12 October 2014
Sochi hosted the first ever Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix
Before the start of the race several surprises were waiting for the audience: first a mobile platform has taken the drivers around the circuit and they were presented to thousands of people who have come from far and wide to see them. Then the crowd was treated to an amazing dance performance by dance troupe Todes. And after that volunteers carried three 450m long and 3 meter wide stripes in the colours of the Russian flag. At this time the Cossack Choir was performing at the track and immediately after that five Albatross jets of the Russ aerobatic team performed aerobatic maneuvers overhead.
The start of the race, unfortunately, was a failure for a 20-year old Russian Daniil Kvyat. He conceded his fifth place on the starting grid at once, and by the fifth lap he has lost two more positions. And that was just the beginning, because his car did not move so to say. Unfortunately, Toro Rosso mechanics, couldn’t not find the necessary balance of settings. By the way, Kvyat’s team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne experienced the same problem. Kwiat admitted after the race that the car was not damaged. It is just not so fast. So it is not surprising Kvyat eventually finished back in 14th.
“So far, 14th is the best place I could count on. Unfortunately, our car can not compete with the Mercedes engines and with the more famous teams on equal terms,” – said the Russian driver. – The track is very demanding in terms of fuel consumption. The team knew that this could cause problems. That’s just what happened. Because of this, we were losing half a second/a second per lap. If it were not for these problems, we could have finished 8th-9th.”
Lewis Hamilton, the leader of the qualifying performance, maintained his advantage, causing Nico Rosberg to make a mistakes and go off the track, after which the German was forced to pit for new tyres.
It was, perhaps, the only surprise of the race. Even before the start, experts agreed that one of the representatives of the Mercedes team should win. And so it happened. Vladimir Putin who came to Sochi to watch the first ever Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix presented Lewis Hamilton with the F1 Russian Grand Prix trophy. His Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finished second and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas took third place. It is noteworthy, that the above mentioned drivers have started in exactly the same order.
And the best reward for the organizers of the Russian Grand Prix was the words of FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting, who said that the Russian Grand Prix was perfect.
“I want to say that everything was great, at the highest level of organization. The Sochi track is new, nobody knows it well, and fortunately, it all ended without incident,” – said Whiting.