The fifth FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX once again confirmed its status of the most highly anticipated motorsport event for all the Russian fans and was held with a full house. The attendance of the round at Sochi Autodrom in 2018 stayed at a high level, and the ticket sales revenue of the organisers was up 72%.
FORMULA 1 fans from different regions of Russia and other countries witnessed an incredible motorsport festival in terms of its scale that featured a drivers’ parade, an air show, an entertainment programme in the Olympic Park, performances by popular artists Leningrad, Bi-2 and Basta and Comedy Club concerts. The Russian Grand Prix once again became an event that brought together very different people - representatives of different regions, different professional fields and age groups - through their love of motorsport.
For the first time ever Russian karting talents took part in the Russian Grand Prix opening ceremony. Twenty young athletes stood on the starting grid of Sochi Autodrom where they could see the powerful FORMULA 1 cars and the fastest drivers in the world with their own eyes. The presence of grid kids on the starting grid is a new format introduced by the FORMULA 1 management in the 2018 season. For the young drivers who are just starting their careers in motorsport, this is a unique opportunity to see their idols, get close to the top world championship, feel the atmosphere of world-class racing - such involvement inspires them to achieve new heights.
The Russian Grand Prix was one of few rounds on the 2018 FORMULA 1 calendar where grid girls also took part in the opening ceremony. The girls made an appearance in the paddock and on the start-finish straight before the start of the drivers’ parade and became a real highlight of the ceremony. So, the Russian Grand Prix followed the tradition of being a spectacular show which has been the case since the very first Russian FORMULA 1 race in 2014. The national anthem of the Russian Federation was also performed in a special way - it was performed by popular music show The Voice.Kids competitors.
Mercedes driver, world championship leader Lewis Hamilton celebrated the victory in the FORMULA 1 2018 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX. This was the third win at Sochi Autodrom in the Brit’s career. The winner was presented with his trophy by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who attended the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX for the fifth time.
Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes finished the race second with Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari coming home third.
Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin finished his home Grand Prix 18th. Russian fans also saw another fellow countryman on the track - Renault reserve driver Artem Markelov took part in an F1 practice session on Friday.
The strongest feeder series Formula 2 and GP3 where rising motorsport stars compete acted as support races at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix. These featured Russian drivers as well - Markelov and Nikita Mazepin. Supported by their home grandstands, they fought for the highest positions. On Saturday, Russian fans were able to rejoice over Mazepin, who reached the second step of the podium.
A flypast by the Swifts aerobatics team also caused a big stir among the fans. Incredible manoeuvres performed by the Russian pilots on Saturday impressed all the spectators of the Russian Grand Prix. Swifts also participated in the opening ceremony before the race making a flypast.
The Festival of Thrill and Engines was held in the Olympic Park over the four days. Drift, freestyle motocross, stunt riding and extreme sports aces demonstrated their skills to the fans.