Drivers urge changes to Sochi's Turn 2 'terrible design'


Several drivers pointed the finger at Sochi's problematic Turn 2 after Sunday's Russian Grand Prix, insisting the corner's "terrible design" should be altered.

The 90-degree right-hand hairpin - or rather its tight exit that veers left - caught out several drivers in yesterday's race, with McLaren's Carlos Sainz partially blaming the corner's configuration for his opening lap crash.

Drivers running wide on the exit of Turn 2 must follow a path on the extreme left and pass through a series of bollards before rejoining the track.

Sainz hit the inside wall between the bollards while later in the race, Haas' Romain Grosjean destroyed one of the markers, an incident that brought out the virtual safety car.

Furthermore, Renaut's Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull's Alex Albon were both handed a time penalty for running wide on the exit of the corner but failing to channel their car through the bollards.

"The geometry is weird, my situation for example, I locked up, it’s always going to be tight," commented Ricciardo.

"Just the way it is shaped it leaves you with hope until the very last minute or very last second I should say.

"By the point you have committed you can’t really go back across [to the bollards], you would lose more than five seconds, there is that point of no return and I got to that."

Ricciardo believes the corner definitely needs a rethink.

"Turn 2 as they call it, a few of us drivers have been vocal, I think they could do something better with it in general," he added. "Even just to allow more overtaking for example. Maybe a different shaped corner, less of a such a short apex.

"They have quite a bit of room to play with, so we have talked about it in the past. So maybe that would eliminate the issue that we are having with this cut through."

Williams' George Russell was equally critical of Turn 2's ill-inspired "terrible design".

"Turn 2 at this circuit is firstly one of the worst corners on the calendar and secondly for racing is a terrible design," Russell said.

"I actually suggested this at a driver briefing earlier in the season: we’ve got the room and the space to create almost a Bahrain-style Turn 1 and 2, almost a hairpin into a kink.

"Firstly that would allow a driver to lunge one another into Turn 1, to give better racing, and also avoid people having to cut the track.

"When you go into a 90-degree corner that actually tightens up when you’re three or four abreast obviously cars are going to get pushed off."

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