Sochi is hard to categorize as a spectator circuit. Though technically a street circuit the Herman Tilke designed track has more in common with Albert Park or Circuit Gilles Villeneuve than Singapore or Monaco.
Views are generally better than most street circuits too, with catch fencing and obtrusive buildings less of a problem. There are decent views all round and some clear winners.
Best Grandstands at the Russian Grand Prix
Though called T1 the easily flat out kink that follows the main straight can barely be considered the first turn at Sochi. The speed that cars reach on this section of track means that fans here experience little more than a blur and possible neck injury.
You’ll get a distant view of the starting grid and a giant screen opposite the grandstand. What really saves this vantage point though and makes it worthy of consideration are the views across to turns 14 and 15 towards the end of the lap particularly for fans higher up in the Grandstand.
Though it is a fairly tight section of track where wheel to wheel action is unlikely it is a rare privilege to find a grandstand to watch F1 cars at high and low speeds.
MID BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS
Grandstand T2 comes at the end of a very long start / finish straight and can be considered the true turn 1. The tight apex makes for a bottle-neck where 20 cars trying to squeeze through on the opening lap almost inevitably ends in flying chunks of carbon fibre and an early retirement for some. If its crashes and destruction you seek, look no further.
Throughout the race this corner keeps on giving being one of the primary overtaking points at Sochi. You’ll get a great perspective of the braking and acceleration ability of an F1 car as well as the chance to get some good photographs of the cars at low speed.
There’s a giant screen directly opposite too. All round one of the best grandstands at Sochi.
MID BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS OVERTAKING SPOT GOOD FOR PHOTOS BEST IN PRICE RANGE F1S CHOICE
The T3 grandstand clings to the outside of turn 3, a long medium speed corner that sees cars accelerating out of the tight turn 2 before breaking into the 90 degree right turn 4.
While some vantage points will see as far as either turn 2 or 3 that bookend this section, most will not. The positioning of several giant screens opposite the grandstand help to keep up with what’s going on in the race, while enjoying track views that are not terrible but certainly not the most exhilarating at Sochi.
LOW BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS
© CaterhamF1 | Flickr
Get a seat in the higher levels to avoid staring through the safety fencing and you’ll have an unobstructed view of turn 4 followed by a medium straight and a clear, though distant view of the tight turn 5.
Though not the most active overtaking area you may see drivers aim to perfect their exit at turn 4 to set up an overtake into turn 5.
LOW BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS BEST IN PRICE RANGE
General Admission at the Russian Grand Prix
The general admission area at Sochi is contained in the area around the distinctive Bolshoy Ice Dome. While you won’t get as clear views or as close to the circuit as one of the elevated grandstands, you will get to move around if you get tired of the same view.