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SOCHI, October 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Formula One racer Daniil Kvyat finished fifth in the qualification of Sochi GP on Saturday. His result is 1 minute 39.277 seconds.
This is his best ever result. He has never approached a position above the eighth.
Britain's Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes team set the fastest time (1.38,514). He is followed by Germany’s Nico Rosberg from Mercedes (1.38,713) and Valtteri Bottas from Williams-Mercedes (1.38,792).
Both Hamilton and Roseberg praised the Russian racing track saying it was smooth and very merciful for the tyres of F1 bolides.
“The track surface is smooth and has a lot of grip,” Hamilton said adding that he was on the whole impressed with the city of Sochi. “It’s great coming here, the place is amazing and the weather was great. It’s quite an incredible place.”
Germany’s Roseberg said that racing in Sochi was very pleasant comparing with other international tracks this year.
“It’s very unique here. The track is smooth with tyres and it is much better than what we saw this year. I hope it will be a great race tomorrow,” said Roseberg, who is currently in the second place behind Hamilton in overall pilots standings after 15 GPs.
Hamilton also said that the Sochi track could be one of the best during this year’s F1 competition at the total of 19 circuits round the globe and he was eager for the start of Sunday's race.
“Fast flowing track from high to medium speed. It could be one of better races we had in a long time,” Hamilton said.
In December of 2013 the FIA officially announced the calendar of the 2014 Formula One races, and the Grand Prix in Russia’s Sochi was scheduled for October 12 as the 16th out of 19 F1 Grand Prix races this year.
Although it is still one day ahead of the actual Royal racing event in Russia, stands were packed almost at their full capacity with fans cheering and waving various national flags as well as flags of F1 teams. The prevailing amount of flags are of Russia, but there were also spotted flags of Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia and numerous European countries.
According to the statistics from the racing event organizers, Sochi AutoDrom, a total of some 50,000 tickets available were sold out for the Russian F1 event in Sochi with 5,000 tickets out of the mentioned-above figure purchased by foreign guests.
The Russian Grand Prix is held at the racing track located near the Olympic Village in the coastal area of Sochi. The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.
Although cargo planes with F1 teams’ racing gear and equipment began landing in Sochi on Monday after the previous Formula One GP in Japan’s Suzuka, held on October 3-5, and all racers arrived by Wednesday, the Russian coastal city was relatively quiet until Friday.
The new track in Russia’s Sochi is the third longest in distance this year after Belgium’s Spa GP and Britain’s Silverstone GP and was first tested by F1 racers on Friday morning during the practice session, which kicked off at 10:00 a.m. local time (6:00 GMT).