Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport are hoping to keep their hold on the top step of the Sochi Autodrom podium when Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas line up for the 16th race of the year.
The team has won all five Russian Grands Prix since the event returned to the Formula One™ calendar in 2014, with Lewis Hamilton capturing three victories and Valtteri Bottas winning in 2017 to claim his first career F1 win.
With a 22-point haul from Singapore, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport lead the Constructors’ Championship by 133 points. Lewis Hamilton’s advantage in the Drivers’ Championship sits at 65.
“Singapore was a tough weekend for us,” Team Principal Toto Wolff said. “We had opportunities to win the race, both with a stronger qualifying on Saturday and our decision-making on Sunday – but we failed to do so, for a number of different reasons. But it was also a valuable reminder of the skeptical and humble mindset that has been so important for our success in the past seasons.
“Straight after the race, we started to analyse what went wrong in Singapore and we will use those lessons to learn and improve. These difficult days are the ones that make us stronger: this team has shown time and again that it can turn weaknesses into strengths. And we will do so again, here.
“However, that shouldn’t take anything away from the strength of our opposition, either. The last seven races have shown us that we are in the midst of a fierce battle – and we need to be at our best in every area to claim the top step of the podium.
“Sochi has been a strong circuit for us in recent years but those trends don’t mean anything once we are on the ground. We expect the weekend ahead to be another challenging one for us – and the entire team is ready to tackle that challenge head on. The circuit features a range of corner speeds, an unusually smooth asphalt and long straights, particularly on the run down to Turn 2. We’re hungry to get to Sochi and begin fighting out on track.”