SOCHI, October 12. /TASS/. Team Mercedes pilots won Russia’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix racing on the sunny Sunday afternoon in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi taking the first two places of the much-awaited Royal racing event in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who watched the race from the stand, came to the podium and handed over the cup to him.
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton started the race from the pole position and maintained the lead throughout the race to win the historical Russian GP. His Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished in the second place some 15 seconds behind Hamilton.
Finnish racer Valterri Botas from team Williams was the third of the world’s fastest racers to finish 53 laps of the Sochi GP circuit.
All pilots surged forward with the green lights turning on at 3:00 p.m. local time and the first lap went smoothly except for Germany’s Rosberg as he had to brake his bolide so hard in an attempt to pass his teammate Lewis Hamilton that the smoke from the tyres covered the track briefly and the German pilot had to swerve off the racing course in order to avoid collision.
A minor accident happened in the middle of the race after Romain Grosjean from team Lotus nosed Sauber’s Adrian Sutil sending the German pilot for a small spin on the track. However, Sutil managed to take control of his car and avoided a possible collision with a fence.
Russia’s Daniil Kvyat from Toro Rosso team finished in the 14th position. Kvyat showed the fifth time in Saturday’s qualifying session, however, he dropped several positions during the first two laps of the start losing the advantage of his fifth spot on the starting grid and dropped further after the pit stop sessions in the middle of the race.
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.
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.