The first Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in history has surpassed all imaginable expectations, has given the audience a spectacular race, and has been a new test for the drivers.
The Russian Grand, covered in a variety of rumours and gossip from the very beginning, has been a "dark horse" of the Formula 1 calendar: the track configuration, its location, logistics and thrill have always attracted the interest of both experts and ordinary Formula 1 fans.
A resort, which is well-known throughout Russia and which became famous this year across the whole world because of the Winter Olympics, gladly opened its doors to the guests and the participants of the Formula 1 race: the majority of the spectators came from those regions of Russia, where the fall had already come, and the participants of the Formula 1 race in Sochi flew straight from Japan, where a typhoon raged during the whole race weekend.
The guests of Sochi, surrounded by palm trees, beaches and the warm rays of the October sun, unexpectedly found that their jackets and sweaters could be changed to T-shirts, and the Olympic Park was just as grand as six months ago.
Sochi surprised the members of the teams as well. In their spare time they rode bicycles through the streets of the Imeretinskaya Lowland and shared photos with stunning views of the city on social networks.
However, the atmosphere of the subtropical city didn’t distract the drivers from the main thing - the first in Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in history.
Up until the arrival of Formula 1 to Sochi it was hard to guess how the racing cars would behave on the track, which of the drivers would not be able to adapt to it, and which of them would show something unexpected.
During the first practice session usually leading Mercedes suddenly faced some completion from Williams. Even during the qualifying session the intrigue remained until the very end: if Bottas hadn’t made a mistake in the last corner of the Sochi circuit, the Finn could have easily been on pole. Daniil Kvyat, a Russian driver of the Toro Rosso team, was able to qualify in fifth, which was his career best.
Sunday’s race, which had full grandstands, gave the audience amazing and memorable moments: a vivid presentation of the country, during which the entire start-finish straight was covered with a Russian flag, and in the sky the Russian tricolour was displayed by an aerobatic team consisting of three planes; the first race start, the first laps, as well as the first winner of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix - all these emotional moments were seen by the whole country. Race winner Lewis Hamilton, who confidently led the entire race, greeted the audience in Russian, which caused an enthusiastic response of the public.
After the final concert, held on the main stage of Sochi Autodrom after the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, the audience was in no hurry to leave: happiness mixed with the bitterness of saying goodbye to the favourite holiday for a whole year. Formula 1, which came to Russia to stay here for many years, of course, has got hundreds of fans in the farthest corners of our country.
Formula 1 continues, and Sochi Autodrom doesn't say goodbye to the audience: soon Sochi Autodrom will host other events, and everyone will be able to replicate Nico's breakthrough in their personal cars during track days.