Having endured the four week break following the Italian weekend, the GP3 Series returns to track at the Sochi Autodrom. This is the series’ second visit to Russia, following the inaugural round last year – Dean Stoneman and Patric Niederhauser claimed victory that weekend.
Following a difficult Race 1 in Monza for Luca Ghiotto, Esteban Ocon has reduced the gap to the championship leader to just 14 points. There are four drivers still in contention for the title (Ghiotto, Ocon, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Emil Bernstorff) with 43 points separating them and 48 points available per weekend it is looking like that this title is going down to the wire in Abu Dhabi next month.
The medium tyre compound has been nominated for this event. Pirelli‘s racing manager Mario Isola comment: “As Russia was a brand new circuit last year we didn’t have much real circuit information. Now that we have some real data from the race last year, we’ve been able to fine-tune the nomination to match the specific demands of the track.
“Although it was brand new last year, the track surface has not evolved over the winter, so we’re expecting low wear and degradation once more. Also, the circuit has not been used much since last year, and this is one of the main reasons why the surface is not very different.
“The weather is generally quite mild, which should help to reduce the effects of thermal degradation, but there is the possibility of unexpectedly hot weather too. While the surface is in no way abrasive, a number of drivers were surprised last year by the amount of grip available.”
The drivers take to the track for Free Practice at 5pm (local time) on Friday; they make their next track appearance for Qualifying on Saturday at 9:30am with Race 1 the same day at 1:30pm; the last GP3 action of the weekend comes at 10am Sunday for Race 2.