Sochi to stage F1 Grand Prix

Sochi to stage F1 Grand Prix

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed the Black Sea Resort of Sochi will host a new Russian Grand Prix between 2014 and 2020.

Already scheduled to host the Winter Olympics in 2014, Sochi is set to become a hub for international sports tourism during the next decade.

The deal will cost Russia a reported £25 million annually, with an option to extend the contract by a further five years if proved successful.

“It can be a super circuit,” said Ecclestone following confirmation of the deal.

“It’s all the things we need and wanted and we are very happy.”

Ecclestone has been trying since at least 1982 to take F1 to Russia, with plans to stage the event in Moscow and St Petersburg falling through.

The move is part of a concerted strategy by Russia to bolster its position on the world stage, with a bid also in place to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The country presently has one F1 driver, Vitaly Petrov, who became the country’s first competitor when selected to drive for Renault this season.



Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who attended the signing in Sochi, met with business leaders separately to encourage them to support the grand prix.

“For us it’s an important event because it would be possible to use effectively everything we have created for the Olympic Games in 2014,” he said.

Officials did, however, confirm the first Grand Prix may not take place until 2015 if scheduling clashed with the Winter Olympics.

Ecclestone has been keen to expand the reach of F1 in recent years, with Singapore, China, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi all added to the calendar.

South Korea will host its first ever grand prix on October 24th, having recently been the go ahead following safety concerns.

A new race will take place in India from 2011 - taking the schedule to an unprecedented 20 races.