Russian Daniil Kvyat is off to home ground for a change and will be giving it his very best shot at the long Sochi track at the Russian Riviera on the Black Sea.
It is a beautiful spot and Kvyat will not only be out to show off his native scenery but a clean pair of heels to as much of the opposition as possible. I really do expect him to do very well in the latest Red Bull Renault on home turf. A podium finish is a distinct possibility.
Who else will be the top notch players at Sochi this weekend?
It should be the Mercedes twins of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton but I think we might have a change and it is time for the very hungry German, Sebastian Vettel’s luck to turn.
Ferrari are on a high and developing their SF16H chassis in leaps and bounds while their engine helps make their prancing horse no slouch.
I hope that Kimi Raikkonen can join in on an all-out attack by the Italians on the German team.
Others in the top 10 should include Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in the Williams Mercs, the hot kids on the block at Toro Rosso, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr, and maybe the excitement of McLaren Honda joining the fray.
Both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are very eager to show their world championship class ability and their team is working day and night to enhance the race pace of the wonder cars from Woking.
It is really time that this should happen. A surprise could also come from either Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez at Force India.
This will be the end of the first chapter before the European season begins in Spain and form in Russia will tell us what to expect at other street circuits like Monaco and Singapore.
We can expect a very tight race around this exciting circuit which has been won for the first two years by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. The lap record at one minute forty seconds is held by Sebastian Vettel in his 2015 Ferrari.
Qualifying is on Saturday, April 30 at 1.50pm on SS5 and the 53 lap race is on Sunday, May 1, also at 1.50pm, on SS6.
Article by: Rod Kinsey