The 2016 Russian Grand Prix will be the first European race of the season, as it was brought forward from 2015. With Nico Rosberg having all the momentum, Red Bull showing consistency, Haas and Toro Rosso dominating the midfield, it’s a twist against the expected standings after 3 races in the season. Sochi which has been won by Lewis Hamilton only could possibly see a new winner in the 3rd running of the Russian Grand Prix.
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The Mercedes position.
Rosberg has had mixed success at the Sochi Autodrom. Finishing 2nd in 2014, he had a DNF in 2015 which pretty much ended any minimal hope he had of beating Lewis to the title last year. This year, he will want to really continue to press his advantage at top of the standings.
Rosberg, who is the first driver since Michael Schumacher in 2000 to win the first 3 races of the season now holds a 36 point advantage over second placed Lewis Hamilton. No matter what the result may be at Sochi, he will leave at the top of the standings. However, if he is serious about his title ambitions, he will want to secure his first win at the track, becoming the first other than Lewis to win here.
Lewis himself has not had the best starts to the season, with problems in Bahrain and China. He is well off the pace in his quest to win his 3rd World Championship in a row, as Nico continues to gather momentum. It’s still a long way to go, but Nico has a large lead at this point, which could grow if he does not get his act together. Incredibly, the champ does not feel that worried, yet.
He also ought to worry about the Ferraris and Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo and Vettel are within striking distance, and Kimi has an outside chance of catching up. The pressure is really on Lewis to show his class here or risk coming under increased pressure from Ferrari and Red Bull.