F1 made its first trip to the Sochi Autodrome as recently as 2014. The Hermann Tilke designed circuit is built effectively as a street circuit that circles the Sochi Winter Olympic Park. The circuit is one of the flattest on the calendar with plenty of similar 90-degree corners. However, the addition of the high-speed, long left-hander of Turn 3 really makes for a different kind of challenge.
Sector 2 at Sochi can seem like it is just made up of repetitive 90-degree corners. However, there are still some tricks you can learn here that apply to many other situations. The sector also contains the second DRS Zone down the back straight.
For Turn 5 you want to make sure you are right up against the left wall as you hit the brakes. Do this just after the kerb starts. Shift down to 3rd gear.
Take the apex kerb but avoid the sausage to maintain traction and run out as far as track limits will allow on the exit. You should find yourself getting close to the wall if you get this right.
Turn 6 can be looked at as the entry and setup for T7. You want to try to position the car in the middle of the track to straight-line the kink but also ensure you end up back at the left kerb for the following corner.
Make sure you get over to the left so that you straddle the entry kerb for Turn 7. Brake just before the 50m board and turn in, shifting down to 5th gear as you do.
Generally, you want to avoid most of the sausage kerbs on this track but this one is sometimes more forgiving so a small clip may help the rotation of the car. You have been warned though, it does not always work out!
Use the exit kerb but try to avoid running out onto the AstroTurf as this is a very low grip surface. On the way out sweep back over to the right.
Use the overhead bridge as your braking marker for Turn 8. Brake from the right wall just before you get to it and shift down to 5th gear for the apex.
Miss the sausage kerb and use this extra stability to ensure you pin the throttle early, running all of the exit kerb.
Turn 9 is really part of the same corner as T8. Here you want to let the car run smoothly and naturally out to the right before bringing it back over to the left for T10. Avoid any unnecessary seeing movements.
This one looks very similar to some of the previous ones, and you would be right to assume you take it in the same way - this time in 4th gear.
Brake just before the 50m board from the kerb next to the wall. Shift down to 4th gear and focus on picking up the throttle smoothly to get the best exit. You are going to want to miss the sausage kerb (again) to do this.
Use all of the track on the way out to help carry the speed towards the DRS zone.
Turn 11 is apparently an official corner so it's on this guide. For this tiny kink you can probably work out it is best to take the shortest distance on the inside. Remember to keep the steering to a minimum too, to avoid scrubbing speed.
Also, remember to open that DRS flap as early as you can.