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.