Friday, October 10, 2014

Will The 'Real Russian Grand Prix please Stand Up!

Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Image source:
Think this year's inaugural Russian Grand Prix on the streets of Sochi, sight of the 2014 Winter Olympics is the country's debutant Formula 1 race? Well then think again Y'all!

and whilst  I'll  try refraining  from going A-L-L Politico' on Yuhs, I simply cannot overlook my disdain for Vladimir Putin due to his and his nation's DISGUSTING Homophobia! Thus, naturally,  I've got to get a few Digs in, right?

Alas, I Was surprised to discover the following when originally digging around for material in regards to the 40th Anniversary of aspiring French F1 racer Francois Cevert's death, which was to lead to another story languishing here in Nofendersville that was never published by Mwah, albeit the late Cevert's yarn did make the cut - which I briefly chronicled in;

Cevert's story was to be part of a hundred year's look back over time related to motorsports activities formatted around the number three and hence, I was surprised to discover the following when quickly scouring the 1913 Grand Prix season, especially as imminent war clouds were slowly gathering steam in Europe!

Nevertheless motor racing continued on oblivious to what was to come in 1914 with the assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand (of Austria) and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, his wife, being the  powder-keg that prompted the beginning of World War I on June 28th of that year in Europe.

And while there were few races for Motoring enthusiasts to choose from in 1913, the one I've never heard about was Russia's inaugural Grand Prix, which contrary to popular belief won't be this year's Russian Grand Prix in Sochi; provided Commissar Putin hasn't engulfed the region in a full blown war against Ukraine! As even the horrific and unprovoked shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 civilian airplane won't stop Formula One's circus from performing in Mother Russia; Hey! After all, Uncle Bernaughty's gotta get  paid to make up for bribing the German courts Ja Volt!

And whilst the economic sanctions continue upon both sides of the global stage, wouldn't it be nice to see the Russian-flagged Marussia Racing's American Reserve Driver Alexander Rossi running during FP1 (Free Practice)   on the Streets of Sochi; but I digress...

Alas, in contrast to Mother Russia's inaugural Grand Prix, taking place upon the streets of St Petersburg just over a century ago, the 500-mile International sweepstakes race known popularly today as thee Indy 500 was running its third event on Friday, May 30th, which was won by Jules Goux aboard a Peugeot along with his riding mechanic Emil Begin; as Goux's victory was the first for a foreign (Non-American) driver at Mother Speedway...

Meanwhile, winning that year's (1913) inaugural Russian Grand Prix was the relatively unknown and obscure, today chauffer Georgy Suvorin, appropriately hailing from Russia.

And ironically, exactly 100-years ago, the second and final Russian Grand Prix was being held with the German driver Willy Scholl victorious.

Both pre-modern, nee FIA World Championship events held in St Petersburg were won by Benz's, the automotive manufacturer predecessor to today's Mercedes Benz, commonly known as Mercedes - which would dovetail nicely with one of the 'Uber Dominant silver Arrows seeing the chequered flag first in Sochi.

As the Russian Grand Prix, along with all European motor racing came to a crashing halt with the aforementioned outbreak of WWI, albeit the United States would continue blissfully motoring on until its involvement in the first great war in 1917...

In 2008,  what was then originally projected as Russia's future Formula 1 venue, groundbreaking occurred in the Volokolamsky District of Moscow, for what would become today's Moscow Raceway, which naturally was designed by F1's "Proprietary" Grand Prix track architect 'Tilkie, a euphemism from vanquished COTA F1 race founder Tavo Hellmund, now working on Mexico's behalf, whose father was the previous Mexican Grand Prix promoter along with the (CART) IndyCar races between 1980-81. As Tavo's twang' always pops-up upon my memory banks when thinking of Yuhs guessed I-T; Yep! The German racing circuit designer known as Herman Tilke.

Construction of the multiple layouts varying between 10, 14 and 15-turns permanent Road Course circuit was completed towards the end of Sept, 2011, at a cost of $150-million, with its debutant race being the  fifth round of the World Series by Renault on July 13, 2012.

Although intended for Formula 1 use, apparently the circuit didn't get the necessary license and instead hosts other racing series including FIA GT1, Formula Renault 3.5, WTCC, DTM and World Superbikes to name just a few, albeit the latter cancelled its race this year in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which nobody wishes to acknowledge its 15 active Nuclear Reactors inside said conflict zone...

Thus, as we all know, Uncle Bernaughty and the FIA have since focused their Attenzione upon the Black Sea resort area of Sochi, who's infrastructure used for this year's Winter Olympics will now serve as the backdrop for the latest iteration of the Russian Grand  Prix, which was certified by Charlie Whiting last month, and is "Good-to-Go!"

As Y'all can check out the first lap driven on Sochi's new racetrack by Seb' Vettel in an Infiniti Q50 Hybrid; which although it's got a high amount of buffeting noise on the video, it's pretty entertaining hearing Vettel torture the SHIT outta the cars  tyres!

Yet not everybody's enthused about a Grand Prix being held in Russia, naturally due to the current unrest in Ukraine. But be assured, there's nothing political going on here, right? Oh Never Mind!

For more Russian Racing fodder, profiling today's cadre of  aspiring drivers, see; The 'Rooskie's Are Coming, The 'Rooskie's Are Coming!