F1 circuit designer Tilke defends Sochi layout after Russian GP

Formula 1 track designer Hermann Tilke insists the layout of the Sochi circuit was not to blame for the lack of thrills in the Russian Grand Prix

F1 circuit designer Tilke defends Sochi layout after Russian GP

The inaugural event at the Sochi Autodrom produced one of the least exciting races of the season, and Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's one-two finish secured Mercedes the 2014 F1 constructors' championship.

Tilke believes that circumstances - including Pirelli's conservative tyre choice - were bigger factors than the track configuration that ran around the Olympic Park.

He cites the fact that Rosberg was able to come from the back of the field to finish second as evidence that the design was good for overtaking, even if the order was settled relatively early on.

When asked if he reckoned change to the layout was needed for 2015, Tilke told AUTOSPORT: "No, I think it is fine. It works.

"The first few laps were great for overtaking, but afterwards the field was sorted. Nico was able to do a great job to come from the back to second place, and there was some other overtaking in the midfield.

"But of course if the fastest driver is in front of the slowest driver, then not so much happens."

Although Pirelli's choice to bring the soft and medium tyre was acknowledged as conservative, Tilke thinks it was understandable considering the track was new.

"I think Pirelli were a little bit conservative because they were afraid of what happens with the new track," he said. "Hopefully next year they make a different strategy.

"But everyone has to test first and not face a big risk, because they don't want to have five pitstops."

shares
comments
Jacques Villeneuve: Dealing with the shadow of Gilles

Previous article

Jacques Villeneuve: Dealing with the shadow of Gilles

Next article

DTM champion Marco Wittmann gets Toro Rosso Formula 1 test from BMW

DTM champion Marco Wittmann gets Toro Rosso Formula 1 test from BMW
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021