The fifth Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix once again confirmed its status of the most highly-anticipated motorsport event for all the Russian fans - the sixteenth Formula 1 championship round 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 foreign countries witnessed an incredible motorsport festival in terms of its scale that featured a drivers’ parade, an airshow, 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 is 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 kept the traditions of a spectacular show which had remained unchanged 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. As in previous years, the winner was presented with a trophy by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who attended the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix for the fifth time.
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.
Strongest feed 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 stands, they fought for the highest positions. On Saturday, Russian fans were able to rejoice over Mazepin, who reached the second step of the podium.
The 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 four days. Masters of drift, freestyle motorcross, stunt riding and extreme sports demonstrated their skills and provided F1 fans with a dose of adrenaline.
A whole F1 FanZone town with various activities that put all the guests in a festive mood was operating near the Main Grandstand of Sochi Autodrom.