Changes made to second corner at Sochi

© XPB 

The FIA has announced revisions to the second corner at Sochi Autodrom for this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.

'Speed bumps' have been added to turn 2 in a bid to discourage drivers from cutting the corner during the race. There have also been modifications to the kerb at the same section of the track.

The tight right-hander has been the cause of trouble in previous races, especially at the start. Drivers were tempted to come in too fast and run wide on the exit in order to get a better line into turn 3.

Last year, turn 2 saw the infamous contact between Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and the car of local hero Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat was subsequently dropped by Red Bull and swapped for then-Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen.

Now the FIA has told teams there will be new bright orange speed bumps to stop drivers doing this. The speed bumps have been placed three metres from the edge of the track at the exit of turn 2 and run up into turn 3.

In addition, race director Charlie Whiting has told teams that drivers who run wide cannot then simply rejoin the track.

"Any driver who fails to negotiate turn 2 by using the track, and who passes completely to the left of the orange kerb element on the apex, must then keep to the left of the second new orange kerb element on the edge of the artificial grass and rejoin the track safely at the start of turn 3."

Additional minor changes to the Sochi track include improvements to the TecPro barriers at turns 2, 4 and 13.

The venue blurs the boundaries between street circuit and permanent racetrack. It was into the original plans for Sochi’s Olympic Park, using the roads constructed for the Black Sea resort’s hosting of the 2014 Winter Games.

At 5.848km (3.634 miles), the circuit is one of the longest on the current Formula 1 calendar.

So far, Mercedes have won all three Russian Grand Prix races staged at Sochi. Lewis Hamilton was a back-to-back winner in the first two events, with Nico Rosberg victorious in 2016. That means that to date, Sochi has a perfect record in successfully predicting who will be the season's world champion.

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