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Russia's greatest Grand Prix moments

07 Oct 2014

Formula One racing will break new ground this week as the teams and drivers head to Sochi for the 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix - the very first race in the country.

On the eve of the event we look back over past Russian F1 achievements, including a memorable podium for Vitaly Petrov, an impressive debut for Daniil Kvyat, and more…

Petrov blazes a trail, Bahrain, 2010

After a solid junior career that included several wins in the GP2 Series, Petrov became the first Russian driver to compete in F1 racing when he joined Renault for the 2010 season. The rookie’s first event was in Bahrain (pictured) where he qualified 17th before retiring from the race with damaged suspension. Things would, however, get better for Petrov, who went on to score 27 points over the remaining 18 races - good enough for P13 in the drivers’ championship. The same year he also took the sole fastest lap of his F1 career in Turkey.

(© Sutton Images)

Petrov provides a champagne moment for Russian motorsport, Australia, 2011

Vitaly Petrov got his sophomore season off to the perfect start when he became the first (and as yet only) Russian to stand on an F1 podium after a brilliant drive to third place in Melbourne. The Russian made a superb start, jumping ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, and despite intense pressure from the latter in the closing stages, held on to taste Grand Prix champagne for the very first time.

(© Sutton Images)

Kvyat impresses on debut outing, USA, 2013

Red Bull have never been shy about pushing forward their up-and-coming junior drivers, whatever their age, and so it was that 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso in FP1 at the 2013 United States Grand Prix. Despite his maiden session being truncated by an issue with the medical helicopter not being able to land, the GP3 Series champion impressed the team he’d signed to drive for in 2014 with his mature approach. “I enjoyed every single moment,” said Kvyat after becoming the second Russian driver to appear in a world championship event.

(© Sutton Images)

Kvyat becomes an F1 record breaker - first time out, Australia, 2014

After practice run outs in the USA and Brazil in 2013, Kvyat made his Grand Prix debut proper in Australia in March - and what a debut it was. The Russian teenager defied his lack of experience to qualify eighth in tricky wet conditions, before delivering a faultless performance in the race to finish tenth, just behind Toro Rosso team mate Jean Eric Vergne, which became ninth when Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified. At the age of 19 years and 324 days, Kvyat became the youngest ever F1 points scorer, eclipsing Sebastian Vettel’s previous record by 25 days.

(© Sutton Images)

Brilliant Bianchi scores first points for a Russian-entered team, Monaco, 2014

At Monaco earlier this season Marussia finally made it into the points at the 83rd time of asking thanks to Jules Bianchi’s superb ninth-place finish. The result gave the Frenchman his first F1 points, but just as significantly they were also the first in F1 history for a Russian-entered team.

(© Sutton Images)