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

  2. 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.

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

    If you read the new article on 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.

      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

        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.

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

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

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

    In soviet russia, car drives you.

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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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