Sochi T2 ‘one of the worst corners’ on calendar

Date published: September 28 2020

Carlos-Sainz-PA

George Russell shares the displeasure of his fellow drivers when it comes to Turn 2 at Sochi, calling it “one of the worst corners” in Formula 1.

Due to the large run-off area at Turn 2, drivers were forced to follow a route marked out by bollards to rejoin the track.

But the angle created for this line was very tight, thanks to the walls surrounding the Sochi Autodrom.

Carlos Sainz found that out in the race when he destroyed the front-left area of his McLaren while attempting to nail the line, while the Virtual Safety Car was briefly deployed when Romain Grosjean destroyed one of the bollards.

It’s safe to say very few drivers were impressed with the events of the Russian Grand Prix at Turn 2, and Russell is struggling to think of a worse corner on the F1 calendar.

“Firstly, it’s one of the worst corners of the calendar,” he told Motorsport.com.

“And secondly, for racing it’s a terrible design.

“I actually suggested this in a drivers’ briefing earlier in the season that we’ve got the room and the space to create almost a Bahrain-style Turn One and Two, almost a hairpin into a kink, which firstly will allow drivers to lunge one another into Turn One, to get better racing, and also avoid people having to cut the track.

“Because when you go into a 90 degrees corner that actually tightens up on itself, when you’re three or four abreast, obviously cars are going to get pushed off.”

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Daniel Ricciardo was given a five-second time penalty during the race after locking up during a pass on Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon.

He would go off behind the apex of Turn 2 he then came back onto the track, despite the director’s notes stating that drivers must follow the escape route in such a situation.

Ricciardo took full responsibility for the error and his penalty, but supports his peers in their disliking for Turn 2.

“The geometry is weird. My situation, for example, I locked up so I was like, ‘It’s gonna be tight.’ But it’s just the way it’s shaped, it leaves you with hope until the very last minute, or that very last second, I should say,” he explained.

“And obviously, by the point you’ve committed, you can’t really go back across, you’d lose probably more than five seconds. So I guess there’s that point of no return, and obviously I’d got to that and I just said, ‘Alright, I’ll just go and if I get a penalty, then obviously I’ll suck it up.’

“I think to be honest Turn 2, a few of us drivers have been vocal. I think they could do something better with it in general, I think even just to allow more overtaking for example, maybe a different shaped corner, less of such a short apex.

“They’ve got quite a bit of room to play with. So we have talked about it in the past, and maybe that would also eliminate the issue that we’re having with this, this cut through etcetera.”

Speaking after his race-ending incident at Turn 2, Sainz said: “Unfortunately in Turn 2, I had someone on the inside, and I ran a bit wide.

“By the time I decided to go around the bollard, I went around the bollard with a very, very narrow angle, and I misjudged my entry speed around the bollard and hit the wall pretty heavily.

“A misjudgement by my side, a mistake. I still think that corner shouldn’t exist. It’s not a very nice corner to drive around, and it generates these kind of situation. But I just misjudged it.

“It’s still not a corner that is well designed. You saw today in the race just how many people are missing that apex, and having to go around the bollards, destroying the bollards, it’s clearly not a great corner.”

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