Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Cooler but dry weather for Russian Grand Prix

2016 Russian Grand Prix weather

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The Russian Grand Prix’s move from October to April means cooler conditions are expected for Formula One’s third race at the Sochi Autodrom.

Average temperatures in April are as much as 5C lower than they are in October. The upcoming race weekend is expected to see peaks of around 17-18C across all three days.

The nearby ski resorts will get a dusting of snow over the next 24 hours arriving from the east, but that won’t make it all the way to the track. However cloud cover will persist for much of the weekend, with only the end of the race expected to see some sunshine.

That will also contribute to keeping the asphalt cool. Track temperatures hit a peak of 27C during last year’s race.

Some forecasts point to a slight chance of rain at midday on Saturday and Sunday. But the FIA’s official weather forecaster UBIMET rates the chance of precipitation as “low”, indicating there won’t be a repeat of the rain which hit practice last year.

For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.

Location of Sochi Autodrom

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2016 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Cooler but dry weather for Russian Grand Prix”

  1. Wow, I think I should go to Russia’s south to warm up, what with average temperatures here being around 10 degrees currently and predictions for the weekend showing up to +15 (with snow in the mountains 50 km from here not unlikely)

  2. So, will the cooler temperature mean that the mediums will maybe become a slightly less strange option (they always seem to get more into their window when things cool off)?

    1. I was thinking that the other day. Start on Super-softs (if the driver got into Q3), and finish on Mediums might be a viable option. As Rosberg demonstrated back in 2014, tyre wear shouldn’t be a problem for mediums, so maximum attack all race (fuel restrictions not withstanding).

    2. Sorry, but a top of 15 degrees is just plain cold. If the sun comes out the track temp may get to 20 degrees. You may live somewhere cold, but a top of 15 where I live is time to put the thermal undies on. I am sure the mediums will last a whole race at 15 degrees, but they won’t be fast. Ultra soft tyres is what is needed here. Especially since the track surface is easy on tyres. You could probably get the softs to last a full race here. Medium tyres would be suicide and that is why most teams only have 1 or 2 sets. They will hand these back when they are asked to narrow their tyre choice.

  3. The colder the track temp is, the less likely anyone is to challenge Merc. They are on a completely different planet in cool conditions. Rosberg especially tends to excel when tyre heating is a serious issue (think USA last year when they switched to slicks).

  4. When I first took a look at the climate data of Sochi, I was surprised how low the average highs in April and May actually are considering it’s geographical latitude. I thought the average high would be something like 23-25 C at this time of year.

  5. The air and track temperatures will be interesting to see next year (assuming this race will be held either in late April or early May next year as well) as the 2017 edition of this GP is planned to be a twilight race starting at 7 pm local time.

  6. I live at a comparable latitude/altitude to Sochi, in Nova Scotia, and although it was 15 degrees or so a few weeks ago here, we had snow this week. The Gulf Stream is shifting, and I dare say that moving the race to the spring was a gamble. That being said, the rain tires should be able to handle a little snow… :)

    1. There was snow in the north of the Netherlands too this week – and snow isn’t exactly a given in a regular Dutch winter @ferrox-glideh!

  7. In my opinion, it would have been much more sensible to make Sochi and Baku back to back races from logistics point of view…. but then, It is Ecclestone’s decision and what can one say ?

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