Team McLaren Fan Blog: Russian Grand Prix 2014
Probably I will never find enough words to describe the trip to Sochi for Russian Grand Prix!!! It was definitely very special racing weekend for many reasons. And first of all, because it was absolutely new track for F1 and it is always exciting. Secondly, the location in 2014 Winter Olympic Games park was making all experiences new and unique. And of course, the most important reason for me personally was the fact that it was MY FIRST HOME GP!!! I never thought that it will be so emotional to have own F1 Grand Prix. I been at many Grand Prix, including such sensational ones as Spa & Monaco, but still home GP is something unforgettable, and for now on will have special place in my heart!
The trip started with comfortable flight to Sochi. Need to mention that first thing I seen on arrival was Mobil 1 add at the airport with Jenson :))). I knew it is good start of GP.
It took only around 20 minutes to get to hotel which was located quite close to the track and I was spending less than 5-10 minutes walking to get to track. Shall say that there are many different hotels (from 3* to 5*) located in 10-20 minutes walking distance from track and most of the fans do not even have to use any ground transportation to reach the track. From the moment you enter the track, everything is easy reachable. As many could see on TV, the location of track is exceptional - beautiful Olympic Park and wide walking spaces. I would say, the track is photographic paradise for those who like taking pictures as you don't even need to find special backgrounds because any picture is great!
Same as in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, in Sochi there were concerts and after-race activities every day and during weekend I managed to visit a few of them. On Friday it was famous ice staking show with Olympic champions' performances and on Saturday - wonderful concert with Lenny Kravitz!
My Russian Grand Prix was even more exceptional as it was in Paddock Club from where the view to track is amazing and the experience itself is best possible in F1. You could always guess in which county is the GP and for that we shall say thanks to traditional (human size) Russian Dolls called Matryoshka! Very authentic!
Friday at one of the pit lane walks a magic happened :))) Our team let me and charming Papa Smurf to get closer to car and we made some great pictures and the Team made big exception for Papa and took the pic with JB helmet!!! That is what I call "Happy McLaren times". That was a fabulous start of the weekend!!!
The whole Friday was happy as we realized that our MP4-29 is feeling quite well on new track and next day the qualifying showed that it wasn’t an accidental pace. Was great to see our boys so high! Unfortunately for Kevin, he had to start further than he deserved but race of Sunday brought everything back to its places!!! Was great weekend for McLaren. Of course we always are wishing to have the maximum possible result but the Russian GP weekend can definitely be considered positive!!!
The Racing day started with traditional Drivers Parade followed by wonderful air show. Was pleasure seeing full grandstands with happy fans. As it was the first race, there was a nice opening ceremony on starting grid before the cars left the pit lane to take their places. But most impressive was unforgettable air show which end up with wonderful HEART in the sky :)!
Of course, during whole weekend all F1 community had been showing support to Jules Bianchi and his family after dramatic accident in Japan. Everybody been feeling emotional seeing Jules’s car ready in garage and waiting for him. Probably the situation with Jules is saddest page of modern history of F1. At the start of the race the whole world seen how united is F1 community in this circumstances. I really hope Jules can get better soon.
For the first race I think it was quite a good one, especially after first lap when Nico Rosberg had a pit stop. To be honest, up to the end of race I was still hoping he will pit once again and Jenson will be on podium which would have been AMAZING! But well, Nico put fantastic efforts on having almost whole race on one set of tyres and he deserved to be on podium. But shall say that the racing by our boys was really a thing that kept all McLaren fans happy. Finishing P4 & P5 on absolutely new track was great and now we have positive expectations that by the end of the season we will be having happy moments!
Generally the whole weekend experience was amazing, I met such legends as Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Jean Alesi, met almost all drivers in paddock - Verne & Kvyat actively discussing the race with Prost, Ricciardo not smiling which is happening not often :))), Alonso wearing Russian cap, Vettel giving his hat to my sister @KaikGrig:))) , lovely Massa who turned our remembered us since tests in Jerez earlier this year, non-stop smiling Kobayashi :))), Kimi with his fiancé walking down the paddock as always with nothing to express on his face :))), ex-McLaren Perez :))), wonderful Kevin who recently looks like proper Viking :))) and of course once again met Jenson who made time for us to take pic. And that was a fantastic end of a super awesome weekend!!!
I would really love to see more fans visiting Russia and Sochi for next races as surely it will be a great comfortable F1 experience!
WANTING EVERYBODY BACK NEXT YEAR FOR FORMULA ONE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX!!!!