Sebastian Vettel takes first laps around Sochi F1 track (VIDEO)

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Formula One’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix isn’t until October, but Sebastian Vettel got a look at the Sochi Autodrom circuit today as the first F1 driver to take laps there.

Driving an Infiniti road car, Vettel whipped through the 18-turn, Tilke-designed circuit that winds through Sochi Olympic Park.

For those that watched the Winter Olympic Games this past February on NBC, there are several familiar venues along the course such as the Bolshoy Ice Dome, Shayba Arena, and the Olympic cauldron site.

“It is great to be back in Sochi and the venue has been transformed since I was last here when it was really just a construction site,” Vettel said in a statement.

“Having driven the full circuit for the first time…It’s an interesting layout with a good mix of high speed corners and technical sections.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge in a Formula One car for sure and I’m really looking forward to coming back in October.”

You can check out Vettel’s run around the Sochi course in the clip above.

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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