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Vettel samples Sochi circuit

ESPN Staff
April 23, 2013 « McLaren pair 'clear the air' | Porsche ruled out F1 due to lack of road car relevance »
Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard saw how construction was progressing in Sochi © Associated Press
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Sebastian Vettel has become the first Formula One driver to drive part of the new Russian Grand Prix circuit.

Fresh from his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Vettel and former Red Bull driver David Coulthard travelled to Sochi to take part in an event for the team's title sponsor. Similar to an event in New Jersey last year Vettel then drove part of the circuit in a road car, though construction for the 2014 Winter Olympics meant it was impossible to complete a full lap.

"It is a great privilege to be the first Formula One driver to visit the new Sochi venue," Vettel said. "After trying a section of the track in the FX Vettel Edition, I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula One car and the rest of the venue is very impressive. I'm really looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix next year."

Oleg Zabara - deputy general director of race organisers OMEGA - said the construction of the circuit remains on schedule ahead of the planned inaugural race in 2014.

"The racing circuit in Sochi is part of the post-Olympic heritage program, designed to utilise the infrastructure built for the Winter Olympic Games," Zabara said. "Construction of the track and the main facilities is on schedule, and in 2014 the world will see the new world-class circuit. Hosting a Formula One Grand Prix is a key project for this country, highlighting the status and the image of modern Russia."