RUSSIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:37.174, Position: 4, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:35.540, Position: 5, Laps: 15
“We ended up stopping sooner than planned due to a problem with the fuel pressure. It was a bit of a shame as it prevented us doing a long run but luckily Daniel did one so we at least have some data to look into for Sunday. This track is not one of our favourites, we knew coming here it was going to be a tough weekend so we will just try to make the best of it. The gap to Mercedes and Ferrari looks bigger here because of the long straight; and we are down on power and downforce which makes not only the straights but also the corners tricky. I think qualifying will be interesting due to the challenge of warming the tyres up, and it’s the same for everyone so putting in one perfect lap won’t be easy. Realistically fifth and sixth is our aim for Sunday.”
First Practice Session: 1:37.290, Position: 6, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:35.910, Position: 6, Laps: 26
“We had some good signs throughout the day while we experienced some drops among the peaks. I was pretty happy with the car on the supersoft tyre but we didn’t find as much time as the others on the ultrasoft so that’s a tyre we need to work on a bit. The balance with the supersoft was good so I think if we can manage to get the same feeling with the ultrasoft tomorrow then we should be looking ok. This afternoon it was also easier to get the tyres up to temperature so I think if the weather stays the same tomorrow that should not be too much of an issue. People keep asking about the upgrades coming in Barcelona but first we need to maximise what we have with the current car and package here this weekend. We can definitely make improvements for tomorrow but as far as positions go in qualifying we are still behind Mercedes and Ferrari, so I don’t think the picture will change too much between the top teams and I would say Ferrari look the best after today’s running.”
Since the Winter Olympics here, Formula One has become Sochi’s big-ticket sporting event, but despite the Games moving on, Sochi hasn’t stopped setting records. Why, just a month ago, the Olympic ski resort of Rosa Khutor here played host to a record attempt as more than a thousand alpine sports enthusiasts gathered to set a new standard for mass downhill skiing in swimwear. Yep, on March 30th, some 1200 lunatics took to the slopes at the Boogel Woogel ski festival to up the stakes on the record of 1100 participants set here in 2014. This year’s skiers have yet to have their record verified, but in the absence of conclusive proof of the efforts of the bikini and boardshort-clad participants (we’ll say nothing about those who turned up in budgie-smugglers), we’re proud to present five more slightly off-kilter records set here in mother Russia.
- A Little Light Reading
Vladimir Aniskin, a Russian scientist from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, last year created the smallest books in the world – printed on two halves of a poppy seed. The microscopic masterpieces are displayed on tiny golden plates and each consists of several pages made of extremely thin polyester film with letters printed by lithography. The most challenging task, according to the artist, was to bind the pages with two ‘rings’ made of five micron tungsten wires that would make his works look like real books. In order to turn the pages, the reader has to use a sharp needle. The book’s pages are about 70 to 90 microns (0.07 mm to 0.09 mm) in size, 88 times smaller than the previous record holder – a book created by Japanese masters in 2013.
- Ice power
It wouldn’t be us without including some kind of motor sport record, so how about Russian driver and former Red Bull Junior Mikhail Aleshin who set a Guinness World Record by last year accelerating a GP2 car to the top speed of 228 km/h (140 mph) on the surface of a frozen Lake Lovozero in the Murmansk Region (1900km or 1,180 miles north of Moscow), making it the first sprint by a race car above the Arctic Circle.
- A Proper Metal Head
On May 7, 2015, Russian strongman Alexander Muromsky set his ninth world record by bending 12, 10mm metal bars against his head. Why? No one really knows but Muromsky has previous when it comes to using brute strength to bend and break stuff. His previous records include tearing 11 1000-page reference books apart inside a minute and breaking 23 metal bolts of 12mm in diameter in the same timespan.
- Holy Helium!
In 2016 Russian orthodox priest Fedor Konyukhov, 65, flew solo around the world in 11 days in a hot-air balloon without stopping, claiming to have set a new world record in the process. Konyukhov landed in the Australian Outback on 23 July after the epic journey in a two-metre-wide carbon gondola. He began his voyage in the combined helium and hot-air balloon on 12 July in Australia and took a longer route than the previous record holder Steve Fossett, whose journey lasted 13 days.
- Baby Boomer
This might sound utterly outlandish, but apparently enough anecdotal evidence exists for researchers to believe this record to be true – that in 18th century the record for most children born to a single mother was set by a peasant woman from Shuya, Russia. The number of offspring: a scarcely believable 69. According to reports lodged with the Monastery of Nikolsk in Moscow, articles in the Lancet and contemporaneous reports in The Gentleman’s Magazine, the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782) gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. Blame the times and the environment in which she lived but poor Mrs Vassilyev doesn’t even get the dues owed to her as her full name appears to have been lost to posterity.