Russia to join F1 calendar in 2014

2014 F1 season

The first ever Russian Grand Prix will be held as part of the 2014 F1 calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone has signed a deal for F1 to race at a circuit in Sochi, where the next Winter Olympics are being held, in 2014.

The addition of another Grand Prix means the F1 calendar could have as many as 23 rounds by 2014.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin confirmed the deal, telling Reuters: “We have reached an agreement with the principal owner of Formula One that Sochi would host the Russian Grand Prix from 2014 to 2020.”

According to The Times, $200m (??126m) we be spent building the Sochi track and Ecclestone will charge $40m (??25m) for the rights to hold the race.

Update: A Russian news site claims a 5.5km track has been designed by Hermann Tilke and has published an image.

Update 2: Thanks to Andres in the comments for posting a link which appears to show the track map is authentic.

The expanding F1 calendar

Russia’s arrival in 2014 means three new races are being added to the F1 calendar in the next four years.

The Indian Grand Prix arrives next year, stretching the calendar to new lengths, hitting 20 races for the first time. That will be increased further with the arrival of a new United States Grand Prix at Austin in 2012 and the Russian Grand Prix two years later.

Add in the proposed new race in Rome expected to be confirmed within the next few years and the F1 calendar could have 23 Grands Prix by 2014 if no other races leave the calendar in that time.

Motor racing in Russia

Ecclestone has long harboured desires of tapping into the Russian market, saying in 2001: “It is the FIA Formula One world championship and it?s about time we had a round of this championship in Russia.??

Russian participation in international motor racing is has increased in recent years. Vitaly Petrov became the first Russian to compete in F1 this year.

He has attracted Russian sponsors to Renault in the form of Vyborg Shipyard and Flagman vodka. Renault also carry the logos of Lada, the Russian car brand owned by AvtoVAZ, which Renault own 25% of.

Several F1 demonstrations have been held in Moscow, including one in each of the past three years, with Petrov and Jenson Button appearing this year:

Another Russian, Mihkail Aleshin, won the World Series by Renault last week.

There has already been a Russian team in F1, albeit briefly – Midland Group re-branded the Jordan team in 2006, but sold it to Spyker later that year.

There have been several previous attempts to arrange a Grand Prix in Russia. Plans for races at St Petersburg and Nagatino Island all fell through.

Populous, who did the recent circuit design work for Silverstone, created an F1-ready track plan for a project near Moscow but the private investment company behind the plan never built the track.

Populous are also developing venues for the Sochi Winter Olympics, including the main event stadium.

The Smolensk ring opened earlier this year, hosting a round of the European Truck Racing championship in August. However it does not have the necessary licence to hold F1 races.

Location of Sochi


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Read more: Fresh rumours of a Russian Grand Prix

Image ?? Renault/LAT

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142 comments on Russia to join F1 calendar in 2014

  1. charlieboy said on 14th October 2010, 15:04

    Wooo Hooo the more races the better cant get enough of the world circus called Formula One :D

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th October 2010, 15:27

    http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/5947/61258.jpg

    This is an image of the supposed circuit layout. I can’t speak as to its accuracy, but it appears to have been taken by a mobile phone at the annoucement of the race. Exactly who is repsonsible for it seems unclear, though I have heard that Hermann Tilke has been in Russia as recently as six months ago.

    As to the actual circuit layout, I like it. It reminds me of the old Monaco – before Rascasse was more defined – crossed with Sepang. It seems to be made up of three high-speed sections, with the odd slow corner thrown in to offer a passing point. It will be run in and around the Olympic Village that will play host to athletes taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics. I don’t know how the IOC will respond to this; shortly after London won the rights to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mr. E suggested a one-off “Olympic Grand Prix” to be held in London. The IOC wasn’t happy with the prospect.

  3. I doubt Bernie will will extend his calender more then 20 races what he will do is cut off some of the races that will pay him less & by that we will loose some traditional track like Monza, Spa.In the end we will loose all the old circuit & that will be filled by Tilke drome!

  4. Bernie has said that 20 races is the limit. So what would be the calendar in 2014? I think Valencia and Turkey will get the axe, which leaves only 3 slots for Grands Prix. But we have India, the States, Rome and now Russia looking to get races. One more needs to go.

    • How long is Monaco contracted?

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th October 2010, 16:04

        Until 2020, new deal this year:

        Monaco signs ten-year F1 deal

        • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 14th October 2010, 16:55

          Wow! A silly season of “Where will F1 race next year?”

          Some track is going to bite it big time… Which will that be?

          • PeriSoft said on 15th October 2010, 5:47

            You can be sure that it’ll be one of the classics; Ecclestone seems to hate nothing more than the soul of the sport. It’s like he has a moral objection to passion, since its nature gets in the way of making money.

            At any rate, if three races had to be axed, my money would be on Spa, Suzuka, and Interlagos. They’re the best tracks out there, and it must gnaw at Bernie that he hasn’t been able to rid himself of them yet.

            What a wicked, wretched demon of a man.

  5. Well, Russia changes his mind again!
    There have been talks of hosting a Grand Prix in Russia for more than 30 years (even before the first Hungarian Grand Prix). But for various reasons, it could never have been done. The last attempt to host a race was on a track in Volokolamsk (80km west of Moscow), called Moscow Raceway, which construction started in october 2008. Unlike the russian project of Populous, this was a Tilke project, and the track was designed for F1 and for Moto Gp. Unfortunatly construction was suspended in 2009 due to the financial crisis.

    What is still interesting is that construction resumed this year, and looks like it will be finished one day.
    This pictures shows the construction site 2 weeks ago :
    http://www.moscowraceway.com/rus/index.php?pid=27&record_id=16#
    And this is what the track would look like when it will be finished :
    http://www.moscowraceway.com/rus/index.php?pid=11

    It’s juste a pity that Russia will change it’s mind again, and choose another place to build another new track. The Moscow track seem to be in construction for nothing. I personally hope, it will at least host a Moto GP round…

  6. KDegale said on 14th October 2010, 16:04

    Oh god! Not Tilke again. Keith remember a few years ago we were able to vote on the FIA website about things pertaining to F1 such as electronic aids etc.

    We need to be able to speak up about all the changes, rules & boring circuits being added to the calendar for years.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2010, 3:29

      I’m sorry, but how do you know the circuit will be boring if you haven’t seen it yet? Because Tilke designed it? That’s not conlusive proof of anything. He’s said that Bernie Ecclestone has given him permission to design circuits that are a little more “on the edge” as he puts it. This is his first after Austin, and it’s very much a departure for him. There’s lots of fast corners, just one hairpin and some very long high-speed stretches.

      It’s a pet hate of mine when fns complain about the circuits and expect the likes of Tilke to come up with something better, but offer no suggestions as to what that something better might be. You might as well ask him to play darts while blind-folded. He’ll have a better chance of hitting a bull’s-eye that way.

  7. colin grayson said on 14th October 2010, 16:13

    the reason for the choice of sochi is obvious……flavio will be able to go on his yacht , and bernie will be his guest

  8. Guilherme Teixeira said on 14th October 2010, 16:46

    People has been saying that a season can’t have more than 20 races. Well, that is true to some extent.

    What limits the maximum number of races in a season is the Concorde Agreement, and we will get a new one after 2012. That said, we have the Indian and US Grands Prix on the line until 2012, so maybe Bernie will do a deal with the teams and the FIA to breach the CA and hold 21 races in a season, or a race will be dropped.

    After 2012, it will depend on the new Concorde Agreement, and probably Bernie will push for a 25 race limit, thus allowing the Russian GP to be held without depending on another race droping out.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th October 2010, 15:13

      I remember one of the teams saying “we won’t make any money out of the Canadian GP” because of going so far and back would eat up all their profits. So Bernie will say, well, here’s another race on the continent, now you can make a profit.

  9. HounslowBusGarage said on 14th October 2010, 17:52

    I followed the link to the layout of the Russian track and got this little snippet of information

    “The route for the Grand Prix of Russia will be built in Sochi Olympic Park, its project has been designed by Hermann Tilke, and includes stretches of public roads as well as specially constructed sites. The length of the route – about 5.5 kilometres.

    Comments and description will appear after the contract signing ceremony will take place in the next half hour.”

  10. sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th October 2010, 19:46

    ecclestone has said 20 races wil be the limit.

  11. Notna said on 14th October 2010, 21:10

    Keith, you should put up a page to track the contracts of the circuits and when they run out. If any are the year before Russia join it could be an indication of impending dropping. Just a thought!

  12. schooner said on 14th October 2010, 22:57

    With the current “off” season being right around 4 months (not counting testing), I suppose that 2 or 3 additional race dates could be feasible. I’d love to see it happen, but that would surely be the limit.

  13. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th October 2010, 22:58

    23 races?

    India will be #20.
    If Austin does push through, kiss Turkey goodbye.
    If Russia gets in, there will probably be little need for Hungary.
    As for Rome… I seriously doubt that will happen.

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2010, 0:37

    What I find most interesting here is the pit lane. These are actual, professional plans that have been drawn up, and so that pit lane looks very tiny. But assuming that it’s to scale and can hold twenty-four cars comfortably, imagine the rest of the circuit – some of those straights are going to be very long, and those turns will be very fast.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 15th October 2010, 15:19

      I was wondering about that, but if you look at Turn 4, if its width was to the giant scale it would be far less tight than it seems to be intended. The main straight would also most likely be contravening a rule I believe exists about how long a straight can be, unless that’s just a Bernie guideline. I don’t think the drawing is very accurate.

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