Motorsport

Mercedes’ turn?

Formula One heads to Russia this weekend with Sebastian Vettel topping the standings.

 

Sochi International Circuit is a power based track so expect Mercedes to be the favourites here. Lewis Hamilton will be looking to make it two wins apiece between him and Vettel as the European leg starts.

 

Just what are the main things to watch out for this weekend?

 

  1. Equal power?

 

Thursday has been dominated by a debate as to whether Renault and Ferrari are on a level par with the Mercs.

 

Mercedes powered cars have dominated here in the three visits so far making them favourites to grab another win.

 

Ferrari were able to deliver a stronger car last year but their lead driver saw his race ended after only three turns. If Vettel can keep himself out of trouble at the start this time then we can expect a proper battle.

 

Red Bull and Renault have traditionally struggled here with the Bulls recording their worst race performance in a long time at the 2016 Russian GP. The weekend will prove a true test in whether they have made huge steps forward.

 

One thing is certain here. By the end of the race, we will know whether there is a three way engine battle.

 

2. Williams’ challenge

 

After disappointing performances in the opening flyaways, Williams really need to start improving fast.

 

In recent seasons, the team has had a driver finish the race in the top four so this is a tough ask.

 

With other teams having made huge strides forward, Williams have seemed to just stand still and is slowly falling back into midfield.

 

Lance Stroll has been unlucky to suffer three consecutive retirements. Could he be the one to get Williams their best finish so far this season?

 

3. Can McLaren deliver?

 

McLaren might be in a living nightmare with a poor Honda engine but could seek salvation here.

 

Sochi has always been a strong point for McLaren, who has had at least one car score points in the three races so far here.

 

With many considering the legendary team too slow to catch up to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault powered cars, Fernando Alonso will need to outdrive the car again here.

 

Key Info

 

  •  Pirelli are bringing the soft, super soft and ultra soft tyres.
  • Every Russian GP so far has ended in an all Mercedes powered podium.
  • No wet weather is forecast for this weekend with temperatures set to be in the mid 20s.

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