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


View Larger Map

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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

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

    ecclestone has said 20 races wil be the limit.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th October 2010, 22:25

      Not that long ago he was saying 16 races was the limit.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th October 2010, 23:08

        Nah, I’m pretty sure 20 is as far as we go. Any more than that, and FOTA will either throw a fit, or double their costs as they’ll need 2 race teams.

        • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 15th October 2010, 2:42

          I know Bernie said 20 races is the limit, but if the old venue have a contract which Bernie can’t tear up, & the new venues pays him & keep hims smiling then I don’t think he will have trouble in running more then 20 races.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. As long as Monaco is always on the schedule! The highlight of every racing year.

  11. PeriSoft said on 15th October 2010, 5:51

    I seem to recall that the last guys who were making noise about a track in Moscow were angling to get their hands on a chunk of land that some real estate developers were interested in, and ended up on the sidewalk, full of holes.

    I wouldn’t be jumping at the chance to be involved with this project either, high profile or not…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2010, 7:47

      The Nagatino Island project?

      If those guys were indeed shot, it had nothing to do with the circuit. The Moscow city council backed out of the project in 2002 because they felt the commercial arrangements were not in their best interests, and the project was officially abandoned in 2003.

  12. HounslowBusGarage said on 15th October 2010, 10:45

    Interesting.
    If you read the new article on F1news.ru it mentions that the track will be in the Imerti Valley where the Olympic village is to be built. So If you put that name into Google maps (Имеретинской долине) you get whisked inland from Sochi about 30 kms to beyond Krasnaya Polyana (which has been mentioned as the location of the Olympic Village).
    So the track won’t be by the sea, with echoes of Monaco and Valencia, superyachts in the background etc, but at the foot of lofty, and possibly snow-covered mountains.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 15th October 2010, 11:02

      Well, they are building two Olympic Villages. One will be on the Black Sea coast and will service athletes taking part in the speed and figure skating, curling and the like; there will be another up in Krasnaya Polyana, which is being built for the skiing, bobsliegh and luge, snowboarding and the outdoors-y events.

      http://sochiweb.ru/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/imeretinskaya_maket.jpg

      That said, the above is a concept image of the village to be built on the coast, and it lines up with the circuit (though it doesn’t contain the actual Olympic Stadium).

      • HounslowBusGarage said on 15th October 2010, 11:49

        Aha!
        Didn’t see that, PM. But now it all makes sense. In the background is the airport at Adler / Moldovka (aka Krasnodarskiy Kray)which is about 20 kms down the coast from Sochi, and it stands at the mouth of the Imerti, so it *is* technically in the Imerti Valley. But you’re right, it’s 20 kms from the mountains and the track will be pretty well flat.

  13. GeoCucc said on 15th October 2010, 18:23

    omg, nice to see this video, I was there in Moscow last week

  14. flatbeat said on 15th October 2010, 20:10

    In soviet russia, car drives you.

  15. I hope they make the track layout more interesting and more demanding curves and stuff .

  16. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th October 2010, 9:17

    It’s not in the interest of Russia to stop them all at customs! If this did happen, i’m sure someone big and important would step in. Imagine the embarassment.

    Good news about the race. Course it means somewhere will get the chop..but it is a World Championship.

  17. Hi my colleagues, how is everything? Here it is actually nice YouTube video lessons collection. i enjoyed a lot.

  18. Real Estate said on 4th March 2012, 11:35

    They will spend at least 1000m USD. Sochi Wintergames are 10 times more expensive than expected.

    Russia should actually not get any Grand Prix until they efficaciously fight corruption and show the world that they are able to run large projects. Just as an example: Contrary to China, Russian national airspace projects are a disaster at the moment with 3 failed space missions failed during the last 3 years.
    Its a shame for a country having such a long space technology tradition and so many smart brains.

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