|Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix 2020|
|Russia||Chair: Moscow||Primary language: Russian|
|Population: 146.7 million||Monetary unit: ruble||Territory: 17 125 191 sq. Km|
After eight closed Grand Prix at the beginning of the season, when spectators were not allowed into the stands, the first stage for which tickets were sold was the 1000th Ferrari Grand Prix in Mugello, but there they were limited to 2880 tickets per day in order to be able to invite to the anniversary clients, official guests and partners. The first stage with the fans in the stands in 2020 was the tenth stage – the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.
In Sochi, ticket sales were not stopped after the start of the pandemic, hoping that by the end of September the situation would stabilize. With a grandstand capacity of more than 50,000 seats, the organizers, taking into account all the restrictions, were ready to receive 30,000 spectators – and tickets flew like hot cakes.
Some criticized the decision to race with the fans amid the ongoing pandemic, but all the necessary security measures were taken, and the infrastructure left over from the Olympic Games provided the necessary isolation, without problems separating teams and fans.
Six months have passed since the Grand Prix was canceled at the last moment in Melbourne due to a couple of positive tests for Covid-19. Then there was an almost three-month “summer break”, which was forcedly postponed to spring. Only in July the season started, in eleven weeks we saw a fantastic series of nine Grand Prix – a year ago everyone would have said that this was impossible.
Starting with the Russian Grand Prix, Formula 1 returns to its normal schedule. The first half of the season is over, there are eight stages ahead in 12 weeks – a very familiar schedule.
All the antiviral rules adopted at the beginning of the season will remain in effect until the end of the year, and maybe even next season. Racers, teams and staff separately – each in his own social circle, fans – separately, subject to all restrictions.
In Sochi there will be no autograph sessions and active communication with the public, as in previous years, but the organizers offered a good concert program, brought Formula 2 as a support race – you won’t be bored.
The Russian Grand Prix will be held for the seventh time, the Mercedes drivers in Sochi have six victories out of six – four for Hamilton, one for Bottas and Rosberg. Lewis will come to Sochi as a favorite. The Briton is in great shape, having won six of nine races this year, and on the way to the next title, it seems that he does not notice his rivals.
Last year, Charles Leclair won the pole position in Sochi, but at the start the race was headed by Sebastian Vettel, who started third. Before the start, Ferrari asked Leclair to miss Vettel in the first corner – Sebastian had the opportunity to accelerate better thanks to the slipstream behind his partner. Charles missed, and when Vettel was asked to return the position, he was in no hurry – he increased the pace, left the DRS zone, and did not allow Leclair to get close.
The team resigned themselves to the situation, saying that they would change positions later, but for now Vettel’s lead increased with each lap. Ferrari drivers broke away from Hamilton, who was driving third. On the 28th lap, Vettel retired due to problems with the power plant.
Leclair changed tires behind the safety car after Russell’s departure due to brake problems, returning to the track behind Hamilton and Bottas. Monegasque put pressure on Valtteri, but remained third. Lewis Hamilton won the race, Valtteri Bottas finished second, Charles Leclair climbed to the third step of the podium.