Last Saturday, the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team made history in Russia, becoming the first team to run a modern Grand Prix car, and the first ever Formula 1 car, on Russian soil. Jarno, Fernando and fifty thousand new friends turned out to enjoy the...
Last Saturday, the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team made history in Russia, becoming the first team to run a modern Grand Prix car, and the first ever Formula 1 car, on Russian soil. Jarno, Fernando and fifty thousand new friends turned out to enjoy the experience.
Saturday dawned damp and overcast, but for fifty thousand fans, it didn't matter. Crowds packed the specially-constructed street circuit in the grounds of Moscow University to see the Renault F1 R23B in full flight, the first ever Formula 1 car to run in Russia.
The operation, organised with the assistance of the Moscow city government, Renault Russia and the team's primary partners, was the latest in a series of city-centre demonstrations that included a spectacular event on Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana in May.
"What a fantastic day!" enthused Fernando Alonso. "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!"
Team-mate Jarno Trulli echoed his sentiments: "I am proud to be part of this event, and to be able to show the Russian fans a little bit of what Formula 1 is all about. A big thank you to Renault, Mild Seven and the City of Moscow for making it happen."
Trulli and Alonso thrilled the crowds with demonstration runs in the latest R23B, but didn't stop there. The latest Clio V6 performed a high-speed demonstration run, including a selection of doughnuts, while Renault's Heritage department showed off the recent concept car Koleos as well as historic road cars from the early 1900s. The F1 experience was even concluded with an 'authentic' champagne shower for the watching crowds.
Guests during the day including 150 international media and Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov. The final words, though, go to team Chairman Patrick Faure: "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 1 fans, and it was a privilege to organise this event for them." A privilege that the crowds lining the circuit most definitely appreciated.