Russian GP set for 2014
The inaugural Russian Grand Prix looks set to join the F1 calendar in 2014.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said in April that up to three venues were in the running for the Russian event, but that there is "a big push" from the resort city Sochi. Located just north of the Georgian border and fronting the Black Sea, Sochi will also host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"He [Ecclestone] suggests holding the first grand prix in autumn 2014," deputy regional development minister Yuri Reilyan is quoted by the business daily Vedomosti.
Reilyan added that Russia is ready to green-light construction of a circuit as soon as Ecclestone can "guarantee that the race will definitely take place, and the circuit will not be abandoned in the future".
The cost of the facility, to be built in the region of the Olympic Park in the Imeretinskaya Valley, is estimated at $200 million. A draft project has already been agreed with regular F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
"It's too early to speak about the budget," added Reilyan. "The final project is yet to be worked out, it will be done by an organisation committee to be established by the end of this year."