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The 2021 Russian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix 2021) was the 15th race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia between September 24 and September 26 2021.

In a drying qualifying, Lando Norris took a surprise maiden pole position ahead of Carlos Sainz, Jr. and George Russell, while Lewis Hamilton qualified fourth after failing to improve. Hamilton however took his 100th race victory as Norris, who had been leading, dropped down to 7th in the closing stages when rain fell, with Max Verstappen, who started from last with an engine penalty, coming in second and Sainz in third.


Background[]

Entry List[]

The full entry list for the 2021 Russian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35M Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
10 France Pierre Gasly Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6L V6t P
11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull Racing Honda Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6L V6t P
14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 21 1.6L V6t P
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Aston Martin AMR21 Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT02 Honda RA621H 1.6L V6t P
31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team Alpine A521 Renault E-Tech 21 1.6L V6t P
33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull Racing Honda Red Bull RB16B Honda RA621H 1.6L V6t P
44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Uralkali Haas F1 Team Haas VF-21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43B Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W12 Mercedes M12 1.6L V6t P
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C41 Ferrari 065/6 1.6L V6t P
Source:[1]

Practice Overview[]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

After FP3 was canceled due to heavy rain, the weather improved as the qualifying session began. Hamilton topped the session with Raikkonen, Schumacher, Giovinazzi, Mazepin and Verstappen, who was due to start with an engine penalty and therefore only completed an installation lap, eliminated from Q1.

Q2[]

Hamilton once again topped Q2 with Russell advancing into Q3 for the third time in the season, while eliminated from Q2 were Vettel, Gasly, Tsunoda, Latifi and Leclerc, both of whom would also be starting from the back from engine penalties.

Q3[]

Hamilton set the fastest time on intermediate tires as the track began to dry up, leading to drivers changing into dries for the final half of the session. Hamilton collided with the barrier at pit entry and therefore, lost time to warm up his tires after having his front wing changed, and spinning on his final flying lap, ending up in fourth while Norris took a surprise maiden pole position ahead of Sainz and Russell.

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2021 Russian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 5 1:47.238 4 1:45.827 1 1:41.993 1
2 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Ferrari 8 1:47.924 10 1:46.521 2 1:42.510 2
3 63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 11 1:48.303 9 1:46.435 3 1:42.983 3
4 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 1 1:45.992 1 1:45.129 4 1:44.050 4
5 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 13 1:48.345 8 1:46.361 5 1:44.156 5
6 14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 7 1:47.877 3 1:45.514 6 1:44.204 6
7 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 2 1:46.396 2 1:45.306 7 1:44.710 16*
8 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 12 1:48.322 7 1:46.360 8 1:44.956 7
9 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 3 1:46.455 5 1:45.834 9 1:45.337 8
10 31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 9 1:48.099 6 1:46.070 10 1:45.865 9
11 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 4 1:47.205 11 1:46.573 10
12 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 6 1L47.828 12 1:46.641 11
13 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 15 1:48.854 13 1:46.751 12
14 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 10 1:48.252 14 No time set 18*
15 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 14 1:48.470 15 No time set 19
16 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 16 1:49.586 13
17 47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 17 1:49.830 14
18 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 18 1:51.023 17
107% Time: 1:53.411**
19 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 19 1:53.764 15
20 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 20 No time set 20§
Source:[2]
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
  • * Bottas and Latifi were required to start from the back of the grid for exceeding their quota of power unit elements.
  • Leclerc was required to start from the back of the grid after changing into a new power engine specification, and also for exceeding his quota of power unit elements.
  • Giovinazzi was given a 5-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. This made little difference as he qualified near the back of the grid.
  • § Verstappen was originally given a 3-place grid penalty for his collision with Hamilton in the previous race. He was then required from the back of the grid for exceeding his quota of power unit elements.
  • ** As qualifying was held on a wet session, the 107% Rule was not enforced.

Grid[]

Race[]

Report[]

At the start, which was dry, Sainz took the lead from Norris coming out of Turn 2, with Hamilton dropping to 7th place behind Ricciardo, Stroll and Alonso, with Stroll getting to fourth behind Russell. Among those starting from the back, Leclerc made the best start into 13th. Hamilton passed Alonso on the next lap, with Sainz and Norris pulling away as Russell held a train of cars behind him. Verstappen and Bottas meanwhile, started carving up the field, though Verstappen had a better recovery drive.

After briefly dropping back, Norris began to close into Sainz, and passed him on the 13th lap. Stroll was the first of the runners to pit on Lap 12, with Russell following suit on the following lap but failed to undercut him. Sainz then pitted, and rejoined in front of Stroll. Ricciardo, who was trailed by Hamilton and Perez after those in front of them had pitted, stopped on Lap 22 but a relatively slow stop left him out of podium contention. Hamilton, now with clear air, started to close the gap to his countryman Norris. He then pitted on Lap 26, at the same time as Vettel and Verstappen. Norris then pitted two laps later and emerged in front of Gasly, thus handing Perez into the lead with Alonso and Leclerc behind, all three of whom are on hard tires and are yet to stop. Hamilton soon was 8 seconds behind Norris after passing driver by driver, and began to carve into Norris, though biding his time as both of them had matching paces. Schumacher meanwhile had his first career retirement when he came into the pits on Lap 32 due to a hydraulic issue.

With almost ten laps remaining, rain began to fall. As rain intensified in the next few laps, with drivers losing control and spinning, the majority started pitting for intermediate tires, while the leaders still stayed out for several laps, Norris keeping the lead despite running off a few times. Stroll meanwhile forced his Aston Martin team-mate Vettel into the wall, before tipping Gasly into a spin, damaging his front wing and sliding into the barriers, yet continued with little damage. With three laps remaining, Hamilton pitted for intermediates, as Norris, despite calls to change for intermediates, kept staying out, and he eventually paid the price when he ran deep at Turn 5 and dropped down, allowing Hamilton through.

Hamilton ultimately led the last tours without incident and came home to take his 100th race victory, becoming the first driver to reach the centurious record, at the same time maintaining Mercedes' 100% win record at Sochi, by nearly a minute from Verstappen, who made a podium finish after starting from last, with Sainz following behind. Bottas finished an impressive fifth place behind Ricciardo, having been one of the first drivers to make the switch to inters. Completing the points-finishing positions were Alonso, Norris, Raikkonen, Perez and Russell, Perez dropping down from the front as he was among those the last to swap to intermediates.

Post-race, Norris was given a reprimand for a pit entry violation, while Stroll was given a 10-second post-race penalty for the collision with Gasly.

Results[]

The full results for the 2021 Russian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Germany Mercedes 53 1:30:41.001 4 25
2 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 53 +53.271 20 18
3 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. Italy Ferrari 53 +1:02.475 2 15
4 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 53 +1:05.607 5 12
5 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 53 +1:07.533 16 10
6 14 Spain Fernando Alonso France Alpine-Renault 53 +1:21.321 6 8
7 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 53 +1:27.224 1 7FL
8 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 53 +1:28.955 13 4
9 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Austria Red Bull-Honda 53 +1:30.076 8 2
10 63 United Kingdom George Russell United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 53 +1:40.551 3 1
11 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 53 +1:56.198* 7
12 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 52 +1 lap 10
13 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 52 +1 lap 11
14 31 France Esteban Ocon France Alpine-Renault 52 +1 lap 9
15 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 52 +1 lap 19
16 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 52 +1 lap 17
17 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 52 +1 lap 12
18 9 Russian Automobile Federation Nikita Mazepin United States Haas-Ferrari 51 +2 laps 15
19 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 47 Accident damage 18
Ret 47 Germany Mick Schumacher United States Haas-Ferrari 32 Hydraulics 14
Source:
  • * Stroll received a 10-second post-race time penalty for causing a collision with Gasly.
  • Latifi was classified for completing 90% of the race distance.

Milestones[]

Standings[]

Hamilton's win predictably saw him reclaiming the drivers' championship lead, though by two points due to Verstappen's second place finish. Their team-mates' finishing positions meant that Mercedes extended their advantage ahead of Red Bull by 15 points to 33 points. Bottas managed to extend his gap from Norris to 12 points after Norris' late-race heartbreak, with Sainz getting ahead of his team-mate as the Monegasque dropped out of the points positions. Raikkonen came to within one point of Latifi with his and Alfa Romeo's best finish of the season so far.

Sainz' podium finish meant that McLaren only extended the gap from Ferrari by four points, while the difference between Williams and Alfa Romeo was reduced to 16 points.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 246.5 ▲1
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen 244.5 ▼1
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas 151
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris 139
5 Mexico Sergio Pérez 120
6 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. 112.5 ▲1
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc 104 ▼1
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 95
9 France Pierre Gasly 66
10 Spain Fernando Alonso 58
11 France Esteban Ocon 45
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel 35
13 Canada Lance Stroll 24
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 18
15 United Kingdom George Russell 16
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi 7
17 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 6
18 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 1
Constructors' World Championship
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Germany Mercedes 397.5
2 Austria Red Bull-Honda 364.5
3 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 234
4 Italy Ferrari 216.5
5 France Alpine-Renault 103
6 Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 84
7 United Kingdom Aston Martin-Mercedes 59
8 United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 23
9 Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 7

Only point-scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 2021 Russian Grand Prix - Entry List (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 14 November 2021
  2. ' ', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2020), , (Accessed 05/07/2020)
V T E 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship
Teams Alfa RomeoAlphaTauriAlpineAston MartinFerrariHaasMcLarenMercedesRed BullWilliams
Engines FerrariHondaMercedesRenault
Drivers alphabetically AlonsoBottasGaslyGiovinazziHamiltonKubicaLatifiLeclercMazepinNorrisOconPérezRäikkönenRicciardoRussellSainzSchumacherStrollTsunodaVerstappenVettel
Drivers by number 3 Ricciardo • 4 Norris • 5 Vettel • 6 Latifi • 7 Räikkönen • 9 Mazepin • 10 Gasly • 11 Pérez • 14 Alonso • 16 Leclerc • 18 Stroll • 22 Tsunoda • 31 Ocon • 33 Verstappen • 44 Hamilton • 47 Schumacher • 55 Sainz • 63 Russell • 77 Bottas • 88 Kubica • 99 Giovinazzi
Other Drivers AitkenAlbonCalderónde Vriesdi RestaFittipaldiHülkenbergIlottKvyatNissanyVandoorneZhou
Cars Alfa Romeo C41AlphaTauri AT02Alpine A521Aston Martin AMR21Ferrari SF21Haas VF-21McLaren MCL35MMercedes W12Red Bull RB16BWilliams FW43B
Tyres Pirelli
Races BahrainImolaPortugalSpainMonacoAzerbaijanFranceStyriaAustriaBritainHungaryBelgiumNetherlandsItalyRussiaTurkeyUnited StatesMexicoBrazilQatarSaudi ArabiaAbu Dhabi
Cancelled Races ChinaCanadaSingaporeJapanAustralia
Tests Bahrain
See also 2020 Formula One Season2022 Formula One SeasonCategory
V T E Russia Russian Grand Prix
Circuits Sochi Autodrom (2014-2021) • Igora Drive (2023 onwards)
Russian Grand Prix 2014.png
Races 201420152016201720182019202020212022


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