F1 coming to ...Russia

Discussion in 'Motorsports Chat & Race Preparation' started by Nathan, Oct 14, 2010.

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  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    After trying for decades, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has finally succeeded in securing a deal to take Formula One to Russia.

    A race is now confirmed for 2014-2020 in Sochi, a Black Sea resort that is far from Moscow, where previous attempts to host an F1 event have been made. It is actually closer to Istanbul--and places such as Iraq and Iran--than the country’s capital.

    Having missed the Japanese Grand Prix, Ecclestone was in Sochi on Thursday with Vladimir Putin, who has made his support for Vitaly Petrov and Renault clear in the past by helping to direct sponsorship their way.

    Sochi will host the Winter Olympics in February 2014, and the preparations for that mean that F1 cannot go there any earlier. A huge effort is being put in to improve transportation links, including modernization of the airport and railways.

    The track will wind around the Olympic Park, where events such as ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating and curling will take place. A map that has emerged on the Internet via Russia’s F1 news Web site shows a track--apparently designed, once again, by Hermann Tilke--making full use of the Olympic site and some public roads.

    Given that Olympic Park remains under construction, the race organizer can in effect construct access roads and so on with the race in mind, so that there should be a seamless transition to a Grand Prix venue just a few months after the Games. However, there is some suggestion that the debut may be pushed back to 2015.

    Even so, the schedule does at least give the Russians three complete years during which to get the project together, which should avoid the hassles faced by Korea and Austin. The choice of venue also means that there will be ready-made facilities such as a broadcast and media center on site.

    “It can be a super circuit,†Ecclestone was quoted as saying by the BBC on Thursday. “It’s all the things we need and we are very happy.â€


    Read more: Formula One: Russia set for 2014 Grand Prix at Winter Olympics venue
     

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