On 30 April 2017, Sochi Autodrom hosted the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix for the forth time. The Formula 1 round was held with the support of the title partner VTB Group and sponsor LUKOIL.
About 60 thousand spectators supported the Formula 1 drivers on the day of the race, and over four days, 150 thousand Formula 1 fans visited the most modern circuit in Europe.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the 2017 FORMULA 1 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX having started from the third position, despite being under strong pressure from Ferrari. For the Finnish driver, this was the first win of his Formula 1 career. As in previous years, the winner was presented with a trophy by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who attended the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix for the fourth time.
Four days of the weekend became a real motorsport festival. The first drivers’ autograph sessions and the pit lane walk for the four-day ticket holders took place on Thursday.
The first official practice sessions took place on Friday with qualifying on Saturday, and on Sunday the Grand Prix brought a lot of pleasure to the connoisseurs of intriguing intense battles. During Saturday’s qualifying, a new Sochi Autodrom record was set - Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel set the lap time of 1:33.194, beating last year's result of the current world champion Nico Rosberg (1:35.337).
Russian driver Daniil Kvyat was 12th in his home Grand Prix. Russian fans also saw another fallow countryman on the track - the reserve driver of the Renault Sport F1 Team, participant of the SMP Racing programme Sergey Sirotkinin took part in Friday's practice session.
But not only the aggressive beauty of the Formula 1 cars attracted visitors to Sochi Autodrom. For the second time, the Russian Mitjet 2L Arctic Cup series was the support race for the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX. Ivan Lukashevich, Aleksey Karachev, Povilas Yankavichyus, Nerses Isahakyan got onto the podium on Saturday and Sunday. The spectacular races of sports prototypes became a successful addition to the Formula 1 races.
It was during this race weekend that motorsport fans discovered for themselves a completely new Russian Grand Prix. Formula 1 got even closer to its dedicated fans - for the first time in the history of the championship, the spectators were able to have a ride on the track. Such a unique opportunity was presented to the fans by the organisers of the FORMULA 1 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX in conjunction with FORMULA ONE MANAGEMENT and Mercedes-Benz RUS. One hundred lucky winners from among the spectators who won the creative contest, as well as the guests of the Formula 1 Paddock Club and media representatives enjoyed the high speed of the Mercedes-Benz Laps race taxi during all three days of the weekend. The passengers who could not believe their luck went on a breathtaking ride accompanied by racing aces - first Russian Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov, chief instructor of the AMG Driving Academy Aleksey Karachev, chief instructor of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Aleksandr Glavnov and other motorsport stars.
An eventful entertainment programme did not allow the spectators to get bored over all four days. There were many thematic sites in the Olympic Park. Spectacular shows, sports and creative master classes, competitions - everyone found something to their liking. The spectators could buy merchandise with the symbols of the teams in the F1 Village, visit the Craft Village, a park of sports entertainment, a fan zone, watch riders perform stunts and cyclists’ performances in the Extreme Park, try themselves as drivers in racing simulators in the Game Zone or in the karting centre. In Heineken Village one could relax and enjoy the excellent taste of the famous Dutch beer. The autosport museum inside the Main Grandstand and Sochi Auto Museum holding a unique collection of retro cars were also open to the spectators. The fans were able to attend public skating sessions, as well as master classes in figure skating in the Iceberg Winter Sports Palace.
The holiday culminated with concerts by Lyube on Saturday and grand Europe Plus Fest on Sunday, where Svetlana Loboda, Egor Kreed, Yulianna Karaulova, Elena Temnikova, Gradusy and Pizza, masters of electronic dance music Swanky Tunes, as well as top Russian DJs and hit makers Anton Bruner and Slider & Magnit performed their hits to the audience.