SOCHI, April 28. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. Team Renault’s racing car of Russian reserve pilot Sergey Sirotkin stalled during the first practice session on Friday in Sochi ahead of the Formula One Russia Grand Prix, which is to be held this weekend.
Fun exciting things happening already this morning - we have this guy in the car for #FP1 and the local support is awesome!#RussianGP pic.twitter.com/0Tj62Cg7a6— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) 28 April 2017
Sirotkin announced through the radio transmission that his car suddenly stopped on the racing track because of the engine failure.
Early last year, Sirotkin signed up with FIA Formula One team Renault as a test pilot with a long-term development plan until the end of the previous season.
In an interview with TASS earlier in the day, the 21-year-old Russian racer said that having a Formula One race in the country and Russian drivers in the so-called Royal racing, would definitely help to boost the popularity of auto racing in the country.
"Our own Grand Prix and our drivers certainly gave a powerful impetus to the development of auto racing in the country," Sirotkin said in an interview with TASS. "We, who are racers, are more than happy with such fact."
During last year’s Sochi GP, Sirotkin showed the 13th best result out of 22 pilots, clocking the lap in 1 minute 40.898 seconds.
The first Russian racer to enter the world of Formula One racing was Vitaly Petrov, who made his debut in 2010. Another Russian driver, Daniil Kvyat, is currently racing for Team Toro Rosso and, according to him, pins great hopes on taking a decent place after this weekend's home GP.
This year Russia holds its fourth FIA Formula One racing Grand Prix in Sochi from April 28 to April 30.
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 Vladimir Putin and Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Two months ago the contract to hold F1 racing in Russia’s Sochi was extended until 2025.