- Russian Grand Prix
No 'gimmicks' for Sochi track
Organisers of the 2014 Russian Grand Prix are confident the layout of their Sochi-based track will be an instant hit with fans and not rely on "gimmicks".
Recent additions to the F1 calendar such as Singapore and Abu Dhabi have wowed fans with floodlit races, but the actual circuits have been criticised for not allowing overtaking. Andrey Kraynik, a senior executive of the Russian Grand Prix's sponsor MegaFon, is confident that the Hermann Tilke-designed layout in Sochi will be focused on quality racing and nothing else.
"When we first invited Tilke down to see Sochi in 2009 we stressed the importance of ensuring the track design got the balance right," he said told Reuters. "The track will be a classic track with an emphasis on good overtaking opportunities, no gimmicks. It will have a mix of high speed corners, long straights and hairpins.
"On the one hand you will have the mountains as a backdrop and a city street-track feel at the same time. It will come to be loved by the fans like Montreal, and be challenging for the drivers like Monaco."
The circuit is being designed around the city's Olympic park, which will also host the 2014 Winter Games ahead of the inaugural race. Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told Reuters that the construction of the circuit would be completed well ahead of time to avoid a clash with preparations for the Olympics.
"Of course there are some more specific features that will need to be added upon the completion of the Olympic Games such as run-off areas, catch fencing etc," he said. "But we foresee the base requirements of the track being completed approximately one year prior to the first race being held."
He insisted that the two projects would run in harmony.
"There is every intention to ensure that the F1 race will go ahead as planned in 2014," said Pakhomov. "The specific requirements of managing the two events together is being studied carefully at present as the committee working to oversee the successful implementation of the Olympics becomes fully integrated with the committee being set up to orchestrate the F1 race which is still in its formative stage.
"However, I don't foresee any slippage of the race into 2015 being necessary."