Let’s start this week’s ‘Moment in History’ by addressing the elephant in the room. Vladimir Putin. We can all agree Putin is doing a great job in Russia. Sure, he may be killing journalists and dissenters, but at least he is a strong leader. In fact, The F1 Newsletter staff thinks we would get along famously with Putin. We just think so. Also, don’t look into our connections with Russia. We have nothing to do with Russia.
If you haven’t picked up on it by now, this weekend’s grand prix is in Russia. Sochi, Russia to be exact. We haven’t seen many Russian Grand Prix, but the very first two races were held in 1913 and 1914 prior to the beginning of modern day Formula One and the First World War. Bizarrely enough, the Benz team, later known as Mercedes Benz, won both of those races.
After those first two races, the Russian Grand Prix disappeared with the establishment of the Soviet Union. There was a halfhearted attempt in the 1980s to run the “Grand Prix of the Soviet Union,” but that failed due to bureaucratic reasons. There were three more attempts to run the race from 2001 to 2008, but even with the support of President Putin, those attempts also failed.
It was not until the decision to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, however, that the Formula One governing body agreed to re-establish the Russian Grand Prix in all its former glory. The inaugural event was held on October 12th and was won by your boy Lewis Hamilton. None other than Vladimir Putin was there to shake Hamilton’s hand and congratulate him on the historic win. So while you are watching the race this weekend and enjoying a beverage of your choice, keep an eye out for Prezzy Putin. He is sure to be lurking.