Renault make Formula One history in Moscow 21 Oct 2003
Last Saturday, Renault made history in Russia when they became the first team to run a modern Grand Prix car, and the first ever Formula One car, on Russian soil.
Despite damp and overcast weather conditions, fifty thousand spectators turned up at a specially-constructed street circuit in the grounds of Moscow University to see the Renault R23B in full flight, with drivers Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso at the wheel. The Formula One experience was even concluded with an 'authentic' champagne shower for the watching crowds
"What a fantastic day," said Alonso afterwards. "We have had a long season, but this is the perfect way to round it off. At a race weekend, we are quite a long way from the fans, but this lets us have some real contact with them. Their enthusiasm is just amazing!"
Trulli was equally enthusiastic about the welcome the team received in the Russian capital. "I am proud to be part of this event, and to be able to show the Russian fans a little bit of what Formula One is all about," said the Italian.
The event was organised with the assistance of the Moscow city government, Renault Russia and the team's primary partners, and was the latest in a series of city-centre demonstrations that included a spectacular outing on Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana back in May.
Renault team chairman Patrick Faure summed up the historic day, saying: "I am pleased that our team has taken this important step, and even more so because Renault has strong historical links with Russia. We know the Russian people are big Formula One fans, and it was a privilege to organise this event for them."