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The Sochi circuit is a semi-permanent facility, built around the infrastructure used to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The layout comprises 18 corners' 12 right handers and 6 left and it requires a high aero downforce set-up to tackle the many slow corners, while at the same time the car needs to be stable under braking. The Russian track is very demanding on the power unit and the braking system, the latter having to deal with eight heavy braking points, the most extreme being on the entry to Turn 13. For this event, Pirelli is supplying the Yellow Soft, Red Supersoft and Purple Ultrasoft tyres.
The tyres that have to work hardest are those that come under heavy load, particularly the front right which, at the long Turn 4 is subjected to a lateral acceleration of over 3.5G for just under six seconds.