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 Prix, covered in a variety of rumours and gossip from the very beginning, was been a “dark horse” of the FORMULA 1 calendar: the track configuration, its location, logistics and visual appeal sparked interest among both experts and FORMULA 1 fans.
The well-known Russian resort city, which had become famous across the whole world thanks to the Winter Olympics, gladly opened its doors to the guests and participants of the FORMULA 1 race: the majority of the spectators came from those regions of Russia, where autumn had already come, and the participants of the FORMULA 1 race in Sochi flew straight from Japan, where a typhoon had raged during the whole race weekend.
Having found themselves surrounded by palm trees, beaches and the warm rays of the October sun, the guests of Sochi suddenly realised that they could took off their jackets and sweaters and change into 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 media.
However, the atmosphere of the subtropical city didn’t distract the drivers from the main thing - the inaugural FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX.
Up until the FORMULA 1 racing came to Sochi, it was hard to guess how the racing cars would behave on the track, which of the drivers would 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 competition from Williams. Even during qualifying the intrigue remained until the very end: if Valtteri Bottas did not make a mistake in the last corner of Sochi Autodrom, the Finn could have easily been on pole. Daniil Kvyat, the 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, provided some amazing and memorable moments for the audience: A spectacular presentation of the country, during which the entire start-finish straight was covered with a Russian flag, and in the sky the Russian flag 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 spectators.
Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg finished second with Bottas coming home third. Thanks to their 1-2 finish, Mercedes sealed the constructors’ title.
The first FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX was supported by the GP2 and GP3 youth series. They featured Artem Markelov and Nikolay Martsenko. It should also be noted that another Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin took part in Friday’s FORMULA 1 practice for Sauber.
After the final concert, held on the main stage of Sochi Autodrom after the race, the audience was in no hurry to leave: happiness mixed with the bitterness of saying goodbye to the favourite holiday for a whole year. The FORMULA 1 racing, which came to Russia to stay here for many years, of course, gained hundreds of fans in the farthest corners of our country.
At the FIA Annual General Assembly, the Russian Grand Prix was named the best one in the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.