Sochi Speed Trap: who is the fastest of them all?

© XPB 

While not a power track, Sochi's Olympic Park Autodrom does include two high-speed sections where it's vital to maximise top speed, for performance considerations but also to facilitate overtaking.

For all the talk about Ferrari's top speed might, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were not among the top speed contenders in qualifying on Saturday.

Leclerc, despite his outstanding rum to pole position, clocked in 14th through the speed trap, some 8 km/h down on the fastest car in a straight line, Lance Stroll's Mercedes-powered Racing Point.

The relative top speed underperformance by the Ferrari pair perhaps reflects the qualities of the SF90's latest aero package, which has obviously brought more downforce to the SF90, and therefore a bit more drag, but also the benefit of a better handling car in the tighter sections of the track.

Lewis Hamilton, who finished runner-up to Leclerc in qualifying, claimed that Ferrari "have some crazy speeds on the straights". Yet, the reigning world champion was just half a kilometer slower than Leclerc down the main straight.

So Mattia Binotto is likely right when he says that there is more to Ferrari's recent turnaround than just the engine…

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