Monday, 17 september 2018, 03:00 , by Matthew Scott
A Mercedes stronghold in recent years, Lewis Hamilton will hope for more Silver Arrow success at the Russian Grand Prix as he closes in on a fifth world title after opening up a dominant advantage over Sebastian Vettel with a victory in Singapore last time out.
WHEN IS THE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX?
The Russian Grand Prix will be held on Sunday September 30 at the Sochi Autodrom. The race will start at 14:10 local time (12:10 BST, 07:10 ET).
On-track action begins with Friday's first practice session at 11:00 local time (09:00 BST, 04:00 ET), with the second session starting at 15:00 local time (13:00 BST, 08:00 ET)
Saturday's qualifying session starts at 15:00 local time (13:00 BST, 08:00 ET), following on from the third practice session, which starts at 12:00 local time (10:00 BST, 05:00 ET).
WHO LEADS THE F1 STANDINGS?
A seventh win of 2018 in Singapore put Hamilton (281) a huge 40 points clear of Vettel (241) and the Ferrari man needs to win all, if not the majority, of the remaining grands prix this year if he is to challenge. Kimi Raikkonen (174) and Valtteri Bottas (171) might have Max Verstappen (148) for company in their fight for third soon, if his fine form continues.
Mercedes (452) remain ahead of Ferrari (415) in the constructors' standings.
WHO WON THE LAST RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX?
Bottas moved from third to first on the opening lap to set up his maiden F1 victory in a race that was held much earlier last season. It was essentially the only action of a desperately dull race, which featured just one overtaking manoeuvre from the start of the second lap to the flag.
WHO HAS MOST WINS AT THE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX?
Hamilton's wins in 2014 and 2015 put him at the top of the list, with Nico Rosberg and Bottas securing subsequent Mercedes wins in the past two seasons.
WHAT IS THE LAP RECORD AT SOCHI AUTODROM?
Vettel has the outright record, having clocked 1:33.194 in qualifying a year ago.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX?
Bright skies and high temperatures - the kind of conditions that haven't always been to Mercedes' liking - are forecast for the whole weekend.
WHICH PIRELLI TYRES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX?
As in Singapore, Pirelli will bring the soft, ultrasoft and hypersoft tyres to Sochi, skipping the supersofts in an attempt to spice up strategy.