Russian Grand Prix Preview: Three points can decide the title

Sochi circuit, Charlie Wright, Kettle Mag
Written by F1_Charlie

Formula One heads to Sochi, Russia for just the second time this weekend on the weekend that Mercedes can put to bed the 2015 constructor’s championship at the same event that they also claimed last season’s title.

It has been a year of complete dominance once again from the Silver Arrows with Mercedes needing to extend their lead over nearest rivals by just three points to seal the championship. It will take nothing short of a miracle to stop the mighty Mercedes adding to their trophy cabinet in 2015.

For all their dominance this season, all is not perfect at Mercedes especially as we head to a circuit that is similar to Singapore where the silver cars had a torrid weekend. Pirelli are bringing with them the soft and super soft tyres this weekend, two compounds that have given the leaders a couple of headaches this season. Pirelli were more conservative last season with the compound selection, something that in 2014 played into the hands of Mercedes and saw them clinch an emphatic one-two victory. 

If Nico Rosberg is to overturn Lewis Hamilton’s forty-eight point lead in the championship then this weekend really is do or die, especially with Rosberg leading third place man Sebastian Vettel by just eleven points.

The super soft tyre has worked well for Ferrari this season; it will be a tough task for the team to repeat their qualifying efforts from Singapore this weekend but they are in with a shout even with Mercedes saying that the issues that plagued the team at the last race will not be a factor here.

Williams were unlucky not to take a surprise pole position in Russia last season with Valtteri Bottas. It looks as if third place in the constructors championship is secure once again. With Ferrari over 100 points away in second place and Red Bull a distant fourth, Williams will just be looking for a strong finish and be hoping to add to their amount of podium finishes.

Red Bull could be a much stronger threat this year than last as discussions are still taking place regarding their engine supplier for 2016. To simplify the matter, Red Bull want Mercedes, Mercedes said no, Red Bull then wanted Ferrari and Ferrari aren’t sure. A switch from Renault to Ferrari power looks more likely now following the news that Renault intend to buy back Lotus who was the old Renault works team, if that makes sense.

Honda this weekend have used up all of their remaining engine tokens. Whether or not it actually gives the troubled engine supplier a boost in performance is another story but they will be desperate for extra power this weekend following Fernando Alonso’s outburst during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Will this be the weekend that Mercedes take the 2015 title? Will Williams make it back on the podium? And just how strong will McLaren be this weekend? Leave your predicitons below.