Lando Norris Wary of Russian GP ‘Curse’ Amidst His First-Ever F1 Pole at Sochi

Published 09/26/2021, 5:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga


Getting a pole position is very crucial to win any race. Over 40% of the race wins in Formula 1 have come from the pole position, but this is not the case with Sochi Autodrom.

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After Lando Norris secured his maiden pole position, a bizarre stat about the Russian GP went viral on the Internet. Since the 2017 Russian Grand Prix, all the four pole sitters have failed to win the race. But why does that happen?

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Securing a pole position is never enough at Sochi because slipstream plays a crucial role in this race. The Sochi Autodrom start straight is almost 900 meters long which can benefit the cars behind the pole-sitter to get a tow.

In addition, securing a third position at the Russian GP is much better than securing a pole. A driver starting from P3 can take a massive tow from the pole sitter and go past him. Furthermore, the pole-sitter starts the race from the outside line.

Watch Story: Bottas Surrenders to Hamilton, Kvyat Torpedoes Vettel: Most Controversial Russian GP Moments of All-Time

The only place I wouldn’t want to be on pole: Lando Norris

Lando Norris put in an exceptional lap to claim his first-ever career pole position. However, the young Brit doesn’t expect to convert his pole position to victory, given the long run down to turn 2.

Meanwhile, as quoted by MotorsportWeek, Lando Norris believes he will be at risk of losing his position, considering several fast cars will start behind him, including Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at P4.

“An amazing feeling, my first pole, probably the only place I wouldn’t want to be on pole is here with the straight down to Turn 1/2, but I’m still very happy,” said Lando Norris.

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Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 26, 2021. McLaren’s Lando Norris in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS.

“Another race win for McLaren would be lovely. But, I don’t expect it, I think Mercedes are a long way up the road on us, and Red Bull probably similar. I think we have decent pace. We saw yesterday the car’s in a good position.”

“But it is a long run down to Turn 2, so have to look forward to that and prepare well. But either condition [wet or dry] we can score some good points tomorrow and have a good race as we’re in the best position possible,” concluded Norris.

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Norris Goes Beserk After Stealing Pole as Hamilton Crashes at Russian GP Qualifying

23 days ago

Can Lando Norris buck the pole position curse at Sochi and secure his first Formula 1 victory at the Russian Grand Prix? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

296 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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