally hit the ski slopes in the morning and spend the afternoon topping up your tan on the beach.
Russia’s needlessly bureaucratic visa application process doesn’t help attract fans from abroad either but once you’ve figured that out Sochi is close enough to Europe to be one or two inexpensive flights away for European fans.
Russian Grand Prix F1 Spectator Tips
- Sochi is the F1 destination of choice for outdoorsy types. Bring your skis for the snow and your beach body for the sand.
- Get to know the real Russia on your visit and travel by sleeper train between Sochi and Moscow. Saint Petersburg too is only 4 hours further north.
- Modern and fast, Sochi’s Lastochka trains are free to use for F1 ticket holders.
- Booking accommodation in the more distant Lazarevskoye district will keep costs down leaving you with more to spend on the grandstand seats you really want.
Essential Visitor Information
|Currency||Russian Rouble (RUB)|
With 300 days of sunshine per year Sochi well and truly deserves it status as Russia’s Summer Capital. You’re more likely to need a beach towel and a snorkel than an umbrella or a raincoat for this F1 trip.
Russian Grand Prix Track Schedule 2019
|THURSDAY 26th SEPTEMBER|
|Promoter Activity||Pit Lane Walk for Four Day Ticket Holders Only||09:00 - 13:00|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||15:00 - 16:00|
|Promoter Activity||Pit Lane Walk for VIP Guests Only||15:00 - 16:15|
|Formula 1||Drivers' Autograph Session||15:50 - 17:45|
|Formula 1||F1 Experiences - Guided Track Tour/Pit Lane Walk (F1 Experiences Guests Only)||16:30 - 17:30|
|FRIDAY 27th SEPTEMBER|
|FIA Formula 3||Practice Session||08:20 - 09:05|
|FIA Formula 2||Practice Session||09:30 - 10:15|
|Formula 1||First Practice Session||11:00 -12:30|
|FIA Formula 3||Qualifying Session||13:00 - 13:30|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||13:00 - 14:00|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk||13:40 - 14:20|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Truck Tour||13:45 - 14:15|
|FIA Formula 3||Press Conference||14:00 - 14:30|
|Formula 1||Second Practice Session||15:00 - 16:30|
|FIA Formula 2||Qualifying Session||17:00 - 17:30|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Truck Tour||17:45 - 18:15|
|FIA Formula 2||Press Conference||17:45 - 18:15|
|SATURDAY 28th SEPTEMBER|
|Formula 1||Team Pit Stop Practice||09:00 - 09:30|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk||09:00 - 09:45|
|FIA Formula 3||First Race (20 Laps or 40 Mins)||10:15 - 11:00|
|FIA Formula 3||Press Conference||11:15 - 11:45|
|Formula 1||Third Practice Session||12:00 - 13:00|
|FIA Formula 2||Drivers' Parade||13:20 - 13:50|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Truck Tour||13:20 - 13:50|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk||13:20 - 14:20|
|Formula 1||Qualifying Session||15:00 - 16:00|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||16:00 - 17:00|
|FIA Formula 2||First Race (28 Laps or 60 Mins)||16:45 - 17:50|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Truck Tour||18:00 - 18:30|
|FIA Formula 2||Press Conference||18:05 - 18:35|
|SUNDAY 29th SEPTEMBER|
|FIA Formula 3||Second Race (20 Laps or 40 Mins)||09:55 - 10:40|
|FIA Formula 2||Second Race (21 Laps or 45 Mins)||11:20 - 12:10|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk||12:20 - 13:00|
|Paddock Club||Paddock Club Truck Tour||12:25 - 12:55|
|FIA Formula 2||Press Conference||12:25 - 12:55|
|Paddock Club||Global Partner Paddock Club Truck Tour||12:25 - 12:55|
|Formula 1||Drivers' Parade||12:30 - 13:00|
|Formula 1||National Anthem||13:54 - 13:56|
|Promoter Activity||Aerobatic Fly Past TBC||13:57 - 13:59|
|Formula 1||Grand Prix (53 Laps or 120 Minutes)||14:10 - 16:10|
featured image: © CaterhamF1 | FLICKR