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Williams wow the crowds in Moscow 15 Jul 2008

Williams driver Nico Rosberg (GER) in the FW29 at the Moscow City Race event, Moscow, Russia, 13 July 2008. © Williams F1/ Frits van Eldik Fotografie/ Grigory Golyshev Red Bull junior team member Mikhail Aleshin (RUS) and Williams driver Nico Rosberg (GER) at the Moscow City Race event, Moscow, Russia, 13 July 2008. © GEPA pictures/ Frits van Eldik Fotografie/ Frits van Eldik

Formula One racing entered new territory on Sunday when Williams took part in the inaugural Moscow City Racing motorsport festival. Together with Red Bull, the British team were the headline act of a six-hour event held right in the very heart of the Russian city.

Williams driver Nico Rosberg took charge of the squad’s 2007 FW29 as he carried out two, three-lap tours of the 4.6 kilometre track in front of a capacity audience. The layout of the temporary street circuit included not only Red Square and the Kremlin but also the embankment of the Moskva River.

“I’m in the privileged position to be a part of many big events, but this really rates as one of the most amazing,” commented the German. “What a city, and driving around the Kremlin and through Red Square was just awesome. To take Formula One out of its natural environment and show what we do to a completely new audience is great and this experience is certainly one I’ll never forget.

“The attention we received from the media and the spectators was just incredible, massive! People really are fascinated by Formula One here. I'm convinced this was a really big boost for the sport, and for our team in particular, in Russia.”

Williams’ team principal Frank Williams, who was also in attendance, added: “Moscow is a truly surprising and interesting city. The street event hopefully is a warm-up to an eventual Grand Prix in, or near, the city. There appears to be an enormous enthusiasm for such a possibility.”

Fellow Formula One attendees Red Bull put Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin at the wheel of their machine. Aleshin, who is currently competing in the World Series by Renault, is a member of the Red Bull Junior team.